teaching paddling courses to kids is so much fun because without fail every class will have one or two children who are terrified to the point of tears about getting into the canoe, and every time I ask them what they’re most afraid of. I ask genuinely, “what do you think is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you today? If something horrible happens to you today, what will that thing be?”
And it’s always that the boat will capsize, that they’ll fall in, etc.
In summer courses, the answer is easy. I just walk into the water wearing my life jacket, start floating, and say “this is what it looks like when your boat capsizes and you fall in. I’m doing it right now. I fell in.”
If it’s chilly out and I don’t want to spend all day wet, I tell them, “want to know something funny? We’re going to capsize on purpose later. We have to learn how to capsize so that we know how to help ourselves when it happens on accident. Do you think we’d so something on purpose that’s dangerous? What will happen is that we will all fall in the water, and our life jackets will hold us up. I know that, because it’s my job to check your life jacket. Then we’ll all float around until we get back in our boats, and then we’ll go inside and change. The worst part of it all is that you’ll be soggy.”
This has never failed me. They always calm down, get in the boat, and end up having fun the entire time. Time and time again, the Unknown is the ultimate fear, and a little bit of patience at the start is all it takes to keep things running smoothly.
All that said, my favorite kids are the funny ones who clearly respond well to humor, so I get to tell them, “I can absolute guarantee that no one is going to drown today. I would never let that happen, because I don’t want to have to fill out the paperwork.”
me: what’s gonna happen?
crying child: I’ll fall in the lake
me: *falls into the lake on purpose* like this?
>: O !!!!!!!
Tired of dumbass nihilist shit. Been there done that Everything matters actually. Like just factually every god damn thing effects Something even if it’s not anything huge or obvious. Things cannot exist without having any impact on anything else
Saw a post in some space tags recently that was like. “The galaxy with the earth” “the galaxy without the earth” with the same picture twice and “the universe doesn’t care” and that’s Fucking Stupid! Ohhh you can’t see this planet from that far away.. Shut up. Even ignoring everything going on On the planet, our gravity effects the orbit of the rest of the shit around here. You can’t see the moon from that far away either but its gravity still pulls the tides. Eat my ass
“Ohh in the grand scheme of things-” what about the little scheme of things? Huh? Ever thought about that, sadboy? The big picture is made up of brush strokes, fool
“In wondering why Americans are afraid of dragons, I began to realize that a great many Americans are not only anti-fantasy, but altogether anti-fiction. We tend, as a people, to look upon all works of the imagination either as suspect or as contemptible. ‘My wife reads novels. I haven’t got the time.’ ‘I used to read that science fiction stuff when I was a teenager, but of course I don’t now.’ ‘Fairy stories are for kids. I live in the real world.’ Who speaks so? Who is it that dismisses ‘War and Peace,’ ‘The Time Machine,’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with this perfect self-assurance? It is, I fear, the man in the street – the men who run this country. Such a rejection of the entire art of fiction is related to several American characteristics: our Puritanism, our work ethic, our profit-mindedness, and even our sexual mores. To read ‘War and Peace’ or ‘The Lord of the Rings’ plainly is not ‘work’ – you do it for pleasure. And if it cannot be justified as ‘educational’ or as ‘self-improvement,’ then, in the Puritan value system, it can only be self-indulgence or escapism. For pleasure is not a value, to the Puritan; on the contrary, it is a sin. Equally, in the businessman’s value system, if an act does not bring in an immediate, tangible profit, it has no justification at all. Thus the only person who has an excuse to read Tolstoy or Tolkien is the English teacher, who gets paid for it. But our businessman might allow himself to read a best-seller now and then: not because it is a good book, but because it is a best-seller – it is a success, it has made money. To the strangely mystical mind of the money-changer, this justifies its existence; and by reading it he may participate, a little, in the power and mana of its success. If this is not magic, by the way, I don’t know what it is. The last element, the sexual one, is more complex. I hope I will not be understood as being sexist if I say that, within our culture, I believe that this anti-fiction attitude is basically a male one. The American boy and man is very commonly forced to define his maleness by rejecting certain traits, certain human gifts and potentialities, which our culture defines as ‘womanish’ or ‘childish.’ And one of these traits or potentialities is, in cold sober fact, the absolutely essential human faculty of imagination… But I must narrow the definition to fit our present subject. By ‘imagination,’ then, I personally mean the free play of the mind, both intellectual and sensory. By ‘play’ I mean recreation, re-creation, the recombination of what is known into what is new. By ‘free’ I mean that the action is done without an immediate object of profit – spontaneously. That does not mean, however, that there may not be a purpose behind the free play of the mind, a goal; and the goal may be a very serious object indeed. Children’s imaginative play is clearly a practicing at the acts and emotions of adulthood; a child who did not play would not become mature. As for the free play of an adult mind, its result may be ‘War and Peace,’ or the theory of relativity. To be free, after all, is not to be undisciplined. I should say that the discipline of the imagination may in fact be the essential method or technique of both art and science. It is our Puritanism, insisting that discipline means repression or punishment, which confuses the subject. To discipline something, in the proper sense of the word, does not mean to repress it, but to train it – to encourage it to grow, and act, and be fruitful, whether it is a peach tree or a human mind. I think that a great many American men have been taught just the opposite. They have learned to repress their imagination, to reject it as something childish or effeminate, unprofitable, and probably sinful. They have learned to fear it. But they have never learned to discipline it at all.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin, from Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons? (1974)