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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Danger Lurks Everywhere

Yesterday I was invited to speak about the Living Better With Less concept at a women's rural group.
A science teacher (ex or current, not sure) raised concerns about teaching people how to make soap. She was concerned that lye was a very hazardous chemical to have in the home.
Despite reassurances that all the proper cautions and protective wear was covered off in the class she continued to rant about the danger. 
So despite the reassurance, her ongoing concern clearly suggested that housewives and mummies were not capable of following process and procedure. She had no trust or faith at all that parents could keep hazardous substances out of reach of children.
This is the kind of over-kill and fear that has started to over-take common sense. 
Inventions like the tamper resistant cap and mandatory obvious warnings and internationally recognised poison symbols mean our awareness of the way we store and handle such products have come a long way. I can assure you that anyone taking my soap making class was left in no uncertain terms about the cautions and warnings.
Because something is potentially dangerous I don't think it should be removed from the home all together just locked away safely. There is no evidence to suggest that a person without a degree cannot learn procedure or process.
Our playgrounds for instance are becoming so sanitised that I don't think kids are ever going to learn about tumbles, falls and the lessons of being careful. I can still remember the play rules; "don't walk too close to the swing", "one at a time on the trampoline" and "get smartly off the slide when you get to the bottom".
Danger lurks everywhere.
And not in such obvious ways as the chemicals in our home.
What about the dangers we can't see?
Salmonella is a killer that we can't see. It is only by proper practices and procedures that we prevent it.
So where is the line on dangers in the home?
Should we take the potentially hazardous food preparation role from parents and leave it solely in the hands of manufacturers or qualified chefs? 
Of course not.
Our role throughout our lives is to learn and to teach, not to be frightened and wrapped in cotton wool.


  1. Well said Tanya...........some people like the sound of their own voice and are intent on talking at people not to them............

    I hope this woman hasn't put you off what you do ( I can't imagine it has but....) I love reading your posts and seeing what you are making and finding out new money saving tips.
    I think the classes you are running are a wonderful idea and it's important to teach people skills that they wouldn't learn otherwise.

    Hope you enjoy the day, love the flowers are they from your garden?

    Claire :}

  2. This is something that really annoys me...there is no room for common sense anymore. Everything has to be someone else's fault, there is no taking responsibility for our own actions. I wonder what the future generations will be like? Especially coupled with the fact that we now provide playgrounds that children don't want to play in because they are so safe and boring and leave little room for imagination. My children (11, 13, 15 and 17) were just talking about how sad they felt when our local park removed a great wooden, multi leveled ship and replaced it with safe small climbing frame and climbing wall.
    I could go on and on but I'm not good at pointing my thoughts into writing and I don't want to bore you, suffice to say frustrates me!

    cheers Kate

  3. I agree with you whole-heartedly Tanya.

    And you're right.Playgrounds these days are boring. Remember what a thrill it was to go down a slide? Those huge steel structures where you almost felt the wind in your hair as you slid down? The silly little plastic things they've been replaced with simply do not compare.

    thank you for your lovely heart-felt comments on the Nuns...I still have fond memories of Sr Elizabeth who taught me in Grade One (one of the "nice ones")


    Oh yes the world is getting way to moddlycoddles. I often get "suggestions" which basically are parents who cotton wool their children and think I should do the same. No way. They need to learn.

    We are not designed to have an easy life. Human nature runs better when they have to work for something. We also have better satisfaction when it is earned than just easy...

    People like that dont make it easy when you are doing what you are. Sigh...

  5. Goodness don't go into the world today - you're in for a big surprise !

    Petunias are toxic . . . hows that for perspective (and so is that arum lily there).

    You did well, and glad to see that other people at the meeting backed you up - we expect too much sometimes and put repsonsibility into the hadns of others rather then grasp that nettle ourselves.

  6. I watched a VERY interesting talk online by an American guy who believes children should have access to things like scissors, fire, knives etc (with supervision naturally) in order to learn about things like physics. He says it creates competent capable people in touch with their world. I tend to agree with him.

  7. So I'm guessing she's never used soap! Life is to be lived. It just is, what it is. We're way too safe these days..

  8. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed here in your post Tanya and by the people who have commented. It is unbelievable how some people think we should be treated like children forever and never be responsible for our own is an American disease - it culminates in such things as suing the fast food company "because the coffee was too hot" We should avoid it at all costs, IMHO!!

  9. Housewives and mummies were long ago established into society as gate keepers for their families .. well before the government nannies of our days.


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