“You're either with me or you're against me” is the mantra by which many live their lives these days. There is no nuance, there is no attempt to understand, there is no tolerance
A subject I will no doubt be referring to a lot over the next few weeks is the book I am currently reading, The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. One paragraph struck a chord with me;
By shielding children from every possible risk we may lead them to react with exaggerated fear to situations that aren't risky at all and isolate them from the adult skills that they will one day have to master.
Primary schools have today reopened to Years 1 and 6, but according to a survey by the National Foundation for Educational Research, as many as 50% of parents will not be allowing their children to attend.
With reference to the above quotation, I am not suggesting there is no risk associated with reopening the schools, but the risk of young children contracting covid-19 is tiny, and the risk of serious ill health amongst those children is vanishingly small. I worry that the exaggerated fear prevalent amongst some parents will do little to help their children learn about risk and how to cope with it when they are themselves adults.
Of course, my opinion is one amongst many, and the parents concerned will do what they believe is right for their children. I wonder how many people with contrary opinions will however be outraged!!! by my comments? Quite a few I imagine, it is after all the norm these days. I can't remember where I read it, but at the beginning of the current crisis there was some hope that the nation would come together, that the collective response would help heal the rift caused by Brexit. For a while, there was some unanimity, but not now. The country is again split, with neither side prepared to accept that although the other may have different opinions on how problems should be solved, we all have the best interests of our society at heart. “You're either with me or you're against me” is the mantra by which many live their lives these days. There is no nuance, there is no attempt to understand, there is no tolerance.
Sadly I can't see that situation changing any time soon.
1st June 2020