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Protecting Us from Ourselves: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on April 8, 2015

The Fuel for This Article

So there I was, scanning the latest news online, when I came across a story about the Richland School District in my home state of Washington.

It seems that the school district has decided to remove all swing sets from the playgrounds at all of their elementary schools because they are a danger to school children. Steve Aagard, district representative, stated: "It's just really a safety issue," he said. "Swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment.”

One parent was quoted in the story and she had this to say: "When my daughter starts elementary school, those swings can get crazy," she says, adding that she once witnessed a toddler walk right in front of a moving swing.

"By the time you could do something about it she was knocked out," said Kaineoz.

Insurance studies tell us that over 200,000 children require emergency care each year due to swing set injuries.

I don’t even know where to begin with my comments. Why don’t we take a look at another related story, and then maybe I can find the words.

Stupid is as stupid does
Stupid is as stupid does | Source

Across the Country

While doing a little research for this article, I was a bit surprised to find that dodge ball is now banned in many school districts. If you caught me on a weak moment when my defenses were down, I might concede that there are times when dodge ball can get a little out-of-hand. LOL But upon further research, I found a number of states that are now trying to ban Freeze Tag, Whiffle Ball, Red Rover and Capture-the-Flag.

What’s next, banning Kick-the-Can because it can cause damage to the can?

Whiffle ball? Dangerous? Maybe the way we played it, with the plastic ball wrapped tightly with layers of electrical tape, it could be considered slightly risky if a line drive caught you in the puss, but come on….whiffle ball dangerous?

So what’s going on in this country?

Is this simply a matter of the insurance companies covering their butts to fend off possible lawsuits?

In most cases yes, that’s exactly what it is, but stop and look at that sentence for a moment. If there were no lawsuits, the insurance companies would never get involved in the games of children. Fifty years ago you never would have heard…hell, you never would have dreamed, that whiffle ball, dodge ball, or Red Rover would be banned, but that’s simply because fifty years ago parents didn’t exist who would sue over game-related injuries. Today we have parents coming out of the woodwork willing to sue when little Jimmy gets his bell rung playing Capture-the-Flag.

So, is it the insurance industry to blame, or is it a case of overprotective and litigation-loving, over-coddling parents?

I know who gets my vote.

I only have to think back a few years to the lawsuit filed against McDonald’s for serving coffee that was too hot.

Potential lawsuits?
Potential lawsuits? | Source

The Madness Continues

So I kept researching. One mother sued a school because her son had four teeth knocked out when a ground ball took an unfortunate bad hop during baseball practice. Evidently it was the coach’s fault for not adequately giving that infielder a face mask to protect him from injury.

Another child broke her arm when she fell off a rope swing. The rope swing was in a neighbor’s yard. The child had not been invited to the neighbor’s yard to swing. She had taken it upon herself to enter the yard without permission and swing on that swing. The child’s mother is suing the neighbor for having an unsafe apparatus in the yard.

I couldn’t read any more articles. I was thoroughly disgusted.

Where Does This Kind of Madness Come From?

Listen, I’m all for people being held accountable if they are endangering others through neglect. If the owner of a carnival ride does not upgrade and maintain the rides, he should have his butt handed to him through lawsuits. He deserves it.

But suing a school because your child walked too close to a swing set is a bit much, don’t you think?

Where is this coming from? Is it simply a matter of some people looking to make a quick buck? Are times so tough that we have to punish others because we can’t pay our bills?

I think it goes deeper than that. I think this strikes at the roots of personal responsibility. I don’t know how we reached this point. I remember my playground activities and I know there was no way a lawsuit would be filed on those playgrounds fifty-five years ago, so something happened during the last fifty-five years. What was it? How did we go from being responsible for ourselves to demanding that someone protect us from ourselves?

I don’t have an answer. I’m sure there are those who think this is the fault of the Democrats. I’m laughing as I type that. I’m sure the Republicans are at fault. Laughing some more.

I may be laughing but I don’t have an answer.

We are talking about a major cultural shift and I would love to know what caused it, because if we know the cause then maybe we can cause a similar shift in the opposite direction. Maybe we can live long enough to see members of society quit blaming everyone else for their hardships.

Could we sue the National Park Service because Old Faithful is so hot?
Could we sue the National Park Service because Old Faithful is so hot? | Source

I Was a Teacher

I’ve supervised more playgrounds than you can imagine over eighteen years. I was diligent and always watched out for hidden dangers, but I gotta tell ya, there are times when kids will just do stupid things. That’s part of being a kid, right? It’s the fault of no one. Crap happens…move on! Sure kids get hurt at school. Sure kids get hurt playing sports. And they grow up and they get hurt driving or at work or playing catch in the backyard with their own kids. Crap happens…move on!

