This morning I woke up, logged onto Facebook, and found an interesting thread started by a neighbor. She was wondering if there was a service that could help her properly and securely hang a tire swing from a large tree in her front yard. Overnight, the question had gathered multiple responses. Among the offers of advice and referrals were a few that really gave me pause. “Isn’t this a bit risky?”, “Aren’t you afraid your children will get hurt?”, “Aren’t you concerned about the liability of other children playing in your yard and maybe getting injured?”
I had the pleasure of raising my two boys in this very same neighborhood. They played outside – I mean really played outside – riding bikes, running through the woods, playing war, swimming, throwing a football. The chances for injury were ever-present and occurred quite frequently. But I, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.
When did we get so afraid to live? To take chances? Yes, you do what you can to protect yourself and those you love. But I can tell you I’d rather my sons have played baseball (and gotten hit by a few line drives in their younger years) than to never have played.
I believe that, when younger, we often felt more comfortable to try new things – sports, activities, lessons. Sometimes we excelled, sometimes we didn’t. This was life. And along the way we gathered life lessons.
Yet, as we grew older, the awareness of what could go wrong grew with us.
There will always be reasons why you shouldn’t do things. And unfortunately, it has become a litigious society, I’ll give you that. And for those things that you might be contemplating that are truly dangerous? Please let common sense prevail.
However, trying something new, pushing yourself past your comfort zone, can be terrifying AND invigorating. Who knows? Maybe it will even bring back some of that carefree feeling of youth – of NOT being afraid to try something new.
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Don’t be afraid to take chances. Enjoy the day and go swing outside.
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson