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The Dangers of Tug of War

05 Feb

In the news today comes a story of how some kids lost some fingers playing tug of war at a school event.

You can read about it here.

First, let me say that my prayers go out to the students and their families. I am praying for a full and complete recovery.

That being said, while I was driving today, I heard some news reports that mentioned the incident. While listening, I had this thought: “They’re probably going to ban tug of war”!

Sure enough, as I was thinking about it, they said it!

In that article, Eric Spillman (the author) states, “The school district is reviewing its policies to see if tug of war will be allowed in the future.”

What?

Why is it that every accident that happens leads to us creating more rules or outright banning something?

Should we ban beaches because of shark bites?
Should we ban cars because of accidents?
Should we ban sports because of injuries?
Should we ban marriages because of infidelity?
Should we ban airplanes because of terrorists?
Should we ban banks because of robbers?
Should we ban hospitals because of sickness and death?

While it is true that we can always be more safe and cautious, I fear that we are becoming a risk averse society.

Life is made up of risks. Once risks are removed, we are no longer living life as it was meant to be lived.

In becoming a risk averse society, we don’t just protect ourselves from negative outcomes…we also eliminate the enjoyment of positive outcomes.

If marriages are removed, the fullest expression of love is put to death.
If sports are removed, the enjoyment of leisure and play is also removed (and discipline too)!
Etc.

When we create rules to avoid risk, we are basically admitting to the fact that we are a fearful society. We are afraid that something might go wrong or someone will get hurt. We allow an isolated incident to tell us that it might happen to all of us. This is simply not true.

Why don’t we simply accept the fact that these things will happen? Then, we can support each other when things go wrong.

So, for the love of all things enjoyable, please don’t ban tug of war!

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