Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, July 31, 2017


On our KLM flight to Amsterdam in early July, the plane ran into some turbulence. It bumped and jumped and shook for about ten minutes. I expected the seat belt sign to come on and we’d be chased back to our seats and forced to tighten the seat belts.But no such thing, we rattled through the air. People got up, walked around, wenttothetoilets and returned to their seats unmolested by the flight attendants.

Recollecting our experience on United Airlines, the slightest hiccup in the flight we were ordered to return to our seats and buckle up.  United was taking no chances that they would be sued if a passenger got a hurt due to air bumps.

The casual Dutch attitude about safety was reflected in Amsterdam. Hundreds of bicyclers hurled themselves through the streets often careless of pedestrians. We noted that almost none of the cyclists wore helmets. They rode bare headed through busy streets jammed with cars, trolleys, busses and trucks.

It was charming to note the casual views of safety. It contrasts mightily with our American concern for safety.

Over half the U.S. budget goes to the military to secure our security and safety from the evil ones. Safety is an American passion. Youngsters here wear bike helmets when learning to ride a bike or roller skate.
Skates today are shoe skates.

Oh, I love to say, “In the 1940s, my brother and I were raised on the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y.” Roller skates were clamped to the soles of our shoes. Sometimes the skates stayed on. I never saw a bicycle helmet until I was 50.

I wonder if safety is the real concern of many. I suspect that fear of being sued is even a greater worry.