Last week, I ftfbiesfzr
wrote about the viral video of a man shouting at a woman for letting her baby wait in the car while she ran a short errand at Target. One commenter commented on a comment (how’s THAT for modern life?) and I thought it bore repeating. She was dumbstruck by the way the comments on the original video condemned the mom not for what DID happen, not for what was even anywhere near LIKELY to happen in the course of a short errand on a mild day, but what MIGHT have happened under far different circumstances. Wrote OUR commenter, Beth:
I loved (read: hated) the comments that compared this to a child forgotten in the car who died from excessive heat.
Can people really NOT think critically any more and realize that there is nothing alike about these two situations?
To which I replied: They cannot, and that is exactly our problem today. Many people (including politicians, and police) cannot see the difference between the almost perfectly safe and the outrageously dangerous. That is thanks to a couple of things:
1 – We only hear about the times a situation like this turns tragic, not the millions’ more times absolutely NOTHING happens, so our frame of reference is already totally off.
2 – We are cautioned, continuously, to make a wider and wider “fence of safety” around any activity that could, at its very worst, go wrong. So if it is unsafe to let a 3-year-old walk to school, we bump up the age to 7, 9, 11. If it is perhaps unwise to have a whole class go on a field trip with just one extra parent, we bump it up to one parent for every three or four kids. If it is dangerous to let a child wait in the car for an hour, we caution against a wait of five minutes, and then five seconds. In other words, we go from sensible precaution to wacky, over-the-top precaution, believing that we keep making things safer — when they were already safe to begin with.
All we are outlawing is convenience and common sense. — L