I’ll tell you my main problem with this trend, besides the fact that I find it ridiculous. My main problem is that I see society giving away ownership for its own actions. I see a bunch of sheep hoping that someone else will protect them. I see irresponsibility and helplessness being fostered and actually rewarded.

I do not need someone to warn me that a cup of coffee that I just purchased is hot. I don’t need to be warned that a baseball traveling at 100 mph is a dangerous object. Not only do I not need to be warned; I don’t need to be protected, either. I’m fully capable of doing that myself, thank you very much, and I don’t expect anyone else to hold my hand as I navigate through life.

I just remembered something that happened when I was about ten. My friends and I headed off to the park one fine summer’s day. While there we decided it would be a good idea to slide down the slides standing up. You can imagine what happened to yours truly. While surfing down that slick surface my feet went out from under me and I was left bloodied and bruised. When I got home my mom nursed my wounds while my dad lovingly (insert angrily here) explained that when you do stupid things you can expect painful consequences. “Next time, Bill,” he said. “Maybe you’ll use your head before you do something so stupid.”

Lesson learned. By the way, there were no lawsuits. I was, however, grounded for actions unbecoming an intelligent human being.

I Don’t Know What We Solved with This Rant

But damn, I feel better having ranted, so thanks for letting me go on.

Am I crazy? Are you seeing the same things?

I need to think some more on this subject. I think I’ll go for a walk. Note to self: do not walk by the playground set at the park. Those things are damned dangerous!

Just kidding. Hey, I’m organizing a game of Red Rover. Who wants to join me?

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      This protective era we live in is anything but safe--not to mention texting while driving, drugs, alcohol among the young. However Bill we lived through NO helmets, no seat belts, staying out until dark with no one to help us cross the street. I remember being 5 years old and gone for the day. Maybe if the kids wear helmets while swinging or playing dodge ball. That is it..that will solve all of today's ills.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I couldn't be with your more on this and to prove it we are installing a playground for my girls in our own backyard this spring with swings included. Seriously, it is just sad that so many blame this and more in our society nowadays, because quite honestly I am not sure what will be next, but I am so not giving play at all for us. Wishing you a great day though, my friend!

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 2 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      I don't know whether to hit you with a dodge ball or bat a whiffle ball right in your direction. We are becoming a nation of whiny parents who in turn raise whiny children. Yes, I believe the main catalyst behind much of this is the insurance industry and their attempt to limit liability claims.

      As a boy I was skinny and shorter than many classmates and consequently, many times I was the last one to be picked for a team sport. Did that hurt me so deeply the scars lasted a lifetime? Of course not. What it did do is make me more determined than ever to play the game/sport harder than anyone else and prove what an asset I was.

      Children today are sheltered from disappointments, when the fact, it is those disappointments that make them stronger, not weaker. Not everyone is a superstar and conversely, not every superstar is a math whiz.

      The policies in place encourage more sedentary activity and less physical growth and the development of a competitive spirit.

      Okay, now I too am off my soapbox.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Makes me sick, Carol. I love your solution and I'm laughing. I think you hit on it...I'll take you a step further...wear helmets all the time until a child is eighteen. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, Janine. Just teach your girls to duck like the rest of us had to learn the hard way. LOL Seriously, Janine, what are parents thinking? You can't totally protect a child while they grow up. I don't understand it at all, but thank you for weighing in.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Pages, it was good to have you up on that soapbox with me. Thanks for joining in the fun. I totally agree about the sedentary activity....I was a skinny runt too, but I learned to be faster and more cunning. LOL

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Of course, Bill. That's a damn good observation.

      If you follow the patterns of the last decades you come to the point in a close future that no one dares to make a single move anymore, and everyone and everything is dedicated to prevent undesired things to happen. But if they happen there must be someone or something to blame for this and the victim must have the ability to redeem. No one is limiting this tendency...out of fear to be sued themselves.

      Our economy is steeped to change anything from responsive towards proactive, in order to prevent damage or claims. This attitude ultimately leads to a society were people live in fear.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I, too, am disgusted with our litigation happy society. If the courts would throw out frivolous lawsuits instead of entertaining them in a courtroom I believe some of this nonsense would stop.

      When my oldest son was four years old he decided to walk across the top of the swing set. Of course he fell off and broke his elbow. If that happened today I could sue the swing set maker....seriously? Responsibility for our actions, teach it to our kids from day one and we won't have so many sue happy adults.

      You're right Bill, there are times when it is someone else's responsibility but for the most part its on us. Rant on Bill and we all rant with you.

