You know I say, “Kill the culture, and it will kill you back.” Well, it’s no longer just a figure of speech.
Have you heard of “the Hot Water Challenge”? I only heard of it this morning, on the radio. It consists of pouring boiling water on yourself, or sticking your hand in it, or trying to drink it (http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/healthtrending/kids-are-trying-something-called-the-hot-water-challenge-at-least-1-has-died/ar-AApM9uk?OCID=ansmsnnews11). A little girl who took a dare to drink boiling water has died, and others have been seriously injured. The children involved are young–aged 8, 10, 11, etc.
The children say they were inspired by youtube videos. Believe it. As I write this, there are still quite a few “Hot Water Challenge” videos on youtube. No, I’m not going to link to any. I did watch one: some jidrool, seemingly in his early 20s, poured a bucket of boiling water over himself… with totally predictable results. Another video bore the title, “I just cooked my hand.”
Uh, like, maybe these videos should be taken off the site? Or would that be some kind of social injustice?
Who can explain this? Granted, kids haven’t lived long enough to learn much, and when left to their own devices, can do so extremely stupid things. Especially when other kids dare them to do it. We laugh at poor Flick, in Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, who takes a dare to touch his tongue to a frozen metal post–and his tongue freezes to it, and the fire department has to come to rescue him. But kids will do even dumber things than that.
The lesson taught by public school is that your age-group peers are the most important people in your life, and you’ll do just about anything to impress them, fit in with them, or win their approval. That lesson is powerfully reinforced by our popular culture, and made deadly by a child’s natural ignorance or disregard of consequences.
The only way to counter this is to make the child’s family, and God as Lord over all, more important to him than the other kids. So that if he does try something stupid, at least it won’t be disastrously or even fatally stupid.
But overcoming this aspect of our culture won’t be easy. And you can’t just keep them in a 24/7 supervised bubble all throughout their childhood: because if you do, when they finally grow old enough to break out of it, they will be entirely defenseless.