Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weather Can Kill

Stories about the deaths of children and pets being forgotten or deliberately left in parked cars during extreme weather are starting to surface.

How many babies must suffer horrible deaths before people wake up to the fact that they are far too distracted? And what would make anyone believe that leaving his or her pet in a parked car while they work, shop or play is a good idea? I dare anyone thinking that way to sit in a parked car, even with the windows cracked but not enough to allow a pet to escape. They won’t last long.

The legal system is in a quandary over whether and how to punish those, most often parents, responsible for such tragedies. Accidents happen. BUT, how should grieving parents be adjudicated for bad judgment because they over-extended themselves to the point of neglect.

I still see people texting and driving. For some, talking on a cell phone seems to go hand-in-hand with driving. I have to wonder what they did before electronics drew their attention away from the task of maneuvering and controlling a ton of metal and glass.

Eating, smoking and applying make-up are still popular diversions. It’s facetiously called multi-tasking.

I wish that people who are addicted to their electronics would turn them off and set them aside even if it’s only for a day. So much of what goes on around us is not contained on a tiny, electronic screen. The old proverb “stop and smell the roses” is just as timely today as it ever was.

Busy parents need to ask themselves why they created a child in the first place. I refuse to believe it was simply to make a fashion statement “baby bump”.

Newborns and infants may seem like crying/pooping/barfing/wobbly lumps, but they are absorbing information at an extraordinary rate. They are sensitive to the moods of people around them. Too much stimulation is as bad as none at all.

I’m grateful that I was a child before electronics took over our lives. I happily live without TV, preferring reading. I don’t own a cell phone although with my total lack of navigational skills, perhaps I should.

Electronics ideally make our lives simpler, chores easier and quicker, provide information and entertainment and keep us in touch with each other.

Electronics cannot smile and laugh at a joke, give a hug, cry with us, tie a shoe, change a diaper, sooth a scared child, kiss a boo-boo and make it all better. Have we forgotten how important eye and skin contact are to humans?

Maybe some smart techie will invent a phone “app” to remind drivers of the sleeping child belted into the safety seat behind them or the beloved, hard-of- hearing old dog asleep on the back seat. It might prevent future tragedies. But then again, there’s nothing better than simply being aware of what is around us.

P.S. The surest way to be robbed, mugged or run-over is to drive or walk around listening to whatever on ear buds and/or your attention glued to some gadget. Those toys are expensive and not everyone has the bread to buy their own! At least look up every now and again.


Mark said...

Great writing, loved your post. Leaving a child or animal in a car in these temps, just crazy, but it happens all too often. Love your take on the electronics, even though I get worse, using them, more and more each day. I like the idea of doing without all of it for one day, I may try that.

dcpeg said...

You are too kind, Mark.

Sometimes I feel like a teacher scolding her little students, but I have to express my concerns. Maybe, just maybe someone will take a hint.

Let me know if you escape from your gadgets for a day. Hope it' not to torturous!