      Voted up, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, you summarized it perfectly. This is a trend that is pervasive in society today and I'm sure it is true in most of the industrialized nations. If you were to ask me the number one emotion in society today I would say fear.

      Thank you for the thoughts. Right on!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I gotta tell ya, I would have been walking up on top with your son. I never saw a tree branch or narrow ledge I didn't want to reach. LOL Paid the price for that adventuresome spirit and I'm glad I did it.

      The rants are fewer and farther between, but it's good to know there are those like you who still enjoy them. Thank you, Mary.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Great article Bill. It brought back a lot of fond memories, of walking along fences and falling and smashing my face; of being swung by my ankles and smashing my head on the aluminum siding of the neighbor's trailer; of playing chase on an icy street, falling and having an icicle pierce my lip.

      Those were great days, days of freedom, fun and lessons learned. You can bet that after that first time, I didn't run with any icicles in my hand. It only took once, for me to learn that lesson.

      What have we come to? I let my own kids learn their lessons, just as I did, but I am astounded when parents think someone must pay for injury to their precious little child. Toughen up, people. If you don't let children learn their lessons now, they will have much worse lessons to learn later.

      Thanks for writing, Bill, I always enjoy your work.

      Namaste

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Bill, good rant. I'll certainly join you for a game of red rover. It used to be one of my favourite games at school. I remember one time running at top speed and clashing heads with someone running from the other direction. We both fell to the ground holding our heads in agony...but we recovered to play again the next day..and no law suits were filed. People can't be protected from everything. Soon kids won't be allowed to play sport or go outside at all. It is becoming a sad world when swings are banned as too dangerous.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Thanks for the rant. This is ridiculous and I hope we wake up someday. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My goodness, Deborah, you were a dangerous kid to hang out with. LOL Seriously, an icicle pierced your lip? Ouch!

      Tell you the truth, I probably would have done it again the next day. I was not a fast learners as a kid. Too busy having fun to worry about safety issues.

      I appreciate you, Deborah. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh John, we called that getting your bell rung, and I remember it well. Not that I loved the pain, but I loved the recklessness of it...the freedom....and beating the odds on some days and coming out uninjured. :)

      Thanks as always, John!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Jamie! Thanks for listening.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Hooray! I'm so glad you said all that, bill. Exactly the same rubbish happens here, of course. You're right; parents shirk their responsibility, the average person shirks his or her responsibility, instead of thinking, 'Could I have done anything about that?'

      I think it's ridiculous that we aren't made accountable for our own actions.

      Several primary schools here started to ban the game of 'conkers' in the Autumn (when we polish up the huge horse chestnut 'seeds' and use them to bash hell out of another's). Apparently they were dangerous to children's faces and hands - really?! Isn't that part of the game? So don't let your child play if you don't want them to; send a note to school. If you want them to have fun, explain the risks, find them the largest conkers you can, tie in the string and send them off with a 'Good luck! Enjoy yourselves!'

      What is the world coming to? I'm sounding like my gran! Oh no!

      Ann :)

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      My opinion on this matter is worth the two pennies lying here on my desk. I think a stupid gene got mixed into the gene pool. Being quite

      contagious, it generally starts with young parents, and has spread like wildfire. Once exposed to this "stupid gene" it simply multiplies until

      all sensibilities are gone.

      As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid!" Oh, how this true this statements rings!

      Have a good day, Bill.

      DJ.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Bill voted up, useful interesting and awesome. Your rant is actually very kind. When I go on a rant, my husband turns into an ostrich and shuts down LOL!

      To answer your question, 'am I crazy?' 'Are you seeing the same things?' NO you are not crazy, you are correct, and YES I AM seeing the same things!

      I miss growing up when life was so simpler. Today's society is like the Pied Piper leading all the rats to the water. Everyone is following suit, turning the minors into majors.

      Kids have become the 'gods' of parents. Over loved, over protected, over materialized, and never wrong. I. can't. stand. it. People are "sue" happy, wanting to make a spectacle and causing harm and exposure to nice people by taking them to court.

      To answer your question, my vote is over-coddling parents.

      I am so glad you wrote about this. Everything you wrote I have been thinking...so glad to not be alone!

      I want to comment later on your Artistry For Words you wrote yesterday.

      God bless you for speaking up, one of your most admirable qualities.

      Blessings always, Sparklea :) PS: If you need any more readings for Shadows Kill, please consider me. I am so enthused about this book!

    • profile image

      suzettenaples 2 years ago

      I agree With you. These situations are ridiculous . We have become a nation who coddles kids. It is sad. We learned how to navigate the world on The playground. Today kids don't leArn these Valuable lessons and sit in front of computers and cell phones all day. Just a shame.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Ann, what a great game. I've never heard of it but man oh man, I want to play it right now. LOL Seriously, that sounds like something I would have played daily as a kid.

