Long time readers will hardly be surprised to know that the saying "as the tree is bent, so is the tree inclined" resonates with this poor author. A more ominous restatement is "as ye sow, so shall ye reap."
Am I being over sensitive to be concerned about the section of the store that I saw recently? Am I making too much of this? Do I have too much time on my hands? Are there bigger threats to our kids? Is this the least of our worries? I took a photograph so you can know what I'm talking about and help me decide.
To be fair, rest stops on the Florida Turnpike are tasked with selling stuff rather than with attending to the emotional, nutritional, and psychological needs of children. Just the same, couldn't this part of the store be called "Crap for Kids" or "Teeth Rotting Backwards R Us" or even "Obesity for fun and profit"? OK, so branding agencies have nothing to worry about from me. I wouldn't know what sign to put up to move as much product as possible. But no books, no stuffed animals, no games, no puzzles, no toys, no sporting equipment, no astronaut stuff? Nuthin'? Just sugary diabetes-inducing confections? All the extraordinary magic of childhood has been reduced to assorted candy? What is wrong with this picture?
Quick Time Out: We interrupt our regularly scheduled newsletter to remind readers that any view can be distorted and misinterpreted. Remember the woman who voted against the politician who supported funding for the Tennessee Valley Authority? "I don't want to give up my television," she said. "M'am. It's the TVA," the politician explained. "It's about water for crop land; nothing to do with TV." The voter replied thoughtfully: "You can't be too careful."
So in the unlikely eventuality that this woman will mistake my concern, here's the deal: I am not writing a blog post speaking out against candy. Or stated another way "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." And I have no problem with either. In moderation. But candy to the exclusion of healthy calories? Nah. Alcohol rather than any sober interaction or connection? Meh. Kids world is only candy? That's it? Candy rather than books and toys? Ick. And don't get me started on the missing apostrophe. "Kids World" should at least be "Kid's World," don't you think?
Isn't there room for something other than these yummy substances which can lead to problems? And doesn't there seem to be some kind of relationship between "Kids World" which contains only candy and Adults World inhabited solely by alcohol and tobacco? According to heart.com
, obesity in 6 to 11-year-olds has risen from 4% in the 1970s to 18% a few years ago. That's a big increase. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,000 Americans lost their lives too extensive alcohol consumption last year. According to anyone who has ever cared about another human being, that's too many children who won't enjoy their bodies as much as they might and too many needless deaths for adults.
As a society, we are sowing a crop we would prefer not to harvest. I don't know about you, but I will endeavor as best I can to keep my little patch of ground healthy and whole. My children are going to understand that "Kid's World" includes books, games, puzzles, and stuffed animals. And maybe a toy train, some dominoes, and a trampoline.