About an hour ago, I dug through my hall closet..and then a few kitchen drawers, (made a mental note to organize my emergency supplies a bit better,) and finally located a single 9 volt Duracell battery. That’s right…the “copper top” battery…and licked it….three times….okay four…and there was some laughing involved…okay…a LOT of laughing!
(Well, I couldn’t very well write about the importance of doing dangerous things if I wasn’t willing to go out on a limb myself!)
Right about now, you may be asking yourself, “How in the world did this come up?!?” Well…thanks for asking!
This afternoon, during student pickup, I met with several parents and had very engaging conversations about when we consider risk taking is a good idea. We also talked about the things we did as children… walked around outside WITHOUT shoes on, walked to a neighbors house to play ALONE, NO we did not walk 5 miles in a blizzard to get to school (the one time it actually snowed here they shut down schools because no one knew what to do with themselves), and yes…we licked 9 v batteries…at least some of us did.
That last one…the battery licking…elicited several responses actually of, “Are you kidding?? Isn’t that dangerous?? Why would you do that??”
This reminded me of Gever Tully’s 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)* and his more recent Beware! Dangerism!**
One’s perception of danger has a lot to do with what was socially and culturally acceptable where and when you were raised. We certainly want to keep our children safe. And as Gever Tulley, author and founder of the Tinkering School and Brightworks School said, “The most effective way to keep children safe is to give them a little taste of danger.”
* I believe we have a copy in our library. It may also be available at your local library.
-noun. Belief system, or ideology, in which certain activities are considered dangerous. (Tulley, TEDx Talk 8/2012)
(*Based on Carnism by Melanie Joy’s, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)