      Oh my....I don't know, Ann. It's probably a good thing we were born when we were and not now. We wouldn't have had any fun at all.

      Have a superb afternoon.

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I'm with you. I don't understand who we think we are protecting. It makes no sense to me. Kids will get hurt. Period. That's part of growing up. Is it fun to get hurt? No, but it beats living in a sterile environment.

      Enough...have a great day and thank you!

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lea. It is so nice to know I'm not losing my mind...at least not today. LOL I saw more and more of this as the years went by as a teacher. A skinned knee meant mom was coming down to school to take her darling to the doctor to make sure there was no infection. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I would have been mortified if my mother had done that.

      Anyway, thank you. No more reading of Shadows Kill. I am two days away from being done. :)

      blessings my friend

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a shame, Suzette, and i know you have seen quite a bit of it over the years, just as I have. Kids need to grow up through hard knocks. It's the only way to prepare them for adulthood.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Bill that is GREAT!!! Please do keep us informed on any bites that you receive. I assume you have an agent (if you mentioned it along the way, sorry I missed it)...I KNOW it will be a great success. SO THRILLED about this! God bless, He is in control. Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea no, I don't have an agent yet, but that's the next step, finding someone to take this project and run with it. I'll keep you posted. As that is happening, "Shadows Over Innocence" will be written. I'm excited.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Kitzmann 2 years ago

      We are of the same school here my friend. I grew up pretty much on or near the water. Swam in water that wasn't always the cleanest or the safest. Somehow we survived. Rode our bikes everywhere with no helmets and a baseball card in the spokes. Damn we were cool. Played cowboys and Indians with cap guns and air rifles. Stayed outside till the street lights came on and our parents hollered at us to come inside. Days gone forever in a time long forgotten. I would argue with anyone that it was qualitatively better over today's world. Color me nostalgic.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Society is this way now because no one is taught responsibility anymore. It used to be when a teacher called my mother to tell her I had misbehaved, my mother would scream at me. Now, parents scream at the teacher because obviously their children can do no wrong. This is when it all started to go downhill.

      I will say banning the swings is not necessarily a new thing though. When I was a kid (over 30 years ago) I went to elementary school in a county that had taken down all the swings due to too many injuries. Luckily, I moved to a different county later that allowed swings. Thank goodness! We did all sorts of awful, dangerous things on those swings! It was great. Did I get kicked in the head a time or two? Sure. Did I complain about it? Nah. Did I get yelled at by teachers and possibly my mother? Yeah, but that was the fun of it. ;-) People need to let kids be kids sometimes.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, consider yourself colored the same color as me. :) Thanks for always being here to listen to me wax nostalgic.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, it's interesting that you remember the same thing happening thirty years ago. I would have thought these changes happened more recently. Sigh! What a bunch of wimps we are raising. Getting kicked in the head once was a badge of honor. LOL Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie.

    • Robert Beyer profile image

      Robert Beyer 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      When I was a kid I used to get the swings as high as I possibly could then jump off. It was one of the best feeling, floating through the air then I would land. Then I would try to be a daredevil and put things in my way to jump over them. So I guess had I been my younger self today and I had gotten injured I could have sued a whole mess of companies. Something doesn't add up.

      Love the article, thanks for bringing back those memories.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      I'd say that "you hit the nail on the head", but someone might decide to sue you for injuring the nail. I'm sick of our litigious society, I'm sick of lack of personal responsibility, and most of all I am sick of the concept that "everyone has to be a winner". Everyone gets a ribbon so their little feelings aren't hurt. I'm looking forward to the comments you receive. Thumbs up my friend!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Tether Ball... THAT was a dangerous game. I received my share of slaps in the face and rope burns, but I still played it every day, injuries and all. My parents never thought about suing the school. My goodness, if they had sued from all of my playground injuries, we'd be multi millionaires today. All I want to know is... who lets their toddler run around loose on a playground? Of course, they're going to get hit by the swinging swing. Duh!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I don't get it, Bill. When I was little I loved the swings. I still do. My neighbor lady and I have been known to walk in the rain, head down to the park and swing. I love swinging! I don't remember anyone getting hurt while swinging. If we saw someone walking in the way as the swing came back forward, we'd shout for them to get out of the way. We had common sense back then. Steer clear of moving objects. Period.

      When I was a senior in high school our star baseball player got hit in the head with a ball during practice. He became a vegetable as the result. Did the parents sue? No. Why? Because he CHOSE to play ball and every profession and sport comes with risks and hazards. Did my high school remove baseball from its extra-curricular activities? No!

