Safety First?

We interrupt the regularly scheduled writing challenge for this breaking rant:

You know what phrase I am getting tired of seeing? Safety first. It is snowing in Maryland today. The roads are wet. Some schools remained open. Some schools closed. As usual, parents are losing their minds. Those who want school closed before the first snowflake falls always use the mantra “safety first.” We can’t possibly send our kids to school when there is an inch of snow. Someone might slip and fall. Safety first! We can’t possibly let our kids play outside without constant supervision(even though crime rates are down). Safety first! I can’t let my kid go on a school field trip unless I go and watch their every move. Safety first! My kid can’t leave the house until they are wrapped safely in bubble wrap. Safety first!

I’m not saying safety isn’t important. We should be thinking about safety. Buckle up, don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, wear a bike helmet, when riding at night wear white, safe sex, etc. Safety is important, bur we can’t let safety first become a mantra that keep our kids from exploring, growing, learning. These kids will be in for a rude awakening when they discover that they still have to go to work when it snows(unless they are a teacher). Be safe, but not so safe that you hide in your house at the first snowflake. Let’s take a look at what would have happened had safety first always been the mantra:

Hey Magellan, want to go exploring? What? Exploring? The ship might sink. Safety first!

Hey America, let’s declare our independence. What? Rebellion? Sounds dangerous. Safety first!

Hey, slavery is bad. We should try to stop it. What? People could die. Safety first!

Hey, Tom, want to work on this thing called a light bulb. What? Work with glass? I could get hurt. Safety first!

Hey, Dr. King, we should march for civil rights. What? People might want to hurt us. No thanks. Safety first!

Hey, we should send a man to the moon. What? Rockets are dangerous. Safety first!

I could add more, but my break is over. Excuse me while I wrap myself in bubble wrap and head back to work.

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