在社會問題中學英語:Weird社會的safetyism問題

加拿大都市网

天氣預報有大風雨,你還會讓孩子參加萬聖節活動嗎?

上月Halloween晚上,加拿大魁北克省天氣預測有大風雨,三十多個城鎮包括Montreal把慶祝活動取銷或延後,但省府Quebec City和三五個城鎮就不參與,孩子的trick-or-treating繼續,實行名副其實的風雨無改。

天氣預測是這樣:”The weather agency warns that people should be on the lookout for flash floods(突然、短暫的水災) and water accumulation(積水) on the roads.”最後的天氣不如預測般差,只下了小雨,其實無必要掃孩子的興,但若你是家長,這樣的weather forecast,會讓孩子出去嗎?

多玩少玩一晚,沒有什麼大不了,但有學者就認為這當中反映的問題可大。McGill University 的anthropologist(人類學家) Samuel Veissière提出這個問題:”Do your kids suffer from ‘Halloween Fragility Syndrome’?”

Halloween Fragility Syndrome是他自己原創的「癥候」。Fragile是形容詞,解easily broken or damaged,易破易壞的;easily destroyed or threatened,易被摧毀或受威脅的,用來形容人,解not strong or sturdy、delicate and vulnerable,虛弱的、脆弱的。Fragility是名詞,解脆弱。

Samuel Veissière說:”While my home city of Montreal did not exactly police costume etiquette(禮節、禮儀、規矩), the official decision to cancel festivities because of unpleasant weather was consistent(一致的) with a broader culture of over-protection(過分保護) and aversion(厭惡) to the ‘uncomfortable’ – a growing trend in parenting, teaching, policy-making, and clinical guidelines…”

製造脆弱一代

這說的是過分着重安全,心理學家、The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure作者Jonathan Haidt稱之為”safetyism”(安全主義)。愈來愈多科學家相信,這種態度正造成「災難性」的社會問題 。

Matthew Lash在”Is safetyism destroying a generation?”一文中,也討論到”safetyism”與家長態度的關係和禍害:In sum, a well-intentioned(本意良好的) safety culture which has led to “paranoid parenting,” and screen time replacing unstructured and unsupervised play time, has created a fragile generation.

Paranoid解多疑的,paranoid的家長是驚弓之鳥,處處看到危險,過分保護孩子,不讓他們離開視線範圍。這樣一來,就製造了脆弱的下一代。具體問題是:

This cohort(一群) is experiencing a dramatic rise in anxiety, depression and suicide. When they arrived on campus, in an increasingly polarized(兩極化的) political climate, they were unprepared to be intellectually challenged. They – or at least the “social justice” activists of this generation – responded by creating a culture of censorship(審查), intimidation(恐嚇) and violence(暴力), and witch hunts against non-believers. Universities, led by risk adverse bureaucracies, are treating students like customers and allowing an aggressive(好鬥的), censorious minority set the agenda.
這情況在WEIRD國家尤為顯著。WEIRD是Western,Educated, Industrial, Rich, and Democratic(西方、教育水平高、工業化、富裕和民主)的縮寫。Weird解very strange、bizarre,怪異的、古怪的,這縮寫自然有貶義。環境愈好、人民的精神問題就愈大,這確有點weird。』

在Halloween翌日CNN有這條新聞:”7-year-old girl shot in Chicago while trick-or-treating”。Safetyism與否,相信這代的家長仍會說︰”Better safe than sorry!”(安全好過後悔!)”You can’t be too careful!”(小心不會嫌多!)

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