I was a kid once, and I did some dumb things. All kids do dumb things; it is part of the learning process. I’m not saying I got into drugs or anything. I’m too much of a control freak to do that. Ok, I do know that I can’t control everything and everyone around me, but I can control myself and I will fight to do that in spite of anything. I think that’s why I didn’t go down the addiction path. Drugs take away your control over yourself and that’s really all you have. I never liked to surrender that.
I never took up smoking either. I tried it, but it made my sinuses hurt and as the Phil Collins song says, “If it hurts, don’t do it,” which is pretty sound advice if you ask me. There are probably some masochists out there who would disagree strongly with that statement, but to each his own. Most of us try to avoid getting hurt. It’s probably related to the survival instinct.
I never disobeyed my parents and got a tattoo, either, not that getting a tattoo is dumb. If that’s what you want, go for it. I don’t find tattoos particularly attractive and I hate needles. It also sounds like a painful process, so three strikes and it is out, to use a baseball metaphor. No when I talk about the dumb things I did as a kid, I think about jumping off the shed roof into a pile of brush. I don’t know what I was thinking there. When you stop and think about it, humanity’s first real weapon was probably a sharpened stick and there I was leaping into a pile of possibly sharpened sticks. I suppose I thought it was fun, although I can’t think why.
It’s all about testing the world around you. I remember riding my bike as slow as I could just to see how slow I could ride without falling over. Predictably, I fell over and scraped myself in several places. Of course, I had a witness. I was in the middle of the road and a car was approaching slowly. It doesn’t take much imagination to know what the driver was thinking, “stupid kid, what are you doing? Get out of the road.” The car scared me more than the fall hurt me. I wasn’t far from home so I went home. I don’t remember getting first aid, but I must have. Like I said, I did some fairly dumb things as a kid. If you are going to try that experiment do it on a hardened dirt surface, not asphalt and it would be more meaningful if you had a speedometer, which I didn’t. The middle of the road was not a good choice.
These kinds of dumb things teach us to make better choices. If your kid does this kind of dumb thing, make sure he or she at least learned what not to do in the future. It will serve them well over their lifetimes.