"" Writer's Wanderings: Let Them Play

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let Them Play

The summer ahead will produce a house on the empty lot next to our home. They have already cleared the old gnarled willow trees from it and the scrubby trees and bushes that lined the creek bed in the back of the lot. It's already an improvement to our neighborhood. Last Friday, I was surprised to see one man show up to grind the large tree stumps that remained. One man, I wondered? But I discovered it was all done by remote control!

With precision control, the man man used the joy stick and buttons on a small box in his hand to drive the yellow stump grinder from stump to stump and guide the cutting tool as it ground into the remaining roots of the fallen trees. When he was all done, he walked beside the machine as he guided it back on to the trailer and left for his next job.

Perhaps the reason it fascinated me so was that it looked so much like a grown kid playing with a remote controlled car--albeit a rather large "car." I began to think about all the things in our modern world that are remotely controlled (other than a TV). Spy planes came to mind as did assembly lines for car manufacturers where robots paint the cars. Then I remembered the amazing surgeries I've heard about (and had myself) where they insert a camera and a tube by which they can manipulate the surgical instruments to perform delicate surgeries that are minimally invasive. Our world is truly amazing.

So the next time your child or grandchild begs for a remote controlled car, truck, boat, etc. think carefully before you say, "no." It could just be the means for practicing what may come in the future in a career. I say "let them play!"

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