I was a child of the 60s. I wasn’t a youth, or young adult. I was a toddler, an ankle biter, a little kid. In those days children were allowed to be children. I ran outside, I licked rocks, I ate grass and hay and yes probably dirt. That’s what kids did. I used to get up in the morning, have breakfast that my mother had made and go outside. Often she would pack me a lunch and I would be gone until dinnertime. She didn’t always know where I was but she always knew that I was safe. If the truth were to be told often I wasn’t. I used to play in a local gravel pit as well as on a busy train track. Then there was the swamp with quicksand I used to play in. I was having a ball! And I survived it.
Nowadays I see parents taking their children to school and picking them up afterward. I see schools that have banned foods because of allergies. I see signs everywhere that ask people to refrain from wearing perfume because of allergies. These are very serious issues. I don’t ever recall anyone being allergic to peanuts as a child, or perfume, or well anything. Now I have to wonder if this is a new phenomenon? Have we so restricted our children from being exposed to anything that we have done them a huge disservice? I rarely ever see children outside playing on the grass, in the dirt. Instead they are inside attached to a computer or some computer game. They don’t get to experience the great outdoors, the fresh air, the sun. We also are so concerned about germs and viruses that we use antibacterial soap on everything. Now we have superbugs that are stronger than our soaps. Surely you know the story of Frankenstein, a monster created out of someone’s arrogance? Well take a look in the mirror because that’s what we are doing!
We are raising children to be afraid of everything and we are creating super bugs that validate that fear. Does that not sound like the height of hubris? Perhaps if we had left well enough alone and let our kids eat a little dirt we wouldn’t be in the predicament that we are now. It does make you wonder.