Do you wear a helmet when you cycle?
My very politically incorrect answer is: No.
I am sure it will be one of those things like seatbelts, no one before the ’90s really wore their seatbelt did they? I know it is important to shield your head in case of a crash but sometimes it seems that modern life has just become a little safety mad. The other day I saw some kids on the pavement with their little scooters and a helmet bigger than their scooters. I am all up for safety but the kids were On The Pavement. Yes they were quite little but that also meant: they weren’t going anywhere fast. The steering and foot-paddling co-ordination had yet to reached total fruition: if they had to wear helmets going so slowly on scooters, they should wear helmets when they walk. ( Try walking along with a three year old, all of a sudden you realise they aren’t actually dragging their feet: they are actually that small that their steps are just tiny!)
I understand that I do not have children and can thus not even start to imagine the massive fears that come with parenthood, but is that not a burden for us to bear and not project on our little darlings? Teach them to be careful crossing the road, not to go along with strangers, not to inject heroin in their eye-balls but can we please let them explore the world without full
Medieval armour: how will they be able to move? Yes they will cut themselves and bruise themselves and fall over sometimes. We did. We survived. Surely the most important thing is to get back up again. You have one body, you should take care of it but as with any other tool you cannot expect it to come out of 80 years unscathed.
We had knee-pads and even wrist-bands at one point but my sister did hit her head once whilst rollerblading. Hole in her head. Oops. Then again: I once cracked my chin in school. I was five and thought I loved him. Note: I was also just standing. Not actually running with untied shoe-laces or on the wet swimming-pool tiles, not hanging of a tree with one arm. He threw a massive pillow to me on the playground…from behind. It floored me and taking me by surprise I fell chin first on the playground stones. There were tears, there were stitches resulting in a teeny tiny visible scar.
More tragically perhaps: love was most definitely over.
For a society that worries so much about physical accidents, you have to admit that there are still no helmets to prevent a broken heart. This invention would make you a millionaire as it wouldn’t just be for kids either: the older you get, the more these things seem to hurt. So how do you heal that what you cannot see? Ironically the answer might be: love. If it’s love that breaks it, it’s love that makes it. Love love love…and a spoonful of time. Soak it up, give it time and unlike those pesky physical fractures in life: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. x