The title of this post is taken from an article at Zero Hedge titled 'The Last Rebels: 25 Things We Did As Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today'. It resonated with me. The author points out:
With all of the ridiculous new regulations, coddling, and societal mores that seem to be the norm these days, it’s a miracle those of us over 30 survived our childhoods.
Here’s the problem with all of this babying: it creates a society of weenies.
There won’t be more more rebels because this generation has been frightened into submission and apathy through a deliberately orchestrated culture of fear. No one will have faced adventure and lived to greatly embroider the story.
Kids are brainwashed – yes, brainwashed – into believing that the mere thought of a gun means you’re a psychotic killer waiting for a place to rampage.
They are terrified to do anything when they aren’t wrapped up with helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, and other protective gear.
Parents can’t let them go out and be independent or they’re charged with neglect and the children are taken away.
Woe betide any teen who uses a tool like a pocket knife, or heck, even a table knife to cut meat.
Lighting their own fire? Good grief, those parents must either not care of their child is disfigured by 3rd-degree burns over 90% of his body or they’re purposely nurturing a little arsonist.
. . .
“Free range parenting” is all but illegal and childhood is a completely different experience these days.
She then lists 25 things that children routinely did in the 1960's and 1970's, and asks readers how many of them they did. I've highlighted in yellow those I didn't do, and explained why. All the rest I remember well - and I'm sure I'd have done the three I didn't do if I'd had the opportunity! How many did you do?
- Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
- Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble
- Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria (the only reason I didn't do this was because we didn't have school cafeterias)
- Riding your bike without a helmet
- Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
- Drinking water from the hose in the yard
- Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* "wild swimming") (I presume she means skinny-dipping? Yeah, did that. Often.)
- Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
- Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t) (the only reason I didn't do this was because we didn't have snow during winter. I have had lots of mudball fights, though.)
- Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL (No snow to sled on - but I did play with home-made go-karts, running them down driveways and some local roads and devil take the hindmost. Protective gear? What's that?)
- Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
- Throwing rocks at snakes in the river (and other animals too)
- Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
- Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
- Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
- Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school
- Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
- Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
- Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
- Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
- Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower
- Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
- Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)
- Walking to school alone (and riding my bicycle to and from school, alone and unescorted)
There's more at the link. Recommended reading, if depressing at times.
I suppose it's as Horace complained, a couple of thousand years ago:
Our sires' age was worse than our grandsires'. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.
There are many more such complaints about the young here. (They're funny in retrospect, too.)