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This Month's Local Features
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Letter From the Publisher
One of my favorite memories of childhood is of going to the library. On summer vacation, my brother and I would take out the maximum number of books allowed. I think it was 12 of them, and we would be done with them long before the week was finished. We have always been a family of readers, sitting around in silence for hours as we each independently got transported to other worlds and into other people’s lives. The stories were magic and as we sat there unknowingly bonding with each other in our physical world, while experiencing things beyond our wildest dreams. How delightful to see a Stanford University study show that people who read fiction are more empathic, having opened our minds to innumerable experiences and ideas that we would not be able to experience on our own. By reading about other people’s lives, we can identify with others and gain a better understanding in real life.
So many of us have fond memories of playing outside when we were young. Now, watching our grandchildren grow and seeing their imaginations as they can turn the simplest objects into spaceships, guitars, or racecars is a joy to behold. That is what we are, unfortunately, losing so much of. With the need for constant distractions and the endless opportunities for them, our children rarely experience the magic of imagination. We are now learning that childhood creativity is critical for developing qualities for sound decision making, flexible thinking and mental resiliency. Both schools and parents should be nurturing this.
Encouraging and growing the world’s youth is based on healthy family and community dynamics that show up and get fine-tuned during happily structured social interactions. Recent studies show that the parents talking to their children, be it stories or just pleasant conversation, even as infants, increases their IQ. Judith Fertig explores many such opportunities in her feature article, “Growing Up Empowered,” on page 18. Our August theme of Empowering Youth includes guidance on how we can help empower children so that they grow up with confidence, emotional intelligence, character, leadership, self-esteem, fitness and social skills while growing into the unique individuals they are created to be. Our collective role is as their guardian, protector and teacher, encouraging them to make their own positive contribution in the world.
It’s August already. Enjoy your summer, get outside and play!
RI | Natural Awakenings | 401-709-2473