I see from yesterday’s Dennis the Menace comic strip that he is still an
These days it seems a paranoia grips the nation, and parents are just afraid to let their kids go barefoot. It’s really not dangerous. Sure, a kid may get some scrapes, just as they will on the rest of their body as you let them explore what they can and cannot do, and as they discover the world. Even worse, there is a fair bit of evidence that exposure to these sorts of germs and minor wounds helps to stimulate our immune systems to help it do its job properly. There is a good chance that many of our allergies are the result of our immune systems over-reacting because they don’t have anything better to do.
When I go on some of the organized hikes at Hocking Hills (which is right at the edge of Appalachia), I will often have some of the older hikers (mid-70s?) tell me about how, when they were kids, they would spend the entire summer barefoot and did just fine (and they didn’t get kicked out of stores, either). They would even talk about how they could run on gravel (but that they sure couldn’t do that now, because they let that part of their bodies atrophy).
I love progress and all the new technology and improvements in medicine and science. But we don’t have to throw out our humanity (and enjoyment of simpler things) to have it.