      Recently my county closed down the elementary school my son attended. Why, I have no idea. It was an A school and the teachers were awesome. Anyway, before it was closed, recess was discontinued. (My son had graduated high school by this time) What's up with that? Elementary schools don't have gym class. They have recess. It's a means of exercising the kids and letting them get the ants out of their pants when forced to sit in a classroom all day long.

      Perhaps if the classrooms weren't so over-crowded, the teacher and teacher's aide would be enough to supervise outdoor activities. Perhaps if parents took their kids to the park and instilled in them to not walk in front of occupied swings, or cut across a field where a ball game is in motion, these accidents would be fewer and farther in between.

      Take away play? WTF? Yeah, I'll join you in Red Rover. Dodge ball, too. And hey, how about a good game of Rumble while we're at it?

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Bet you feel better. Thanks for sharing. I totally agree! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh yes, Robert. We did the same thing.....some of those landings were painful but man alive they were fun. :) Thanks for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you just hit on another one....everyone deserves a ribbon for participating. LOL Too bad the rest of life doesn't' work that way. we could get paid for just breathing.

      Thanks for the laugh and the truth.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene...funny, that's the first thing I thought of. That parent was an idiot for letting a little child run close to the swings. Tether ball was a killer, wasn't it? LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, Bev and I still go to the park and swing. I don't get it either. I've seen my share of over-protective parents when I was teaching. It got worse every year. I swear, there were some mothers who lived at the school, always watching their kids to make sure everything was just perfect. Are you kidding me? Where's the fun in perfect?

      Thanks for sharing, Sha. This one obviously pisses me off.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...i do feel better, Bill. Thanks!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      It's the death of common sense. We now have helicopter parents who hover above their children when they eat, play and sleep. I believe you know understand why I rant. It is a necessary activity in order to maintain mental health. Voted up and awesome .

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Pop, I have always understood about your rants. I use to rant quite a bit here until I finally came to doubt my own sanity because nothing was changing. :) Thanks for the chuckle. Rant on!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      We so desperately want to remove all risk from out lives. Can't be done. I have actually decided that it is hard to get dead. Look at all I survived and made it to my senior years. And I never knew there were so many ways to get dead until I had a kid. But he survived too. You do what you can. You protect and teach your children as well as you can. And then, you just live. Back when I was a kid, swings were sunk into concrete slabs. I fell off the swing and (I think) knocked myself out. No one was around. I survived.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 2 years ago from USA

      There were some schools here too that were getting rid of most of the playground equipment we all used as kids, because it was too dangerous. Lots of disputes began and I don't know what became of the entire thing. I hope the kids still have swings and slides. The world is a bit crazy now.

      I don't think the lawyers pushing for lawsuits help. Twice this week I received phone calls from lawyer's offices about drugs I never took. It just keeps getting worse. This is the first I received phone calls like that.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      What a great topic to rant about. As a kid I broke my arm at school, was punched in the face by a bully, ran into a tree playing baseball (figure that one out), got knocked out playing football, dislocated my friends shoulder playing football and a host of other maladies that I won't get into. Not once did I or my parents or my friends parents ever think about suing anyone. Jump ahead 45 years or so and I find myself getting sued because my dog supposedly caused bodily harm to someone. My dog is a 13 pound shih tzu who couldn't hurt a fly. Times have changed, and not for the better. I blame the over protective coddling parents whose kids can do no wrong. This was a great, great, topic to write about. Now you got me all worked up:). Have a great day Bill.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Haha This left me laughing! We are sarcasm buddies, eh? I am glad you finally wrote on this topic. Times are scaring me, too. You know, I've been hoping to get a swing for my yard, but now I'm having second thoughts after reading how you found a lawsuit about a neighbor who used one without permission! What is wrong with people?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, I love that line....it is hard to get dead. LOL Thanks for the laugh this evening and of course, I agree with everything you said.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Barbara! There are a lot of class action lawyers now. That's all they do is sign up people for a mammoth lawsuit, usually against the drug companies. Honestly I don't know who to root for, the lawyers or the drug companies. I dislike them both equally. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I'm sorry to hear about you and your dog. I have no doubt that what you say is true about your dog. I've got casual friends who will say "I'd sue about that" whenever I am with them....doesn't make any difference what the topic is...they would sue. :) Hang in there buddy and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Kailey, I'm just getting warmed up. Sarcasm can drip from my lips at times. I try to keep it at bay but occasionally I'll read something and I just go skyrockets all over again. LOL Get that damned swingset and have a ball.

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      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      While I was scrolling down to make a comment, I think I sprained my index finger......what is the name of your attorney?

