juni 7

Når unges liv er for meget Las Vegas og for lidt Grand Canyon

143  kommentarer

Hvis ikke rejsen var blevet afbrudt midt i det hele og havde ændret totalt karakter, var denne kroniks budskab blevet helt anderledes. For så havde den handlet om hvordan det moderne samfund skaber nye familieformer, som både giver udfordringer og muligheder for alle involverede. Vi var nemlig to ekskoner til den samme mand, der havde fundet sammen om at tage den helt store Californien-tur med hendes tre børn og mine to og det skulle foregå i en kæmpe motorhome, som vi skulle svinge rundt i kløfter, bjerge, ørkener og byer, og alt var blevet klappet af med FDM, så vi bare kunne nyde turen. Og det gik fantastisk! Lige indtil de to ekskoner pludselig blev til en, fordi en telefonsamtale kaldte den ene hjem og hun tog datteren med, og så stod jeg der alene med ansvaret for fire drenge, hvoraf to af dem var mine og to af dem var lånt. 

Det er måske overflødigt at nævne, at jeg var ved at dø af angst over alt det, der kunne gå galt. Og for at stå med ansvaret helt alene. Men hvordan man med fordel kan æde sin angst og gå styrket ud af en situation, man slet, slet, overhovedet ikke havde ønsket at stå i, og få en fuldstændig fantastisk oplevelse alligevel, er heller ikke budskabet i denne kronik. Selvom det også er et budskab, som det hyper-kontrollerede moderne menneske ofte nok skal mindes om. Inklusive mig selv!

Og dog. Begge budskaber er nemlig indeholdt i det centrale i denne kronik; nemlig at vi som samfund har et enormt ansvar for at lære vores unge at skabe balance i deres liv. Ved at give dem nogle sansemættede oplevelser af både mere naturmæssig og kulturel karakter, der kan få deres hoved til blidt og jævnligt at eksplodere i en befriende forståelse af, at livet er så meget mere end at opnå kendte mål, tidligst muligt starte en karriere, tjene masser af penge og ikke mindst opnå udelt opmærksomhed fra omverdenen. Og at relationer og situationer ikke lader sig styre, men kan sende en de mest utrolige steder hen, som man ikke selv havde fantasi til at forestille sig. Heldigvis!

Den store dannelsesrejse til USA, var ikke kun en vidunderlig ferieoplevelse for hele familien. Den gav os en ramme for at tale om livet. Om hvad der har værdi. Og hvordan de kan placere sig selv med mening og retning det, der virker som en syndflod af muligheder, som det moderne børne- og ungdomsliv i dag tilbyder, men som virkeligheden er super smalt, for hvis ikke man er ”på” er man uigenkaldeligt ”af” og dermed er man ingen og har ingenting. Hvilket de fleste voksne godt ved er løgn, men selv falder i med jævne mellemrum. Disse børn og unge har brug for en sund modvægt til denne hype, og det er derfor, at jeg har besluttet af mine unger skal udsættes for langt flere oplevelser indenfor to områder: Natur. Og kultur. Vel og mærke kultur, som mor her har udvalgt, for at give dem et nødvendigt alternativ til den ofte medierede virkelighed, som de ellers hvirvles rundt i, og som kan gøre dem status-blinde og begrænsede på en måde, der ikke er befordrende for deres selvværd. Fordi de på trods af mulighedshavet alligevel tror, at der kun findes én måde at have succes på, én måde at leve livet og én måde at være nogen på.

På ydersiden var turen den klassiske rundrejse i Californien, og vi fik besøgt San Fransisco, Yosemite Nationalpark, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara og vi fik også kørt på de to mest legendariske veje: Highway 1 og Route 66. Den spændte altså vidt i indtryk og gav os både civilisation og uvant natur, og det i sig selv var faktisk en meget fantastiske oplevelse. Men det var midt på turen, at vi ramte de to steder, der gjorde størst indtryk. Ikke bare i fotoalbummet, men også i sindet. 

