When I posted earlier about what is happening in the Avondale School District, I got a lot of negative feedback that I don’t care about the safety of the children.
I do care a lot about kids safety. But, at some point we have to let kids lead regular lives. Disease has always been a part of our lives. This disease is not nearly as deadly as most other diseases for children. Malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, HIV are all more deadly for children but we haven’t done anything for them previously in schools. While Malaria doesn’t usually hit US school children, other diseases absolutely do. And, we have never taken this crazed steps to combat these diseases.
How about pool deaths? Are we going through crazy steps to stop those? Or kids who run out in the street? How about kids who choke on their food? Or kids and teens who get into medications at home.
Right now there is a crisis over helicopter parenting and government. When we lose individual liberties to make our choices and risk assessments, then we live no life at all. Unfortunately, with a risk adverse society we will be less likely to have new discoveries, new treatments and tons of great new things for the future.
Being Risk Adverse is Not Option for Everyone in Society
Our great wars in the past weren’t won by risk adverse people. Fires aren’t fought by the risk-adverse. The medics, policemen, and firefighters who went into the towers on September 11th were not risk adverse people. However, if we keep going with the mantra of “stay safe” or “anything for safety” our kids will shy away from anything that challenges them, makes them uncomfortable, or could possible hurt them or make them sick.
The movie WALL-E is a perfect depiction of where our society is headed. Overweight people with eyes stuck to screens with no person to person interaction. Completely risk adverse.
Is that a life worth living? Is that quality of life? Are we sacrificing quality of life for quantity of life?
Testing every day or every other day isn’t even meaningful. The tests have false positives or negatives, and they are pooled and take days to come back. This approach makes no scientific sense, but to the “we must do something” crowd, they feel like they are in some sort of perpetual movement. Unfortunately, this movement is backwards.
We must get our kids comfortable with some risk, as well as feeling like we can take some risks of our own. Sometimes there is failure. Success comes when you learn from your failure.
I remember taking my oldest son to the park when he was four years old. He was a very adept climber and I was standing at the other side of the park with my two other children. One grandmother started screaming because my oldest was climbing without me underneath him. She started freaking out and going underneath him and saying “I got you, I got you, I got you.”
My oldest looked at her and said “I’ve done this so many times. I’m an expert.”
I told her to back away and that she was more likely to make him fall because he would concentrate on her instead of what he was doing. She shook her head angrily at me, but walked away.
Where do we go from here?
And this is where we are with the society. Instead of thinking about how we can be healthier with our diets, exercise, mentally and socially, we are sticking q-tips up our noses weekly to see if we have the latest ill and hopefully the newest drug can cure us. We are focused on the wrong thing and will ultimately fall (just like my child would have) if we don’t focus on what we should be focused on-which is our overall health.
An Anything for Safety approach will leave people sad, miserable and alone. Some of life’s best accomplishments have come with great risk. With great risk can come some great rewards.
Get out and take some risks. It may not come naturally for all people. Saying things that others’ may not like is one thing (like I do here). Public speaking is another thing that is hard for people. Trying something new or going to a place where you know no one is another thing to try. Find a place on the map you have always wanted to go and make it a goal. You can try hard things and DO them!