First of all, I cannot imagine letting my son do that.
However, why is it that modern society views maturity by years of age and not by how they act? Some of the most immature people I know are well over 21. In fact, I have one at 29 that I know personally that my 9 yo is more mature than.
My grandmother was married and had her first child at 14. Yes, 14. I did not miss-type. Do a little history and you will see that many of the officers on the old wooden boats were well under the age of 18. They started them young and based their decisions on their suitability by their child and not so much his age. I think Master and Commander did a good job at presenting this. If I recall, I believe they had to be 13 or 14 to serve and they often lied about their ages. And read back to some of the history of the US and the old west and the ages of children when they were out trapping and building homesites. It is eye-opening. What about the kids who in Congo and other parts of Africa are handed a rifle at age 9 yo's and told to fight or die?
I realize the difference between serving in the military and taking a choice-trip around the world is very different. But I would not say that serving on a British Man of War was any less dangerous and maybe more dangerous. Being a child in Africa is certainly no less dangerous.
All that said, I cannot see me doing sending my kids around the world on some publicity stunt. What is the point? Is it for the child or a 30 minute claim-to-fame? I know John would not do it either.
My only frustration is that I hate the way our society has cataloged each of us based upon the number of years we have on the planet versus who we are. And I especially hate the way governments (ours or others) have unilaterally taken over from the parents as knowing what is best for children. These same governements not a hundred years ago were sticking their kids on frigates and sending them to war. It's still happening in Africa. And given the same circumstances, I would not be surprised to see them do it again for their own personal agendas or for what they feel is best for their country. Double standard if yiou ask me.
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