The Holidays—But Political Correctness Abounds
*SOLO-Youth Op-Ed: The Holidays—But Political Correctness Still Abounds
January 8, 2007
* For the workforce and the productive elements of society, normal schedules have resumed now that Christmas and the New Year have been and gone. But New Zealand's children are still at home, away from school until early February. Safe and sound from political correctness until then? Definitely not! We are bombarded with messages of sunburn, car crashes and general chicanery during this otherwise peaceful time of the year.
We hear news of the rate of drowning going up. But is that not to be expected? January and February are the warmest time of the year here in New Zealand. With all these kids out of school for 6-8 weeks, and the proximity of water for most Kiwis, the drowning rate will inevitably go up—kids still like to have fun on the water, which isn't a bad thing. Summer is out there to enjoy, not to fret over. Common sense should be the primary concern here.
More political correctness about the evilness of the summer holiday comes from ads. One ad, for instance (from an organization whose name escapes me), states the obvious that:
"Sunburn early in life may lead to melanoma later in life."
Which is ultimately true, but the ad goes on to say:
"Never let your child go sunburned."
How, exactly? I don't condemn the actions of parents who take measures to keep their child(ren) safe from sunburn (providing it doesn't prevent them from enjoying their summer in the sun).
But not even our best SPF 30+ treatments work well enough to protect completely against sunburn, and it's inevitable that a child spending his holiday in the sun will get sunburned now and then. What should we do instead? Keep them locked up indoors to become fat? Then the same crowd will be whingeing and moaning about a problem they started. Sunburn is a fact of summer, I'm afraid. Common sense is of use here, again.
But when all else fails, there's always the fact that we are killing each other on the roads, with all the car crashes around this time of year. Unsurprisingly, as people get away from civilization for peace and quiet, the majority of accidents shifts onto rural highways.
As people get away to vacation and to visit friends, family and the like, they use their cars. With all these people on the move, accidents will undoubtedly occur. There have also been accidents caused by tour buses and tourists visiting New Zealand. Once again, it's the summer, the nicest time to visit New Zealand, and it's the time most tourists are here—and who can blame them?
The Summer Holiday should be free of political correctness, as schools are shut down. So, to compensate, we instead hear about drowning, road deaths, sunburn, and about how dangerous summer is to our children. Summer is a time to enjoy life, free from the stresses of work, government and the pace of civilization. New Zealand is a great place to holiday.
Of course, accidents will happen and things will go wrong—it's a fact of life. But common sense is severely lacking in today's society, and it's the basic lack of common sense which leads to many ruined holidays. Shroud the people—especially the young—with a cloak of political correctness and perceived safety, and bad things will inevitably occur when it goes away, when it can't help you.
The more cautions placed on a potentially dangerous item or activity, the less cautious people will be around it. The best thing about freedom is that it forces people to think on their feet and to be sensible, and to weigh up potential risks from their activities. Take that basic common sense away, replace it with political correctness, and people start dying.
But if we take that cloak away and people are forced to think on their feet, who falsely gets the blame for the lack of ability do to so?