OUR VIEW: Finding life’s balance

Canadian artist Robert Bateman is certainly not alone in his analysis of modern youth.

Canadian artist Robert Bateman is certainly not alone in his analysis of modern youth. They need to get out more, he says, to experience the outdoors and get to know nature — rather than spend most of their time in front of computer screens or looking down at their phones or other electronic gadgets.

This, Bateman told the News Review in an interview this week, helps young people — even older folks — determine their place in the world and teaches them not only what’s out there but how to think critically about things around them.

For the most part, we certainly agree that broadening one’s horizons gives you more points of reference on which to base your value and beliefs. More people could benefit from spending more time away from the gadgets and interacting with both nature and the people around them.

From our experiences on the Saanich Peninsula and around the region, plenty of children and adults do get outside. There are preschool field trips that have long lines of little ones taking in local nature and there are plenty of small cycling groups regularly riding the rural roads of the region. There are people who are getting closer to nature, possibly giving their lives that essential balance between who we are and what we do for a living.

The Saanich Peninsula has plenty of examples of people getting out, having fun and even using their spare time to improve all of our lives. Watch for some of them in the Beacon Community Services and PNR’s annual Hearts of the Community volunteer recognition event next month.

The concerns Bateman has, that too many youth are spending more and more hours in front of computer screens, are valid. Caregivers — physical and mental — warn often of the consequences of cutting oneself off from the outside world.

Having seen youth taking part in outdoor activities and programs at places like Panorama Rec. and the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, we think people have all the opportunity to explore their world that they could want. On balance, this speaks well of the next generation.