The Force and Hazardous Ingenuity

lightsabreI remember the original Star Wars. Being a kid a playing with a light sabre, well I didn’t have a light sabre, but surprising what imagination and a little ingenuity can provide. To an eleven year old fluorescent light bulbs look a lot like a light sabre without the handle. I remember the Saturday afternoon with my cousins and we went for a walk out of town. Why not go and have some fun out the garbage dump? These were the days when garbage dumps were open to everyone. We decided to rummage around to see what we could find.

What a treasure! Probably more than 20 fluorescent bulbs. We could have fun with that! I’m pretty sure I was playing Luke Skywalker while my cousin played the role of Darth Vader. We each grabbed a fluorescent bulb and started making the light sabre sound. As we began our futuristic swordfight we began hitting the bulbs against each other gently at first, then increasingly harder until … Boom! One of the bulbs exploded. No way, that was crazy! Did you know these things would explode? We went from gentle swordplay to taking huge swings at the other person’s light sabre. There was 4 of us and the light sabre fights were monumental. The explosions continued with glass and dust particles flying through the air.

I recall pieces of glass being caught in my hair. I made sure to keep my mouth closed, never an easy task when concentrating, and squinted my eyes to protect them from the flying shards. In retrospect, it doesn’t makes sense, but I was being Luke and a little glass isn’t that big of deal when the fate of the universe lies within the battle. We continued with our fun until all the light sabres were gone. In our young assessment, no one got hurt and it was a ton of fun.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been classified as typical, and maybe this isn’t an example of a typical activity growing up, but it is a good example of not recognizing the hazards. As kids we obviously weighed the adventure much higher than the impending danger. It’s not like we didn’t think the glass could hurt us, it was just that the explosions were so much fun. Kids aren’t always aware of the dangers around them, but that doesn’t make the danger any less real. I’d encourage you to take steps today to help children realize some of the dangers they may be exposed to, and take adequate steps to limit that exposure. I’m not talking about doom and gloom, but kids need to know the possible negative outcome of unsafe actions … especially the adventurous ones.

, ,

Comments are closed.