What’s the Harm?

I guess it’s a version of the NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) syndrome… but sometimes you hear about something and think “Why not?” and then realize “Because it sounds great in theory but would have maybe freaked me out if it were my own children, that’s why.”

I read an article in the Washington Post last month.  It was entitled “Three Fla. youths fly alone without permission — or difficulty” and it captivated me.  Check it out.

Three bored teenagers decided to pool their money and fly from Jacksonville, Florida to Nashville.  The eldest, 15, had saved up $700 and thought it was be a fun outing to go with her 11-year-old brother and a 13-year-old friend to Nashville.  I applaud her for taking along younger kids; she could have been in a different sort of trouble for going off with an older boyfriend.

So they went to the airport, bought tickets, flew to Nashville, landed with only $40 left, called home and … got in trouble.

Everyone was freaked out.  The parents were upset: “…very scary, very scary” and there was an expressed fear of copycatting by terrorist organizations.  People couldn’t believe Southwest Airlines let it happen (but people, really, do you know how sophisticated the average 15-year-old looks these days?).

And I’m thinking something’s wrong with me because I thought it sounded like a fun, harmless adventure.

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~ by Cary on September 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “What’s the Harm?”

  1. I have often compared and contrasted the differences between some of the great, beloved literature of our society and the social mores of our times.

    Huck Finn had adventures – today, he’d be in juvenile detention.

    The Boxcar Children took care of themselves – today, they’d be in foster care.

    Thing One and Thing Two could not exist today.

    And I believe our children are the worse for it. The only place they get adventures these days are on XBox.

    Thanks for writing this, Cary. Made me thingk.

  2. Michele, I love how your brain works! 🙂 I want you to write about this; I’m going to write more about it for sure. A safety epidemic wherein children are at risk for dying internally while hermetically sealed. Not that the flight to TN was without controversy but it got me thinking more broadly.

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