      Yep, I know where you are coming from. It can get ridiculous, and it drives me nuts sometimes.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 2 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Bill, Remember me? Lol. I'm with you here. This is ridiculous and I think you're absolutely right about a victim mentality emerging in our society. And about how sometimes we need to do stupid things to learn an important lesson. Guess how I learned not to touch a hot iron?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pawpaw, sorry about your finger. LOL....Obviously I hit a nerve with this topic. Thanks for scrolling so far to weigh in.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, I never forget a friend. Good to see you. Hot iron? Not you? Don't tell me you touched it. LOL Of course you did. How else can we find out, right? Right!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 2 years ago from Georgia

      Yep. My mother saw me looking at it and said don't touch it. What do you think was the first thing I did as soon as she left the room? And then screamed like I was some kind of victim. I learned my lesson.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Two things my friend , a) Definitely you are not crazy, - Most of us agree with you and we are sound and well same as you are 100% . b) In spite of saying you do not have an answer, you let the answer to be provided in our comments as I can see your approvals, that " we do not play this game" of overprotection on one side and " we'll take care of you" ... This game of survival will end by self extermination due to overdose, abuse of elements, fear of helplessness... Fittest will go on, those who learn hard way as kids overcoming the blood and pain and wounds without tears and with a smile.

      ( We still cherish our first physical scars of childhood.)

      My hope is that modern parents will soon realize their prime role to raise healthy spirit soul and body generation.

      Voted up,useful, beautiful.

      Blessings, and good night.

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      Catherine Tally 2 years ago from Los Angeles

      "My main problem is that I see society giving away ownership for its own actions. I see a bunch of sheep hoping that someone else will protect them. I see irresponsibility and helplessness being fostered and actually rewarded." Bingo!! We are becoming a nation of entitled wimps and cry babies Sadly, many from our youngest generations will be ill-prepared when real disaster strikes and they have to fend for themselves. Hardship teaches coping/survival skills, not overprotection. I 've ranted right along with you and feel much better- thanks!

      Cat:)

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      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Bill, this is very funny. I can't think of all this happening. We used to play everything in our childhood. We used to play all these games and got hit also. But never thought of these games to be dangerous are requiring ban. We used to play another game also- a small stick of wood is hit by a long stick and we have to catch the stick to ought the player. It could hit you while catching, but we never cared. The points were counted by measuring the distance that was covered by the flying stick when not caught.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, too funny! You were a victim....of yourself. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you said it all when you said we still cherish our first physical scars of childhood. I'm looking at my arm right now and the long scar on it, the result of an adventuresome young man who had very little common sense. :)

      Blessings always, Michael.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, if you feel better and I feel better, well, then this article served a much higher purpose. :) Thank you. It's good to know I'm not the only one thinking these things and worrying about them.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, what a great game. I would love to play that right now. Dangerous or not it sounds like great fun. Thank you for sharing that and your thoughts.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, the world has gone stark raving Bonkers! Just when I thought things could not get crazier, I'm proven wrong. In the news this morning, some clever person in a UK school decided to stop children from running in the playground in case they fall over and hurt themselves. Someone have clearly missed the clue in the word 'play' Duh!

      Onother school famously kept children indoors during the recent eclipse, the reason? The kids might look directly into the sun and damage their eyes. What in the world has happened to common sense?

      As always, you're thought-provoking and awesome.

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      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It is absolutely ridiculous! Being smaller than normal I got pushed out of swings and got skinned elbow and knees many times but I somehow knew Mom and Dad expected me to fight my own fights and I don't remember ever going home to tattle. As long as my clothes didn't get messed up the skin would heal and didn't cost nothing! lol After awhile the bullies knew they were fighting a losing battle because I never stopped reclaiming what was mine!

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Law suits may be the new craze. It is usually a thrill for me seeing children at play instead of standing in the shade texting; hope the insurance companies take physical and social development into account.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you may have topped my examples. No running??? Really??? No wonder we have so much obesity these days. Encourage kids to be sedentary and you reap the rewards, and yes, I'm being sarcastic. My goodness, Jo, you are right...bonkers!

      Thank you as always my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Jackie! That's old school way of thinking. Push me I push harder. Take away from me and watch your back. LOL Thanks for the chuckle.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I have the feeling we are just seeing the early stages of a lawsuit craze that will continue for some time. As long as there is money to be made people will do it. Quite frankly that concerns me a great deal.

      Thank you and Happy Friday to you.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 2 years ago

      Another winning hub in my opinion. It is such a strange world we live in now. I often wonder how I would handle trying to raise children with all of the craziness whirling around us. I love the fact that you admitted to feeling better after the ranting and that's all that matters. I just pray that I don't turn into someone who looks to blame anyone or anything but me for my own life experiences. I have choices today and I'm grateful for that. Blessings Bill!

