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Children no longer climb trees

By Matthieu Ricard on June 13, 2011

I recently visited a friend who lives in Franche-Comté and whose parents, now retired, were the last independent farmers of that region. Now, there are no more. As we travelled across the countryside, my friend told me, ‟In the past, during the cherry-picking season, we were all in the trees feasting. Now, cherries remain on the branches. Today's children do not climb trees anymore.” They spend their time in front of their computer.

A study has shown that children play ten times less together in public places than they did thirty years ago. Their contact with nature is often no more than a desktop wallpaper, and games are increasingly solitary, accompanied by virtual violence, and bereft of beauty, wonderment, the spirit of friendship, and an appreciation of simple pleasures.

So perhaps it is time to climb trees again…