Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Attention Deficit Disorder

I know there are lots of kids who suffer from, or more correctly cause others to suffer because of a condition known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder otherwise known as ADHD.

I know there are lots of theories about what causes it, and why and how and there is also a consensus of sorts that says it's rise may be plotted proportionally with the decrease in capital punishment. Or was that corporal punishment? It matters little, there are a bunch of brats out there, behaving like brats and no-one will stand in their way.

It seems the question of how this epidemic came to be is yet to be answered by medical science, although while sorting through some of my father's slides the answer became quite clear to me at least.

When I was a child, there was no ADHD, only good kids, and bad kids.

Not coincidentally, there were also no railings on cliffs, no fences around pools, we travelled in the backs of open trucks, we rode on boats without safety rails, there were no car seatbelts, whirring machinery had no guards of any kind. If a child didn't listen to the advice so sternly given by adults, he was usually mortally injured or worse.

In accordance with one theory of how we came into being, this is called the law of natural selection.

By the turn of the twenty-first century we have become so over-regulated and so overprotective of our the young of our species that natural selection no longer occurs, at least not "naturally".

I suspect that ADHD was rare fifty years ago, simply because no one with that affliction survived for long, due entirely to the complete absence of health and safety regulation. I surmise that perhaps one or two "sufferers" made it to adulthood and through one of those outside chances that changes the course of nature, found careers in Workplace Health and Safety, where they realised more than anyone else how lucky they were to have lived through their youth, and set about making the world a safer place.

Armed with all this first hand knowledge, they began to breed, and the world became safer and safer still, until there were no more dangers for kiddies, and natural selection simply didn't work anymore.

To begin with, I thought that this was wrong, that they'd created an aberation in the selection process, that technology had somehow interfered with nature. Then I realised that the manner in which the fittest survive is by adaptation, by creating mechanisms by which they can control their predators. If the bad kids have adapted a Government Department to ensure their survival, then nature is taking its course.

I just wish it would take its course a little closer to a crumbling cliff top.



Anonymous said...

i wonder if the owner of that leg over the sail is one of those bad kiddies who is just lucky he hasn't fallen overboard - just yet.

Anonymous said...

You write very well.

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