Dear KES Family:
I would like to connect two separate items from this week. The first is the information session we had with two officers from the RCMP’s cybercrime unit. In these one-hour presentations, our students learned about the dangers of the internet and the dark web, the predators that troll chat rooms and Apps, the permanency of any images that are posted on social media, and the horrific stories of children who have been ‘lured’ into providing naked images of themselves or been tricked into actually meeting, and subsequently being abused and/or abducted, by people who have hidden their true identities online.
Coincidentally, the reading in Chapel this week was from Genesis and the students heard the story of Satan disguising himself as a snake in the Garden of Eden. The parallels between online “luring” and of Satan whispering in Eve’s ear are remarkable. While listening to the police officers, I could not help but think that the Old Testament story is played out again and again with our children. However, while it was clear that in the Garden of Eden there was just the one snake and the single Forbidden Fruit, the youth of today have many whispering snakes in their lives and perhaps an orchard of trees bearing forbidden fruit.
As excited as we get about the innovations of science and technology, of travel and opportunity, the reality is that the lives of our children are far more complex than any generation before them. My childhood was much simpler, the temptations I faced were far fewer and the voices I heard were generally from adults I knew and a cluster of teammates and classmates. The shows we watched were family oriented and The Beatles’ lyrics came without parental warnings. Comparing the childhoods of a parent or grandparent of today’s teens is a study in contrast.
This is why I value Thanksgiving so much. It is one holiday that is focused on family and gratitude. It has not been commercialised. It is not about material things. It celebrates goodness. Our children need adult voices and simple pleasures in their lives. Thanksgiving helps provide reflective and valuable family moments. For that alone, I give thanks for Thanksgiving.