A particular news story has recently been brought to my attention (http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Teenager-badly-hurt-in-39freerunnin...) and I felt that it was worth discussing some of the points it raises. According to reports a 14-year old boy in Portsmouth had been attempting to jump from one rooftop to another, fell short smashing his face and falling 30ft to the ground below. While at the time I write this it appears that although suffering a serious head injury and breaking several bones he is indeed in a stable condition. His friend claims they were free-running. Already this has had a variety of responses some claim that boys will be boys and this is just something that happens in one form or another and always will, others feel this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's this parkour activity that is to blame and should be banned everywhere, and some have even commented that this is a result of TV and video games promoting the idea that they are indestructible and able to do anything. However a common theme seems to be that people feel that with health and safety running wild in this country kids are just looking for any kind of outlet which allows them to feel like they're not being treated like an idiot.

It seems strange and yet so simple to me that a lot of these issues can be resolved not with this overbearing nanny state but rather with the simple rule of “being responsible for your own actions”. If you trip and fall then it’s down to you, you should have been more careful. People need to stop automatically looking for someone else to blame and start taking more personal responsibility. There’s only so much you can learn for yourself with someone holding your hand the whole time, telling you not to take any form of risk just go about your life without causing any ripples. The funny thing is that sounds more like a video game to me than anything else, follow this set course doing things within these boundaries that we specify for you because that’s how it should be. Its like sitting in a small room where your perfectly happy but if someone was to tell you that the door is locked and your not allowed to leave you would suddenly begin to feel uncomfortable and then the urge to get out. Humans don’t like being confined.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have rules as that would be anarchy but simply that rules should never supersede common sense and reason. Rules should always be open to question or discussion. Now granted its not always the time or the place, for example rules in the army are there to keep order and save lives in situations where a clear chain of command is needed and to be followed without question. But that doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to ask or suggest a different way at a later date or in a time better suited, just so long as you can back it up with reasons why your suggestion is better.

A lot of people seem to be only too happy to give away their decision making process, hiding behind rules or regulations even if they don’t understand it themselves. It seems a waste to me. Regardless of your personal faith or belief system the only certainty we have is that we live now, we exist now; as such why sleepwalk from the cot to the grave? Your life is something that should have value in its experiences not merely its possession. Some seem to focus too heavily on merely getting through life as if it is some kind of video game and as long as they survive one more level they’ll be ok. In sticking with the video game analogy you could fail at the 1st level or you could survive everything thrown at you and make it past the last boss but it still ends. What is of value are the moments you played through not the completion itself. A large part of who I am is a result of not wanting to make it to 75, 80,100 and look back on my life as having "made it through". I want to be able to look at all i achieved whether big or small and know i gave it my all, not that i held something back and didn't aim for more for fear of risking what i already had. Personally i feel that regret and missed opportunity are worse than failing and having to start again. We make of our lives what we will. Sometimes I may not want to compromise on something if I feel strongly about it regardless of the consequences. But its my choice to make and I’d happily live with the outcome (good or bad) knowing I did what I thought was right and true to myself.

I’m not sure if there’s an overall point here or if I managed to accurately get across what’s in my head. But to sum up I guess I just think that you should always be true to yourself and think things through for yourself, that way whatever may be you can look at it and smile!