I recently watched a movie from my childhood called “The Goonies”. If you’ve never watched it, it’s worth a look. It’s the story of a group of misfit friends who are thrown into an amazing adventure. Like so many of the movies from my childhood, it is something that is timeless to me for a variety of reasons. Although it’s been almost thirty years since I first saw it, I know what attracted me to the movie at the time. It was foul mouthed kids that weren’t too different from me that fell into adventure on their own.
In my early teen years, my friends and I were always getting into low level Goonie adventures. We never found a pirate ship or fought off criminals but we did a lot without supervision. I’m not sure if the movie inspired us to test the limits or if we would have done that anyway. Our boundaries slowly but surely expanded from our backyard to as far as our bikes would carry us. It was a slow and steady process of discovery over years. These years gave us a sense of confidence that we could handle things on our own and avoid getting into trouble at the same time.
The world is a different place and I feel as though the ability/desire to find and handle those Goonie adventures is being lost. The process of creating adventures and responsibility for the consequences is an exclusively adult job these days. Kids have little ability to make minor mistakes much less big ones. At some point they will be faced with the world and I wonder if they will recoil due to a lack of experience or rise to the challenge. The self-reliance that we gained is something that I cherish. Where would I be without it? I really don’t want to know.