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Common Knowledge

Written by Katrina Moncure Mar 03, 2009

Did you know that there are no kids out sledding in the snow we got in the past couple of days? Did you know that once spring is here, you’ll be hard pressed to find a single child out riding a bike or playing soccer? Kids today have no interest in the outdoors. Instead they’d rather stay inside with some lousy TV show or video game. Everyone knows it.

Here’s something you may really want to know. Did you know that everything I just said in the last paragraph is, well, a bunch of crap?

I was out walking yesterday, and sure enough, at a good-sized hill, there were at least half a dozen kids sledding and laughing and having fun. It was a rather joyful scene. A joyful scene adamantly denied in the minds of most adults.

There’s a soccer field right next to my house, and when the temperature even starts to rise, it is full of neighborhood kids kicking a ball around, as well as some over at the adjacent basketball court. Alas, it is yet another truthful, enjoyable scene that few adults will acknowledge.

Once we’re past Memorial Day, just like last year, the swimming pool across the street will be brimming with kids looking to cool off in the chlorinated waters. A pool that most adults will insist is abandoned in favor of Spongebob Squarepants.

You get adults saying things like “of course kids are fat, when was the last time you saw any kids riding bikes?” Ummm, I wonder if these adults have spent any time outside themselves, since if they have, they actually see kids riding bikes!

Or I suppose if you can get an admission out of such a stubborn adult that the 10-year-old girl outside engaging in an energetic activity is in fact real, then you get something like “oh, well, these kids aren’t the norm, so many others are inside getting fat”.

I wonder what their source of info is. That’s the trouble with common knowledge. You hear something enough times and don’t ever question whether it’s true. Just sort of sounds plausible, and that’s enough for you to defend the notion tooth and nail despite evidence to the contrary rollerblading by you.

Wonder where it came from to begin with. A news blurb? A network drama character’s remark? A friend or relative making such a comment, perhaps having acquired this “knowledge” from any of the above sources?

Silly adults. Getting their information from ill-informed friends. Getting their information from TV.

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