Here’s a Quick Way to Destroy Your Kids

Here’s a Quick Way to Destroy Your Kids January 4, 2013

Our kids have never been good at following the crowd or “sheepwalking” as Seth Godin calls it. Or following the signs at local parks that read:

“Stay on Prepared Trails”

When I was a kid at the same parks, there were no signs. There were barely paths.

The whole point of going was to get off the trail. Explore a mysterious cave. Jump across a tricky precipice. Race up the side of a cliff that was likely to cause a bruise or scrape or both. No, I didn’t wear a helmet.

There was one thing I wasn’t trying to feel.


I wonder how my children are supposed to learn to explore, take risks, or be creative when everywhere they go they read stern warnings to stay on life’s prepared trails. How boring is that! No wonder video games seem enjoyable. They’re risk-free. Aren’t they?

Imagine the Wright brothers needing to file for an FAA permit. In triplicate.

What if the Oregon Trail had been a Department of Transportation project?

How did education even happen for two hundred years without federal lunch guidelines? If parents and kids can’t figure out how to pack their own lunches, what are schools good for? Really.

At least they’re – what’s that word?


Pioneers – or heretics as Seth Godin calls them — care little for their own safety and much for carving out a path for others to pursue their dreams.

Our faith drives us to see what’s beyond the next bend, over the next hill, in the back of that shadowy crevice. It is, unfortunately, the natural way of things that our faith soon becomes memorialized as a religion of rules and procedures designed by sincere – and fearful – people. To maintain the status quo. To keep it – how did it go?


Why is it that when I think about the future my kids face in this world of prepared trails, that safe is the last word I think of?

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