Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Problem with Regulation

I've come up with a little analogy to make it easier to understand the problem with regulation. A child may run quickly across dangerous rocks and the chances are good that he will fall and get seriously injured. Regulation comes along to save him, prohibiting him from running quickly across the rocks. This is the child who grows up believing he is invincible because he never had the guts to violate the rules which kept him safe. But there's always a crack, isn't there? SIVs? CDOs? Pick your random letters. What does the child do, but jump without a backup 'chute and without safety checking the one he plans to use? He has come to believe that since he is following the rules, he will be safe. Yes, I know there are rules about parachutes and airplanes, but do they apply to base jumping? He may land safely several times, and then one day, SPLAT.

What if he had broken his leg on those rocks? He could be crippled or have a nasty scar, a horrible limp, etc. But these are all better than being goo on the sidewalk. Additionally, his parents and loved ones can concentrate on teaching him and enjoying him rather than punishing him for running on the rocks. I tell my kids to be careful. I say to them "I don't think you worry enough about falling on those rocks and breaking your leg." Do I stop them? Depends on the rocks. And if I do stop them, it is not with threats and yelling. It is with distraction. I pick them up and carry them elsewhere and play there with them, the whole time expressing my worry that their injuries, should they fall on those dangerous rocks, would hurt me more than they hurt them. But that takes really dangerous rocks.

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