Efter ni timers ørkenkørsel, hvor vi havde ladet tankerne og samtalen flyve i alle retninger, mens det tørre sand og de enorme vidder gav luft til nye perspektiver på gamle problemstillinger, ramte vi Las Vegas og kørte direkte ind på The Strip. Her gik vi alle amok over denne sindssyge og sindssygt fascinerende by, der er så modsætningsfyldt, at man næsten ikke kan kapere det, for på det ene gadehjørne står en go-go-danser komplet med fjer på numsen, fjer på hovedet og bryster nærmest lagt på fad, mens hun står og vrikker indtagende – højst sandsynligt for at blive opdaget. Og lige ved siden af står en prædikant og tordner over byens synd, mens levendegjorte tegneserie-myter vandrer rundt og forsøger at få børnenes og vi andres opmærksomhed. Intet – intet(!) – er naturligt i Las Vegas; byen hvor det man besøger er hotellerne, med deres miniature-verdner, der er afsindigt godt lavet og sender en til et trygt lilleput-land, for på Marcus Pladsen i Venetia kan man godt blive væk, uden at blive rigtig væk, og i Paris, hvor vi boede, er byernes by et dukkeland, som er ægte, selvom det forsøger at være en kopi. Las Vegas er så uvirkelig, alt er så fake, at det til sidst virker enormt realistisk, og man er på besynderlig vis udspændt mellem super tryghed, fordi det meste man bevæger sig imellem er små kopier af virkeligheden, og på den anden side en vanvittig energi, der nærmest har dødsdrift på en meget levende måde. Ja, det giver ikke mening. Men det var sådan, jeg oplevede det. Og hvis du ikke har besøgt Las Vegas endnu, så skal du gøre det. Den oplevelse er for fabelagtig i ordets oprindelige forstand, til at gå glip af. Og sætter det moderne liv i en meget synlig kontekst. Det moderne liv, som det vel og mærke kan blive, hvis ikke vi har dens modsætning.

Vi forlod nemlig Las Vegas for at tage til Grand Canyon. De mange timers køretur rensede noget af hurlumhejet ud af hjernen, men det var først, da jeg sad på jorden med min yngste søns varme kind mod min, at jeg mærkede hvordan han tillod sig selv at falde ind i sig selv, falde ind i naturen, falde ind i historien og lod sit sind strække sig uden mål og med og bare tog verden og livet ind, mens vi sad og kiggede udover Grand Canyons næsten ubegribelige skønhed. 

Det er i spændingsfeltet mellem Las Vegas og Grand Canyon at de unge skal finde deres egen identitet, mening, værdier og ståsted. Problemet er bare, at det de unges for det meste bliver mødt med, er den rå ”på-hed” og resultatorientering og ekstreme selviscenesættelse som Vegas repræsenterer, mens de lærer alt for lidt om den ro og indsigt, som Grand Canyon kan give dem, ved at lære dem at trække sig fra de konstante ydre krav og mærke og lytte til sig selv. Historien. Helheden. Og evne at sætte sig selv ind i en sammenhæng. Med tiden og fællesskabet. 

Som forældrer ved jeg, at det i høj grad er min opgave at præsentere og øve dem i den balance. Og det gør jeg. Men jeg ville ønske, at skolereformen havde gjort mere plads til at lære dem at sanse verden på en sund måde, så de får lyst til at opsøge både natur og kunst og kultur, så de ser og bliver mødt med, at livet er langt mere mangfoldigt end karriereplaner, PISA-resultater, likes og fremmede fans. For når sjælen synger, som den gjorde da vi sad med benene hængende udover den røde klippe, der strakte sig lige så langt vi kunne se, bliver mennesket helt. Og så har man først for alvor noget originalt og ægte at byde det samfund, som vi alle er en del af. 

Bragt i Jyllands-Posten efteråret 2014


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