Little row boats

Imagine, every child, in their own little row boat, staying in a preset lane. Moving gently down a river. Some learned how to paddle from a young age. Others didn’t, and they’ve lost interest. They might be good swimmers, or great at building jet skis, but only row boats are allowed in these lanes. They never make it down the river.

Those that do make it further are faced with a new set of lanes. With little idea of what’s ahead, they choose their next direction. 2, 4, 6 or maybe 10 years later, the lanes end and suddenly everyone is an the open ocean. There are no more guideposts.

They’re forced to wrestle with uncertainty that is so foreign compared to life in the boundaries. Some just keep rowing and end up in terrible storms that could have been predicted from afar. But they never learned how to read the weather. They always just kept paddling.

While end up in infinite loops of joyless paddling, they occasionally encounter people who hopped out and swam around to explore the world. Or someone who built a jet ski and is having lots of fun. Or even someone who fell in love with a new form of paddling.

What’s the point of the lanes? What’s the point of the row boats and the paddling? There’s a storm coming, and hand-powered, one-person boats don’t often perform well in bad weather.