Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paranoid Society

Yesterday I vented my frustrations over being asked to limit the way in which I filmed my children during Field Day.  The not-so-subtle implication was "tun the camera off" but in effort to stay cordial the impossible request that I only film my kids and not let anyone else enter the frame was proposed.  As is normally the case, my venting allowed the steamy buildup caused by this situation to release and therefore put me back in a relative state of happy.

But then commentary began and it gave birth to the realization of larger problems.  This is just a symptom of our paranoid, pansy society and other examples are endless.  You need only be born a few generations ago to see it.  We rode in the back of pickup trucks, rarely wore seat belts, never wore helmets on bicycles, won or lost sports competitions, stayed outside until dark with NO supervision, and played tackle football...in THE STREET.  We have scars that tell a story of a time when paranoia didn't rule the day...where kids like me could go anywhere we wanted so long as I could hear my dad's whistle to return home.

However, before I give you the impression that I am some lone rebel trying to recreate these experiences for my kids, I must make a confession.  I go outside and supervise the kids.  They can't run anywhere in the neighborhood and just know to come in when the street lamp comes on.  They wear seat belts and helmets.  Their only experience in the back of a pickup has been in one that sits idle with the ignition turned off.  I must go further and confess something even crazier.  I prefer it this way to some extent.  Obviously as yesterday's rant implies, I have a limit in which I call foul and demand for a day where we return to some semblance of rationale.  But there is a parental part of me that is glad that our kids are more protected than we were.  In some ways its a miracle we survived.  Its not like head injuries, horrific car accidents, or child predators just became a reality.

No, these dangers have been around for ages.  If anything it makes me think WHY in the world my folks let me get away with so much!  So here I sit precariously dangling between a childhood that I would never trade and a parental responsibility to deal with the reality of our world and the dangers it has in store for my kids.  What is one to do?  How do you obtain balance? I for one am tired of letting paranoia rule the day.  But where is the line?


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