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      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      A much bigger problem is and has always been that company owners and managers refuse to take responsibility for anything. Only because citizens united to insist upon the passage and enforcement of responsibilities that ought to have been assumed in the first place by companies without being told are cars and workplaces much less the death traps that they were in my youth. Today capitalists' irresponsibilities continue to be major causes of harms to public health.

      That said, it is also so that a life free of all risk and danger would not be wonderful and that you made valid points.

      I googled the MacDonalds hot coffee case. That one was neither dubious nor frivolous. Liebeck, the woman who in 1992 in her grandson's parked car spilled MacDonalds coffee on her lap, had 16% of her body burned and was treated for 3rd degree burns in a hospital for a week. I'm unclear why coffee supposedly routinely set at 80 to 90 F caused those burns when the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that a hot water tank set at 120 F won't scald even children. Something must have been abnormal about the heating of that cup of coffee.

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      deergha 2 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Bill, a very nice and strong societal massage is been made through your hub. The present mankind is out to make it into a habit to be depended on others for own safety like you very aptly said above. It is actually a tendency to be less alert and avoid taking responsibility for our own lives. Transferring our sensibility to life's normal course of growth is the present trend almost. Becoming less active by avoiding outdoor physical sports during the earlier growth in afraid of getting hurt is a way to encourage for a more sedentary lifestyle. Thus we are about to teach our next generation more impractical lessons about living in this World. Law Suits are meaningless when we do not know how to take care of us and enjoy life. Children will stop learning cycling, walking, running etc in fear of falling down ...uhhhh what a way to limit our self from life's sweet course that teaches us to fall down...then get up and get moving with new zest for a stronger inner self. If we do not fall down in the early stage then how we shall know what it feels to be hurt??? And if we fall down when we are grown up then God forbids ....all hell will sure break loose. Where are we heading toward actually....that is the question of the hour. And your hub is actually very much time and topic relevant. Voted up interesting and shared.

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      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Can I just say CRAZY!!!! If we read the paper carefully, at least one of these crazy articles appears. And the really sad thing, and scary, is too often these insane lawsuits are often found to have some 'merit' and settlements are made. That galls me.

      How can it be?

      Not too many years ago kids could play and have fun, both at home and at school, and if you got a black eye or sprained finger, it was part of life.

      Too much time is wasted on such frivolous matters. And the families that do this kind of thing, do not want any responsibility at all for the actions that caused the incident. They can only see green...a huge pile of it.

      Thanks for focusing light on this, Bill.

      Voted up++++ shared and Pinned to Awesome HubPages.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I have to admit I was chuckling as I read the hub. But it was because if I didn't laugh I would cry!

      Over here we play Rugby, it's like gridiron but withoutvthe padding. Every so often someone tries to get it banned but it's the one thing that's non negotiable !! The country makes it clear

      In many other ways we've followed the same direction as the rest of the world.

      Where did it come from? It's been around since Adam replied 'She did it and you gave her to me .' He blamed God and Eve

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautifully stated, Kathleen, and I thank you for those wise words. If I've got problems I can usually find my footprint leading to them, and it's nice to know I can also walk the solution trail.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Brian and I agree with you about company responsibility. As for the coffee, it would never even occur to me to sue a company because I had spilled their product.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you dghbrh. I don't like the direction we are headed. Obviously from this article. How do we change it when the problem is so large, and the causes really start at home. I don't believe in the family police, but I do believe parents need to be more responsible if they are going to raise children. Teach them to stand on their own and that making mistakes is all right.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS. I watched the news for five minutes last night and then turned it off in disgust. I couldn't take any more of the insanity.

      You run for President, I'll be your Vice-President, and we'll get things straightened out fast. :)

      Or not! LOL

      blessings always

      Bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Lawrence, I got a good laugh out of that one. He blamed it on God and Eve. Great line...so we are just doing what comes naturally. :) Have a great weekend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      The good old days when we used to get grounded has gone now everything is about lawsuits and big time accusations. Glad that you feel better after the rant, great food for thought.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur. I do feel much better. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Yes some things are dangerous. Yes, sometimes people get hurt. But what is the alternative? A sedentary lifestyle where we die of heart disease? I'll take my chances doing stuff, thank you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, Larry. Where's the fun in not taking chances? :) Thank you and have a superb weekend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      By the way Bill. I didn't mean it was right! We've got to take responsibility for our actions. This has gone so far that over here when a school takes the opposite approach (the,one that teaches responsibility) it makes the news and the country cheers for small victories!

