The story about the ten year old boy who fell into the hot pool at Rotorua was very chilling. I felt immense pity for the boy as I read of his painful suffering immediately after the event, and was saddened to read of his death yesterday. My sympathies to the family on their loss.
It didn’t surprise me though to read today’s headline in the NZ Herald- “Dead boy’s family: Raise the fences”
No fences need to be raised. The fences are high enough that millions of other children have passed through the display with no problems. The fences and the park management are not to blame. The boy is to blame, and perhaps his family for allowing him to run apparently unsupervised, but nobody else needs to share any guilt or blame for what happened.
Recently a baby girl was drowned in a local swimming pool. The mother was consumed by the grief of this event and has since been conducting a campaign for improved swimming pool fences. Knee jerk reactionaries at the council who think their primary function in life is to enact legislation, acted upon her concerns and have introduced sweeping reforms to swimming pool fence regulations that will cost millions across the city and force major changes in almost every backyard with a pool.
The issue here is the apparently readiness of those most responsible for these sad and fatal events to falsely blame the collective for a failure of care. This is a self destructive perspective that breeds a condition whereby if “everybody” is responsible, then no one individual is responsible. People become dependent upon the “collective” and as that mindset becomes more and more widespread, lose the ability to take responsibility for themselves.
It appears that every accident that involves a fatality or near fatality in NZ breeds immediate calls for changes to or increased regulations, when in most cases, the event has been down to simple error of judgment at a personal level.
The Herald reports- “His parents, through Kiribati community elder Tibwere Tauman, called for greater safety measures at the popular Rotorua District Council park.”
If you go as a family to visit thermal pools, you make sure your kids are informed of the potential dangers, and if they are too young to care for themselves, the parent cares for them. Socialism breeds many a destructive mental attitude among its unsuspecting victims. The view that parents have only a small share of the responsibility of caring for and raising children and the “community” has the major share is one of the most destructive of these attitudes. People must first of all be responsible for themselves and their own children. No fences need to be raised at Rotorua.