What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

kids on bikesIn 1969, the NCR Corporation invented thermal paper. Designed to replace papers requiring ink printers, thermal paper offers quick printing that is crisp and clear and doesn’t require changing ink cartridge after ink cartridge. Inkless printers, having fewer parts, don’t jam as often so they’re more cost effective.  Isn’t technology grand?

Except now, here it is 15 years later, and we are being advised that the ubiquitous thermal credit card receipts are DANGER, DANGER, DANGER. Do not touch them as the BPA will enter your skin and, I don’t know, something bad will happen.

Similarly, maybe six or seven years ago, spray-on sun screens became popular. Finally, a sun screen easily applied to children who worry exactly NOT-AT-ALL about sunburn and who want nothing more than to get into the swimming pool or out onto the playground! Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa can apply sun screen to all of the kids very quickly and effectively making it much more likely that we will do so.

Except now we are told spray-on sun screens are a no-go. Too risky we are advised. Back to the 10 minute lotion application process per kid. All this while we are learning that more and more kids have a Vitamin D deficiency because most of the Vitamin D we get is from sunshine. And, according to singer Bill Withers, there ain’t no sunshine when you’re slathered in sun screen every second you’re out of the house. I think that’s how the song goes.

Hard to keep up.

Eggs were good for you. Then they were bad for you. Then they were good for you again. I think that’s where we are right now, but I better fry one up really quick before it changes. And if I’m frying it, should I use……

….butter or margarine? In the later part of the 20th century, oleo was the only way-to-go. Now the fear of dreaded transfats has alerted us to the fact that perhaps all-natural butter isn’t so bad after all. Some municipalities are even passing ordinances prohibiting the sale of transfats. Don’t get me started on the idea of a city council telling me what I can EAT…..

Same with red wine. Depending on which research study you believe, a glass or two of vino rosso can be extremely good for you, or it can flat out kill you. How do you know what to believe? Well, that’s a dumb question, really. Of course you believe the “good for you” camp. How can anything that tastes so good possibly be bad for you?

If coconut oil so bad for you, why is it sold in health food stores?

While I’m sure that overall we are safer, happier, and healthier now with all the FDA restrictions on food, it was easier, if more dangerous, to eat back when I was a kid. Frosted Flakes were “Grrrrrrrrrreat” despite the sugar. Soft, white Wonder Bread built strong bodies 12 ways. Hostess Twinkies were filled with good ol’ lard and sugar, making them much tastier than the more recent versions.

Thank goodness for bicycle helmets as I believe they make our children safer on bikes (though I don’t recall a lot of kids running around with bandages on their heads when I was riding a bike in the 1950s – plenty of scraped knees, however). Same with seat belts. When I talk to fellow baby boomers, we laugh about how our parents placed their toddlers in the little car seats with the steering wheels that clipped onto 50s car seatthe front seat. Nearly all of us recall standing up in the front seat of our parents’ car or sleeping on the ground in the back seat during family vacations. Believe me when I tell you that I don’t purport we return to those days. I am a committed seat belt user, and have been since driving my first car that had a seat belt (which happened sometime in the late 70s, no sooner.

In fact, I’m not taking an editorial stance on any of these issues, more just making an amused observation. In our efforts to be safe and to keep our children safe, I hope we don’t forget to have fun.

By the way, there are research studies that show that people who smoke, drink wine, alcohol, and coffee, and use marijuana are less likely to get Parkinson’s disease. Hmmmmm.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards



7 thoughts on “What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

  1. Beckie and I were having a similar conversation this weekend. We all know we need to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. How did Dad live when he was baking in Columbus? Standing in front of a huge, hot oven in a bakery with no air conditioning. I never saw him drinking water. Yikes!

    • I was thinking of that too. The notion of HAVING to drink 8 glasses of water daily is relatively recent I think. It certainly wasn’t something we thought of back then. I don’t recall people passing out from dehydration. Do you ever remember mom worrying about how much water we were drinking? But now we have to carry around water bottles and subsequently worry about whether or not they have BPA. Or buy bottled water. Oy vey. We worry too much methinks.

      • We haven’t even touched on the death defying risk of drinking diet soda. Or meet with antibiotics. You have previously touched in the importance of the quality of life of the chickens laying the very eggs we dare to eat. Sunny yards with plenty of room to stretch their legs is best I believe. 😗

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