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Life in a bubble not good
Monday, June 19, 2006
Life in a bubble not good Here’s more evidence of my pet theory – that facing adversity, rather than avoiding it, makes people stronger and better. This particular evidence involves rats, not humans, but that’s a minor detail. Two new studies, published in Scandinavia, show that rats and mice living in sewers and farms have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs. The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick. You can either use this as an excuse not to clean your home, or you can take the larger lesson. Adversity makes you stronger. Baby Boomer parents and the people we elect – architects of the wussification of America -- need to give more serious thought to the theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, that has been kicking around academic circles for 17 years. As the theory goes, people's immune systems aren't being challenged by disease and dirt early in life, so the body's natural defenses overreact to such small irritants as pollen. It’s not just the body’s immune system that can grow weaker by over-protection. It’s the entire body, mind, and human spirit. We need adversity. We need problems to solve. We need a certain level of stress, pain and suffering to learn how to cope. So-called “helicopter parents” who are over-involved and protective of their children, including college age children, are doing their kids no favor by running interference for them every step of the way. Nanny-state legislators, who rush to pass a new law in the wake of every tragic death, are doing their constituents no favor by taking the responsibility for our safety and well being out of our hands and transferring it to the government. Knowing where to draw the line is not easy. Good parenting and good lawmaking takes intelligence and uncommon sense. My generation, the baby boomer generation, has unfortunately not known enough adversity to understand the benefits thereof. As a result, we are over-protecting, over-feeding, and over-nursing our children. If future generations survive our smothering love, it will be by the grace of God, not by our protective hand. Ralph Bristol
posted by Jack Mercer @ 6/19/2006 10:18:00 AM  
  • At 6/19/2006 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…


  • At 6/20/2006 07:11:00 PM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    HAHA YES!!! I was watching a George Carlin stand up a few months ago, it was fairly old. He was talking about growing up in New York, and essentially what Ralph talks about here- except Carlin the Wordsmith coined his own term, he switched the 'w' of wussification with a 'p.' (is he ripping off Carlin here?) Hey, its Carlin and he's profane.
    Anyway, growing up in New York, Carlin said, "In my neighborhood no one ever got polio. No one, ever. You know why? 'Cause we swam in the East River. We swam in raw sewage! It strengthened our immune systems. The polio never had a prayer; we were tempered in raw shit!"

    Of course Carlin is shooting for some laughs- the paradox that swimming in filth may boost your immune system is what is funny- but there is perhaps an element of truth there.

  • At 6/21/2006 07:46:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    I liked Ralph's post also, CH! (Good to hear from you). I watched a standup by a guy named Brad Stein called "Put a Helmet On" which was hilarious--it too was along that line. He was talking about air bags and how they cause us to be soft--he said that when he was growing up he sat in the front with Mom, his seat belt was her arm and the dashboard was made of METAL!! It doesn't translate well to print but it is hysterical.

    Recommend it highly!


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"Snipet" (pronounced: snipe - it) is not a word.It is a derivative of two words: "Snipe" and "Snippet".

Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.

Miriam Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage.

In short, "Snipets" are brief, snide shots at exposed situations from a concealed vantage point.

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