We, more and more, are living in a world protected from learning. Much of it is good, but have we gone too far?
When I was a child the playground was one of the places where we learned life’s lessons. Don’t get in the way of the swing, watch out for the teeter-totter on the toes, hang on tight on the spinning platform and only try to get on it when it has stopped! We got cuts, bruises and sometimes broken bones, but we learned.
Now the slides are boring and small, the spinning platforms are gone as are the teeter-totters and the swings have restraints so you can’t try and go ‘over the top’. The ground is covered in either wood chips or pea-gravel to lessen the impact of the falls.
All these things were life’s lessons teaching us safety. We learned the results of our actions and that carried forward into the workplace. It taught us to assess the situation and determine whether or not we should be doing it. Are future generations going to be as aware of the hazards in life?
In the workplace we have warnings not to inhale the copier toner, ‘walk, don’t run’, on the stairs, how to wash our hands, gloves for everything, hard-hats, protective clothing, steel-toed boots, and on and on.
My point is not that we should not have these things, but are we moving towards generations that can’t recognize hazards, the ability to use common sense in their life and workplace? When I was in the forest industry I used to bring in a safety consultant for training seminars with those working in the bush. One of his favourite lines was, “Sooner or later, someone is going to trip over their safety gear and kill themselves.” His point being, safety take place between the ears, not because you are wearing safety gear.
If we over-protect when they are young, is it safety or a hazard?
As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author