Growing up safe

I was sitting in the sun at our local park, watching parents and grandparents playing in the children’s area with their toddlers. One mom was enjoying the merry-go-round with big brother, but little brother was something else! Having just been liberated into the wonderful world of running, hands held high with joy (and for balance), he made a beeline for the far end of the enclosure as fast as he could toddle.

Having passed by all the playground equipment, this very young man attacked the gate with extraordinary energy, rattling and shaking it in an attempt to get it open. Wise mom stayed put, knowing that it was securely fastened well above his head height, as the playground had been carefully designed to protect the young children who use it. Soon mom came and gathered him up with big hugs, and taught him to enjoy what was around him. Eventually the time came to strap him safely into his buggy, open the gate, and head for home.

At first it was humorous to see such a young child heading for the one thing he shouldn’t be doing! But then it suggested a more serious question. Does this mean there’s some irresistible attraction to what is not good, what is not safe, which can override the natural attraction to good? Or that children are essentially vulnerable and there’s no way of ensuring their safety?

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Rethinking the pursuit of wealth
April 21, 2014

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