Losing our common sense

Are we losing some of our common sense? I wonder when I see communities and the public in fear of offending or allowing some risk.
Today, many of the things that I did growing up now are considered dangerous and should be banned.
I must be lucky to have survived growing up in Fort Frances. By today’s standards, I had too much freedom. Today, the kids on my block would be known as “Free Range” kids able to travel all over the community without supervision.
Our backyard was the grown-over bush from the Shevlin Clark wood storage area. We knew that bush like the back of our hands and the trails through it.
We biked in the mornings to the Point for swimming lessons, and were travelling to neighbourhood grocery stores for milk and bread by the age of five.
The town was our world.
That probably wouldn’t happen today. Today, parents who allow their children “free range” probably would be investigated for negligence. Where can children enjoy the thrill of adventure today?
It just tells me how life is changing. We tobogganed at “Flinder’s Hill” and at the hill where the mill office on Third Street West now sits. We went to my cousin’s farm just outside of Fort Frances and slid down the hill hoping to cross the creek at the bottom.
In January for my younger son’s birthday, we often took everyone to the overpass and they slid down the hill. By the end of the afternoon of sliding, my sons and their friends were exhausted from the exercising of walking back up the hill.
Today, towns across Canada are prohibiting sliding on hills because of the possibility of litigation.
And we worry about offending people. We all are aware of the issue of the cartooning of Mohammed by “Charlie Hebdo” that led to 12 people being murdered in Paris.
The Oxford University Press now has banned the use of pigs, sausage, or pork-related words in children’s books to avoid offending Muslims. Should newspapers be banned from advertising pork loin roasts or pork chops or hams because those advertisements might offend some religious groups?
I think not.
On Toronto’s subway, a campaign now is underway to get men to either cross their legs or close their legs while riding. Apparently, men not closing their legs in public transportation are being perceived as being offensive to some women.
I’ll admit that I’m as guilty as the next man about not closing my legs in public.
I wonder where all of these items are taking civilization. Should debate be controlled and the exchange of ideas be limited?
We will be debating that question shortly, and it will place responsibilities on all Canadian citizens as to what we can or cannot say or demonstrate publicly.

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