Are we too clean?

How many times a day do I reach over and hit the squirt top of an antibacterial and rub down my hands?

As I think on this practice, I wonder sometimes how I ever survived my childhood? How did any of us?

We didn’t have the throw away wipes and all these other things that we use so readily today.

As children, we left home in the mornings in the summer and we played. Our imaginations guided us through game after game with our friends no matter where they took us – storm ditches, creeks, back yards, fields, woods, – wherever and adventure was to be found and the owner was amenable to our presence.

I remember one time sitting at the bottom of the drainage ditch as we had been coaxed by one of the girls in our group to make mud pies. Of course, at some point one of the kids decided it was a waste of effort and we needed to create something edible. I don’t remember what they brought from the house cupboard but we created something and believe it or not we ate it. It didn’t kill us, although it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to be eating.

It is amazing though the precautions that we now make commonplace in order to avoid gaining some type of infection.

When I was little and I got sick, I knew it meant a run to the doctor and there would be a big needle in my future. I remember while visiting my grandparents one time, that happened and Dr. Stephenson had a needle that looked as long as a pitch fork prong.

It seemed that way when it was stuck in too.

I reckon though we are facing different issues today. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors had not permeated our lives with medicines to the point that we reached a major level of over medication. Today, we face diseases that the arsenal of medicine just can’t touch and largely because we have medicated too much at many levels including the food we eat has had its share.

In many ways to make ourselves safer, we are actually making our systems weaker.

When we got sick, overcame it, our bodies were more likely the next time to fight off the same strain of bug with less effort if we got it again.

Now we spend our time trying to make our environment semi-sterile for the children around us and ourselves.

Are we healthier? Perhaps we avoid more illness, but I don’t know if we are healthier. I am afraid with every squirt, rub, and pill, we are making our systems more dependent on something from outside to keep our bodies in good shape.

The obsessive compulsive person within me has managed to overcome a lot of the habits which once found me compared by my family as the TV character “Monk.”

Despite my concerns, though, I still find it hard not to use an antibacterial. Would you look at how dirty this computer keyboard is? Where is that rubbing alcohol? I bet I left it in that drainage ditch.