Mar 172003
Authors: Shannon Baldwin

Stop! Put that water bottle down and back away from the cookie dough!

You heard me. Are you insane? Don’t you pay attention to the news? That water bottle you have been drinking out of all day, filling and refilling, has been shown to contain bacteria! And that cookie dough has raw egg in it. For the love of Pete, that is just asking for a bad case of salmonella. Don’t even look at it!

And don’t even think about letting your kids run around the McDonald’s play area without socks on. Lord only knows what kind of life-threatening foot-eating disease is just lurking at the bottom of the ball-pit.

The older generations must have been fighting tooth and nail just to survive out there. And they didn’t even have the knowledge (and the mass media juggernauts to help spread the hysteria…I mean information) about health that we do to aid in our desperate fight for life!

Is anybody else at all bothered by how psycho-dramatic our culture has become about self-protection. It seems every day there is another hazard found in the activities of everyday living. Another thing we have to worry about. Another bit of information to store away in the OSHA-regulated and sterilized compartments of our brain for future reference. And with each new worry, another stress is added. But hey, stress is just a part of living in this safer society. Stress doesn’t kill, germs do! Oh, and bruises, too.

Bruises are definitely worse than ulcers.

Remember the playground game “Red Rover?” “Red Rover Red Rover, let Johnny come over!” and Johnny would go racing at the human chain to try to break through or else be assimilated. I loved that game as a kid. But I remember being told that the game was not allowed because somebody could get hurt.

Remember dodge ball in physical education class? There are many elementary schools now that have banned that game as well. To keep kids from being singled out?

Possibly. To keep kids from getting hurt. Another possibility. Either case, I am not sure I like it. I wasn’t a fan of the game myself, but if the aim is to protect our youth, I have to wonder about the long-term effects.

We don’t want to hurt Johnny’s feelings if he is singled out. If Johnny can’t handle a monitored game of dodge ball, then he will never be able to handle the vicious mind games that kids play in middle school. And if we keep protecting Johnny, how is he going to develop the thicker skin needed to weather the slings and arrows of life? The longer we raise kids in an incubator, the more ill prepared they will be, and they can’t live in a safety-zone forever.

And as for the physical protection of little Johnny. I guess that also explains why you don’t see seesaws, wooden swing seats, or merry-go-rounds, either. Some kid got hurt. So everyone has to be protected.

Funny how that same mentality doesn’t work for guns in this country.

I was chatting with my friend, Dean, about the bicycle helmets everyone wears nowadays as opposed to when we were growing up.

“Yeah, I crashed my bike,” he said. “I fell. I got banged up. But you know what? I healed.”

Dean’s point was that sometimes we spend so much effort protecting kids that we don’t let them actually enjoy being kids. And kids get banged up, play rough, fall out of trees, scrape their knees, and laugh while their friends are signing the cast on their broken legs. Sometimes, it’s okay to get hurt.

Stressing about the prevention may be worse than the injury.

If an injury should occur in spite of all careful and meticulous forethought and preventative measures, be sure to call your lawyer to file suite for whoever is responsible. Then clean the wound, making sure to sterilize your hands first. We even have some handy no-water hand sanitizer gels out now. Oh, wait! Some studies now argue that hand-sanitizers increase the strength of bacteria.

Screw it! Have some cookie dough.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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