Stallard: Praying for the TikTok technology | Columnists

When I was 9 years old, I watched on TV how daredevil Evel Knievel jumped 14 greyhound buses on his motorcycle during a show in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For Christmas that year my parents bought me and all of my siblings bicycles. Mine was a replica motorcycle.

You can probably see where this is going.

After watching Knievel jump, I hopped on my bike and rode to the creek not far from my house. I found a large flat rock and set it on top of a round rock to build a ramp, crossed the street to build a lot of speed, and then almost killed myself.

My flat rock ramp was obviously not shallow enough that as soon as my front wheel made contact, the bike was thrown backwards and I was thrown over the handlebars into the cold stream.

When I finally got home and my father saw my mutilated bike, my swollen head (there were stones in the creek) and bloody knees and elbows, he just asked “Why?”

To which I replied, “I saw Evel Knievel do it.”

My father shook his head, picked up his Bible, and went to his room – presumably to pray for guidance and patience.

I was reminded of that incident last week when a reader called and suggested that I write something about “those idiots who do stupid things just to be seen on videos.”

I assumed the Lord was talking about the latest TikTok challenges so I asked him what was bothering him the most.

Those in which would-be climbers try to cross a pyramid of stacked milk crates and mostly mutilate themselves in the process, or those in which children steal water fountains, hand disinfectants, soap dispensers, fire alarms, toilet cubicle doors or hot air dryers from the bathroom?

“I don’t know what a TikTok is, but yes. That’s what I’m talking about. One week these stupid children are trying to kill themselves and the next week they are destroying school property. What the hell is going on with kids these days? “

I assured him that I plan to write about all of this, but he probably won’t like everything I have to say.

There is no way I will defend a child for vandalism. Ever. Any child caught ripping up something their hardworking parents paid for with their tax money is a special kind of selfishness and needs to be treated harshly.

But before we convict children for doing dangerous “look at me” stunts, like climbing milk crates or eating a potato chip with hot sauce while someone is videotaped, we need to take a step back and remember it who we are dealing with here.

We are dealing with ourselves only 30 or 40 years later. The main difference is that no one had the desire or ability to follow us around the clock to record every stupid thing we did.

As much as we all want teenagers to be responsible, careful and not endangering themselves or others, that’s just not realistic. I’m sure some of the stunts I did in high school made me worry about my parents’ lives – and that’s just what they knew about.

My parents tried, but they were dealing with a man whose brain wouldn’t fully develop until he was 25 (my wife could tell you that she’s still waiting for this to happen).

So, let the kids relax a little on the “stupid” comments. Just love them and hope they don’t do anything that can’t be undone.

And for those of you who wonder where the parents are in all this madness, you are probably doing the same thing as my dad when I hobbled home with bloody elbows and knees, a broken bike, and broken dreams of being a stunt man.

They hide in the bedroom with a Bible and pray for guidance and patience.

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