My granddaughter was observing the paving of our street this morning. The street is about 30 ft from my front door just beyond my 4′ chain link fence. The subject of stranger danger has been a constant with all my day care friends because of this closeness to traffic. Along with a road crew of about 10 men, there stood a Sheriff directing traffic just beyond our gate. Katherine hesitated when I told her she could sit unsupervised on our step to watch. As I saw her processing the forbidden action of being alone near the street, I pointed to the sheriff and said,”There’s a police officer right there. He’ll watch over you.” I was pleased by her immediate acceptance of the police officer as protection. She smiled and said,”OK!”
After a few moments, this blog subject formed in my ever thinking mind. As a caregiver and parent, I still tested the idea of her absense from my supervision with further thought. Am I doing the right thing placing so much trust in police for her? What about the awful story about a man impersonating a police officer in order to abduct kids? Oh my goodness! What an idiotic thought! (As my mother would say, thoughts aren’t bad. It’s how they are used.)
Let’s face it. We are bathed in horror stories daily from the news. These are filed in our brains and surface when a similar scenario arises. It’s up to each of us to finish the thought and evaluate the risks. The odds of Katherine meeting an unscrupulous police officer were ridiculously outweighed by the safety trust in them would offer her!
There is nothing certain when it comes to safety. We must do our personal best to weigh the odds in our favor. I am no longer surprised but still confused when I hear the argument against wearing seatbelts that cites a few instances wearing a seatbelt lead to a fatality. Give me a break! (Love that John Stossel!) Any human being with an IQ of 20 or above would know that the risk of death from the use of seatbelts is microscopic next to their ability to save lives.
If George Carlin did not have such “colorful” language in his routines, here is where I’d post his thoughts about safety and germs. It is very insightful but not G rated. His message is basically,”Take a chance people!” The odds are in our favor whether it’s air travel or getting sick from germs. He goes on to say that about 9,000 people, world-wide, die from food poisoning each year. “If you like rare hamburgers, go for it…those odds aren’t bad at all.”
Which comes to my poll question: