Just kidding. But that does seem to be going through people’s minds these days. We have yet another thing to fear, another reason to live alone in little bubble where our only contact is through technology.
This culture of fear is killing us, what ever happened to “we have only to fear fear itself”? When did we get to be so paranoid? Swine flu! Terrorist! Serial Killers! AIDS! SARS! Teenagers! Pet turtles!
I can’t be the only one who’s just plain sick of living in fear. We live longer lives than ever before. Our children are more likely to make it to adulthood. We have more stuff than we know what to do with.
When do we say that enough is enough? It is sensible to be cautious, to take reasonable precautions, certainly. But it is ridiculus to waste life watching 24 hour news waiting for death to come knocking. The grim reaper’s going to get all of us sooner or later. It’s just a fact of living that there’s a bit of dying at the end. When do we decide that in our quest to have a greater quantity of life we’re ruining our quality of life?
At my house we will keep washing our hands before eating, after a trip to the bathroom, an adventure in the dirt or an attack of the sneezes. We will keep eating our veggies. We will also visit with our neighbors, go shopping, and work in the yard. And yes, I will allow the children out of my sight in the yard for a few minutes. They are too young to be left out there alone yet but they are big enough to quite safely play in the sand box while I hook up the sprinkler.
We will eat pizza for Friday night dinner. I will put them to bed and have my drink of the week. We will keep living.
On a note related to unreasonable fear, I killed a black widow last night. I know that the spider spray is highly toxic, that kids don’t need to be any where near the stuff, but I keep one can just for black widows. I don’t care for spiders in general, if they’re in the house they’re toast. If they’re outside I let them go, unless they have a tell-tale red or orange hour glass on their tummies. I allow myself this paranoia. I know that it is excessive, but I still can’t help that my heart rate goes way up when I see one. But see, by knowing and allowing this phobia I clear my brain to assess other risks. I refuse to be generally paranoid about every little thing. I intervene if I see something that could hurt my kids, I put the cleaning supplies up high and block the electric outlets. I take away PB’s big kids choking hazard toys if he doesn’t keep them out of J’s reach. But I don’t stand behind her every step to make sure she doesn’t tumble, she’s 1, she will fall of her own feet and be fine. I make PB wear his helmet when he rides his airplane swing higher than my head, but I push the swing for him to get that high. It’s about balance, be careful, but don’t be stuck in a bubble.
Are you with me?