The world is obsessed with risk assessments and safety protocols. Whether this is because the powers that be seriously care about the welfare of the general population, or whether manufacturers are petrified of getting sued should something go wrong is debatable. It remains, however, that we cannot even cross a road or walk on play surfaces anymore without thinking of our safety and that of people around us. This is so different from how things were in the past, that it may be difficult to understand how the vast majority of adults in the world today actually managed to survive into adulthood.
What I Was Allowed to Do
What I was allowed to do as a child will not be very different from most children, with a few notable exceptions due to the fact that I was brought up in West Africa. Hence, what I was allowed to do that most people wouldn’t be at my age was regularly clime a 50 foot high mango tree (to the top of course) and sit on an actual, living crocodile.
Other things that I was allowed to do – just like most kids of my era – was walk to my friend’s house who lived a few streets away. I was also allowed to ride my bicycle without a helmet on. Knee and elbow protects when roller skating was for losers. Although even I was warned not to take candy of strangers, I was allowed to go for walks by myself and I was allowed to play where I saw fit.
What It Looks Like Now
Besides a complete overhaul of everything I was allowed to do – bar the huge tree and crocodile that was a bit unsafe in fairness – kids and adults alike have to think of thousands of other things. We all need helmets, pads and most importantly a tape measure in our pocket. A tape measure? Well yes, if we trip over uneven play surfaces, we have to use the tape measure to check whether we are entitled to sue or not. That is the sad state of our world today.