Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What is danger?

Our friends arrived bearing English newspapers yesterday, and I read that a boy has died because a goalpost fell on his head. Tragedy though this is to his grieving family, I don't see the sense in the subsequent demand that a risk assessment must be done on goalposts up and down the country.

Thus goalposts become close kin to the childhood game of conkers, which has now been ruled out of safe sports in schools. I have heard that chestnut trees should be cut down so that said conkers would not fall on anyone's head. Then there's the rumour that trees should in fact be felled because they may drop branches on people passing beneath.

How much of this is true I do not know. But it seems to me that as video games, films, novels become or contain more violence, real life is being tied down to the equivalent of walking in straight lines because bends and zig zags may contain hazards.

Common sense seems to have gone out of the window in the last thirty years. Life is dangerous, has always been dangerous, and it is up to the invidivual to circumnavigate those dangers, whatever they happen to be. Driving cars is dangerous, perhaps one of the most dangerous things we ever do, and yet people feel so safe and cocooned that they speed through houseing estates and motorways with equal abandon.

Forget the goal posts and conkers; one the whole, they are among the safer things in life.

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