We are not supposed to run with scissors. So we are told as children. And thus, in turn, we tell our children. Occasionally, also tell my son to not wave his hands in the frantically while holding a pencil. There are so many ways that children find to hurt themselves or others. We recognize such a state of being for children and thus we start off their lives by baby-proofing everything around them so that their chances of getting seriously injured (or just minimally imjured) are decreased. We cover outlet sockets. We place gates at the top of the stairs and at the bottom of the stairs. We put locks on drawers and cabinet doors. Then after they hit their forehead on a table edge for the first time we then start to calm down a little. Just a little. We then worry about whether they will glue their hands to their foreheads, get their tongues stuck in the refrigerator ice or if they will break a leg as they jump from sofa to sofa. We try our best to protect their small growing bones and soft tissue. Then we let it go. We say go forth into the world and make the best of it.
Well, not exactly. We now put warning lables on hot coffee that it is hot and thus may burn. We now label shampoos with warnings that should the soap get into one’s eyes it might sting. Our headphones automatially warn us if we put the volume up too high that it might cause damage to our eardrums. Obviously, I am making a small point about the “d’uh factor” . There was a time when we were kids we fretted, rightfully. But, I think there was a time when you then assumed that adults didn’t have to be contniously warned because by the age of 21 or so you had developed some common sense. But now we get baby-proofed all of our lives prompting me to wonder whether humans are no longer evolving.
I laughed about and pondered this as I wrapped Christmas presents. I was seated on the floor gleefully wrapping away when I had to get up to answer an email or two. Actually, more like a 100. I answered 25% of the emails, ignored another 25% and put 50% on my own personal watchdog list. I am not going to elaborate any further on that. As I was shaking my head, heading back to my wrapping spot, I looked down at the floor and was reminded of the scissors just laying their open next to my electrical socket.
I could have easily stepped on those scissors, but I didn’t. What if I had. Who would I have blamed? I probably would have blamed someone on that watch list I’ve created. And why shouldn’t I? I no longer have the packaging in which the scissors came. Thus, I have no idea of what it is that the manufacturers wanted to warn me about. They may very well have a note on there warning me to not leave open scissors on the floor but without such a warning note, how am I to know? I can note that I have since picked up the scissors since my son will soon be coming home. Now that I remember to do.
I jest in part. I am not the only one leaving scissors on the floor as I walk about barefoot and distracted. It is as if we really do need constant reminders and crib bumpers to shelter us from harmful artifacts. But there is only so much a McDonald’s warning lable can do for you in life. Where do we go from here?