26 May 2011

Things for parents to worry about

According to a report on NPR (http://ow.ly/2zOp5) parents worry about the following the most:
1.   Kidnappings
2.   Drugs
3.   Terrorists
4.   Dangerous strangers
5.   Drugs

Yet, according to NPR, what they really should worry about are:
1.   Car accidents
2.   Homicides
3.   Abuse
4.   Suicide
5.   Drowning

According to Christie Barnes, the author of The Paranoid Parents Guide, parents worry a lot about things that are really not likely to happen.  Perhaps the prevalence of immediate news these days has something to do with it; we can get information immediately about events.  While this may be helpful, often it is unfiltered and some of the information is not correct. 

While certainly there are bad people out there doing bad things, we need to keep things in perspective.  The chances of a child being kidnapped or hurt by strangers are relatively low; interestingly, there is a greater likelihood of danger  from someone known by the child.  There is a greater likelihood of a child being killed by a family member than by a stranger. 

Barnes recommends the most important things a parent can do to keep a child safe – have him/her use a helmet when riding a bike and seatbelt use serve as the greatest preventer of children being hurt; yet how often do we still see children who are not buckled in and riding in cars?

Concern and worry are natural in today’s world – and in some ways have always been; but we need to worry about those things more likely to happen.

22 May 2011

Going Green

This appeared in one of the emails I received from a friend; I wish I would know the author – it appears on a number of websites though but wanted to be sure to make it known that the words are not mine.
Recycling and “green” living
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "we didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."
He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles , soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn't have the green thing back in that Recycling day .In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts, wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?