Have been reading a book, How to Live Dangerously: Why We Should All Stop Worrying & Start Living, easily the best book I’ve read this year, it really gives one perspective about modern day life and how we are our own worse enemies. For example, when I was growing up, we ranged far and wide, I spent a few of my years living in a village surrounded by 10 miles of forest and we would go off first thing in the morning and return when it was dark, that was normal and nothing was thought about it but living here in London one rarely sees kids out on the streets playing.
There are a few reasons for this, the obvious XBox/PSP3 factor but less obvious is that parents tend to think their little darlings are going to be kidnapped and never seen again. However, the author looked at the cold hard statistics and you’d have to lock them out of the house every day for 186,000 years before they were abducted (and even then you’d get them back within 24 hours). Of course to the parents who do tragically lose a child those odds are 1:1 but the odds are heavily in your favour that they won’t be abducted ever.
However, the thought occurs to me, we spend a lot of time telling our kids about safety and not accepting sweets from strangers but ironically we encourage them to do exactly that during Halloween. As children, it was an evening we all looked forward to, we’d all go out and knock on strangers door and chime;
Halloween is coming
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old mans hat
If you have’na got a penny, a hapennie will do
If you have’na a hapennie, then God bless you
Yes, I know a lot of you would chime that at Christmas time but in Norn Iron for some reason we sung it at Halloween, go figure.. we obviously had to do a lot more work than todays ‘Trick or Treaters..’
Generally we’d get a few coins or some sweeties. Exactly what our parents warned us about all our lives. And at Christmas time we’d get some present or selection box from some strange long lost relative whom you had never met and would have to write him or her a thank you letter, again, accepting sweeties from strangers. And as for that strange man in the shopping mall with the red tunic and big beard, we actually pay him to let our kids sit on his knee and give them presents. No wonder kids get confused ;p