I’d like to dedicate this “Wasting Time” post to Abby Sunderland age 16, for her efforts in making a totally unnecessary solo sailing trip round the world. Talk about a waste of time….oh yeah, that’s right, everyone is talking about it, and they seem to agree, that Abby’s parents are irresponsible idiots. What strikes me as strange though, is the absence of media scrutiny and outrage when she began this trip. I didn’t even know about her, or the other young sailors who had attempted this same goal. I guess nothing succeeds like failure.
If I had heard about Abby before the accident that cut her trip short and required a dangerous rescue, the long-lost 16-year-old within me would have thought “That’s pretty damn cool.” And as a parent, I can only hope that I’ll have inspired my children to pursue their goals by the time they’re 16. I feel encouraged by the Sunderland family, that someday, I will eliminate the whining “I can’t dooooo it!” from this family’s vocabulary.
To those people who feel that Abby’s family has deprived her of the chance to live a safe, average life, perhaps you can find a teenager closer to home who needs help being average. Sixteen-year-olds give birth, commit murder, do drugs, join gangs. There are sixteen-year-olds whose parents abuse them, neglect them, kick them out. There is no shortage of causes worthy of public outrage. The real waste of time is worrying about parents who didn’t buy their kid a bigger boat.