Call me a non-conformist, because I’ve never been much of a stickler for rules. Even with my children, I take a more situation approach to decisions.
In Kansas, a high school runner was disqualified for putting tape over her earrings before a meet because jewelry isn’t allowed on athletes. Since it was a new piercing, she didn’t want to risk damage to her ears, so she covered them up. My daughter went through the same thing when she was about eight and played soccer. When a kid is excited about getting her ears pierced, and excited about being in a sport, why does some adult have to spoil it by telling her she can’t participate?
It’s not like anyone has invented performance enhancing earrings. And don’t get me started on the increase in overweight children who need encouragement to be active.
What bothered me most was reading the readers’ comments about the Kansas girl. Rather than supporting her, a lot of them said something like, “rules are rules, it’s her own fault.” Of course, Internet trolls usually post much more insipid and hateful comments than that, but it still made me mad.
I’m all for following rules when it comes to safety issues, but for most things in life, blind adherence to pointless rules is, well…pointless. Small-minded people create them because they don’t trust others to make good decisions, or don’t want to share the information needed to delegate decision making in the first place.
As I was saying to a friend the other day, I don’t mind paying to park at a trailhead, but I hate it when the process to get a parking permit is so difficult that it discourages people from hiking.
Go ahead, give me a parking ticket…