This morning I read a news article that started out:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Some women in Springfield are regretting their decision last week to get a tattoo from a door-to-door tattoo salesman. link
Um. I think I would have seen that one coming. One of the biggest differences I noticed in Mexico was the fact that people expect to rely on their own good judgment. In the US I find people tend to think:
- If it is legal it is right.
- If it is for sale, it must be safe.
- If I’m not physically prevented from doing something it must be ok.
In the US if you are near a cliff there would be a rule that says you aren’t allowed to go near the edge. There would probably be a fence or other obstacle to keep you away from where it is considered dangerous. In Mexico, there would be no such rule. If you are lucky someone might say “you might want to avoid going near the edge of the cliff because it is slick and you might kill yourself”. In Mexico you are expected to think for yourself–if you do something dumb and get hurt it isn’t any one else’s fault. (At least that was my experience there.)
While I appreciate the extra safety in the US, I’m concerned that we’ve take away so much basic responsibility from people that they no longer feel the need to run things through even a basic level of safety checks. If someone shows up on your doorstep with homemade tattoo equipment and offers to give you a “great deal” something somewhere in your brain should sound a warning bell.
I suppose common sense is a difficult thing to teach, but I’m afraid our society is teaching people to how to ignore it.