Sanctimony

The Internet is a crazy place now. 

Every time something goes wrong that makes the headlines in parenting – recently it was the alligator attack at a Disney Resort – the Internet responds with indignation. 

It’s a fascinating development. 

Slowly, gradually our society has become much safer. Car accidents are down and continue to fall. Accidents of all types are down. Safety features in cars, products, food everything has gotten better. Gun deaths are steady as less people are choosing not to own them. Crime rates are down and falling. 

Disease – those deathly childhood diseases that used to kill hundreds of thousands of children each year are way down – in 1916, life expectancy was 49, now it’s 82. That’s a difference of 33 years. 

33 years longer that we now expect to live in 100 years. 

What does this have to do with Internet sanctimony? It puts it in perspective a bit. The better things get, the more we focus on the details. This is actually good. It’s how we got here. But it does create stress on the parents that have to now live with everyone else’s ideas. Those anecdotes are paraded out to be commented on, judged, parsed and considered while only a generation ago they would simply have been a part of the whole – the stats of child mortality. 

Yes – many of those commenting have never had children. Most of them have grown up in a safe environment that continues to be even safer. 

When the next unexpected tragedy happens there will be much more digital ink spilled. Many more sanctimonious comments will be posted. 

But in the midst of it, maybe we should take a step back and be grateful that things really are improving – slowly and gradually – and take comfort in that. 

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