Is It Safe?

Is it safe?

One thing I noticed when I arrived in Toronto was that Canadians are extremely concerned about safety. A saying is often bandied about, “Safety First”, by the people I have come into contact with since my arrival in this city.

But is it always a good thing to be overly cautious about safety?

I remember when my girls were younger and lifting my eyebrows at some of the parents’ reactions to their kids playing in the playground. I come from a country where children get dirty and play in the sand and mud. If they get worms, we treat it. I come from a country where children can run, and climb, and experience the play structures. If they break an arm, we take them to the hospital. I used to shake my head at the moms who used to hover over their children while I was watching mine. “Let them breathe,” I used to think. “Let them be.”

Surely it is not always good to be so cautious.

The extreme concern for safety leads to, I believe, missing out on some experiences. Yes, be aware of danger and put into place options that will prevent harm. But foregoing an experience will hinder living lifeΒ to the full. It is through experiencing life that we get to know who we are, what we enjoy doing, and what we are good at.

There are times when answering the question “Is it safe?” does help you make a decision that will prevent harm (for example: driving with a drunk driver, walking on slippery roads, eating old food). But there are times when you need to trust that the people in charge of a project know what they are doing and have put constraints into place that will prevent harm (for example: bungee jumping, construction at your workplace, a food display at the supermarket).

Is it safe? Not always, but most times. So take that leap of faith.

Do safety concerns prevent you from doing an activity?

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeΒ© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: safe)

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18 thoughts on “Is It Safe?

  1. “…foregoing an experience will hinder living life to the full.” How true this is! Though I agree there are some experiences I’ll likely never pursue for safety concerns (like jumping out of an airplane), I agree that it is through exposing ourselves to new things, even those outside of our comfort zone that feel unsafe to us, help shape and define who we are. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Like you I will never jump out of a plane (yikes!). My adventures have come from experiences like tasting unknown foods, exploring an unknown city using an antiquated transport system, walking barefoot in fields of grass. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in Canada, and it is definitely true that the majority of parents living in or near the cities are overly cautious. I think a lot of our fears come from over exposure to the dangers of life through various media sources. We are constantly bombarded with worst case scenarios, news articles showcasing the latest disaster, parenting articles detailing all the ways you can fail your child. It’s overwhelming! We are living in an age where we are hyper aware of what every possible outcome and consequence could be. So our instincts kick in to try and prevent and protect. I completely agree with you though, because I think it has gone too far. Kids need to relearn how to be kids again.

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  3. Hello Colline! I believe this is my first visit to your blog. Might I say you are a wonderful writer πŸ™‚
    Concern for my safety (or my children’s) definitely can hold me be back. Never been one to take big adventure risk, but I’m learning to come out of my shell and live a little (LOL). We only get one life, right? I definitely want to have stories to tell my grandkids and hopefully great-grandkids.
    Enjoyed your words here ❀
    Visiting from #FMF

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    1. Thank you Mandy πŸ™‚
      Yes, we need to create those stories – and children love listening to them. My teens love it when we tell them stories about when they were younger, as well as our own stories from our youth. Makes for some wonderful dinner discussions.

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  4. I had a little chuckle when I read your post Colleen, because in a couple of weeks I’ll be 69 and I can’t wait for good weather to get out on my motorbike. I think for me Adrenalin cancels out fear! Fear is interesting because there are so many forms. Ask me to stand up and give a talk to a room full of people and I’d be terrified!

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    1. The rush of freedom you get from riding your bike definitely overcomes any fear of safety for you I think.
      As for public speaking – put me in front of a group of adults and I get nervous. Young children are more accepting of mistakes.

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  5. I believe in the Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn sort of exploring and risking (within reason) playing and am so sad to see it go. In general there’s less crime, but people perceive more and have overprotected kids.

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    1. The crime always depends on the area in which you live. Unfortunately the result of having overprotected kids is that they are unable to function independently at an early age.

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  6. With some alarm from their mother and grandmother, I do take opportunities to expose the granddaughters to calculated risk. I also feel that it defeats the object not to do so, because when situations arise that need the sorts of reactions thus developed, the child lacks them with possibly disastrous consequences.

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