I was looking through photos from our sailing trip, and I came across one of a child wearing swim gear. Those of us who are older may envision a swimsuit, maybe some sunscreen.
Oh no. Children swim almost fully clothed these days. There's a long-sleeved swim shirt to go with swim shorts. On our recent trip, I saw swimming children with headgear. The hat fully covered the head and forehead, with a bill, and flaps that covered the neck. The children's exposed skin was slathered with sunscreen.
I've already had 3 skin cancers removed, so I do understand the dangers of the sun and how those dangers accumulate across a lifetime of exposure. But I also wonder if we get so focused on some dangers that we forget to think about others.
Later on our trip, I saw those same children scampering on the side of a sailboat--no life jacket or personal flotation device. I asked the father if the children could swim--no.
Earlier in the day, the parents had been more cautious. But as they grew comfortable on the boat, they let the children remove the PFD as long as they kept their feet on the cockpit. And then, it was only a matter of time before they relaxed that rule.
Which poses more danger to a child, sunlight or drowning?
But I am not a parent, and I'm not as interested in these issues as I might appear. I'm really looking at the metaphor.
In our own spiritual lives, where do we need more protection? Are we so focused on protecting ourselves in one way that we fail to see other dangers? What are the best practices that we should be adopting? Where have we gone slightly overboard?
feeling the feelings…
4 months ago