      Have a good weekend

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't take it that way at all, Lawrence. Thanks for adding that, though, and enjoy your weekend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I'm just trying to imagine a world where contact sports are banned because they're 'dangerous' The stuff of nightmares never mind the heart disease!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....very true, Lawrence. Hey, have a great weekend in New Zealand, my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Bill, awesome rant here! I totally do not get all of this either ... makes one wonder how we survived our childhood LOL. I played all of these and loved to swing high on swings.

      When I take my grands to the park, they love swinging so high AND I have taught them to not walk in front of or behind someone who is swinging to make sure they don't get knocked in the head. So far, so good, as they listened. My youngest granddaughter let go of the swing and fell forward, but she just got up and dusted herself off and ran off to play.

      If we teach our children about safety then there is no worries about serious injuries, but accidents will happen. I wonder how we lived without seatbelts, helmets and such. Shoot, we would lie in the back dashboard (whatever the back one is called LOL) of our big tank of a car growing up and somehow survived. We spent the entire day outside playing in the summer, and our front yard was where all the neighborhood kids would gather to play dodge ball, kick ball, whatever sports we loved ... all of the ones you mentioned.

      Commonsense comes into play in a lot of these areas ... Yes, I agree, it is an entire culture change.

      In 5th grade we were playing softball on the playground and I was out in the field and one came bouncing high my way and knocked me right in the head. I survived. It hurt a bit, but ...

      Peace and blessings

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      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hey, I'm sorry, Bill! I can't play red rover with you as I might get a bump or bruise on my arm! Heaven forbid! This type of behavior by parents is beyond ridiculous! Most of these situations are stupid, irresponsible people who are looking to make a quick buck. I'm telling you, the world is getting crazier all the time! I believe most of this behavior stemming from parents not teaching their children to take responsibility for their actions. Some of today's parents are just "providers". They provide food, shelter, etc. for their children but they are not "teachers". They seem to leave all the "life lessons" for someone else to teach their children and then wonder why the children act so bad! Parents are, or at least should be, our children's first teachers. "Schooling" is an entire different study!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it is a mystery how we survived. LOL Seriously, it was just common sense. We knew the penalties for stupidity or for not being careful. We had bumps and bruises and they were learning tools. I loved riding in the bed of a pickup truck as a kid, but I would never consider standing up or hanging over the side while moving. Common sense!

      Have a great week at work, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sgbrown, I'm with you all the way. Parents must teach. Over-protecting, or ignoring the kids, are both recipes for disaster in the future. Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?

      I appreciate you stopping by. Have a great week ahead.

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      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      This was a pretty amusing read and judging from the comments, I think everyone agrees with you! I think society has become more suit happy due to getting big payouts. There is also a need for the insurance industry in the economy to create jobs - it's a fake industry to prop up the economy due to manufacturing leaving. Voted useful!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      different era, different times.. a great reflection bill, but nowadays.. more people driving, more people buying more porducts.. more accidents, more law suits.. and more chances of something going wrong.. phew.. there I added my two cents into your rant.. and I too feel better about it...:)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, telling it like it is. I love your comment about the insurance agency. I happen to think you are right on. Thanks for sharing that.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Frank. If you feel better and I feel better then this article was worth it. Thanks, buddy, and have a great week.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      You know I could handle all this safety stuff and protecting our kids from harm if it worked. But it doesn't! Instead of finding out that crashes hurt in you gokart (pedal powered) or pushbike as a kid you find out as an adult on a motorbike or in a car.

      Unfortunately so does the person you crash into and sometimes with tragic results.

      Sounds harsh I know, but if playing rough as a kid might prevent even one accident as adults then maybe it's time to revert to the tried and trusted way of previous generations

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What's the world coming to?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you all the way, Lawrence. I agree with your examples. There is no sure-fire way to protect us from ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not sure, Flourish, but I sure don't recognize it. :) Thank you!

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      For the sake of posterity, we shall call one day out of the year 'play day.' Then we shall go out and play. I believe we all noticed this trend of inhumanity, those that don't know or care to raise their kids, just looking how to get a fast buck. Some people were not meant to be parents, but it does nothing for the life of this country. Perhaps it al began when both parents HAD to work, but still, the family suffered. There is nothing more valuable than a little common sense, not robotic actions. It could be the wave of the future. Let's get of this carnival, before it collides with a sci-fi novel.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, what a great comment. I'd laugh but what you say is eerily close to the truth. What I see today in no way resembles the world I grew up in, and I find that very sad. Thanks, as always, for your thoughts.

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      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Red Rover! Red Rover! Please send the common sense Bill so aptly outlines over. Let it seep into the minds of all the craziness and assist in making all of us smarter. Voted up and shared my friend.

      Kim

      Will be back over ☺

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