First off, for everyone who doesn’t now what “TCAS” means: It stands for “Traffic Collision Avoidance System“. It’s an instrument that scans for other aircraft with transponders and warns you if your flight paths appear to be getting you too close to each other, in order to avoid mid-air collisions.

It’s a great thing to live in times like these. Despite all the horrible news about accidents and crime, we’ve never lived in a safer time, at least here in the western world.

But sometimes, I wonder if 100% safety is a reasonable goal in all aspects of life. Everyone who’s 40 years or older has probably reminisced with friends about our childhoods, where we would ride our bikes without helmets or kneepads and could roam free throughout the neighborhood and only had to be home when the lights came on.

But now that I’m a dad, I look around my old neighborhood and wonder how much leeway I will going to be able to give my kids. For starters, there’s way less kids out and about to play with. Then there’s way more traffic, and while I trust that 95% of all drivers are responsible and attentive, it only takes one who isn’t to cause a catastrophe.

I read an article recently about how kids nowadays grow up with so much structure and so little risk, that they don’t achieve the resilience and independence they need when they’re adults.

I’m sure nobody wishes any harm on anyone else, but where do we go as a society, if there are no negative consequences for our actions, and if there are, people aren’t able to handle them? When you make bad decisions about your job, friends, finances, health, etc. and it become’s society’s duty to shield you from the fallout, it must inevitably lead to an ever increasing and intrusive nanny state.

But I don’t want to open the can of worms to start a political discussion here. I guess it’s incumbent on us parents do lead by example and take on the responsibility to raise our kids right. I sure plan to give my kids as much opportunity for unstructured play and discovery of their physical and mental limits as I can. Although I know that such plans are easier stated than implemented. I’ll let you know in 30 years how it all turned out! 🙂