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Last night I was doing my physical therapy, and something happened that reminded me of the importance of adaption. For months I have been babying an arthritic hip. As a result, my lower back, hamstrings, and quads have weakened. Tired of not being able to fully function physically, I decided to go heavier in my lifts. To my surprise, the temporary pain that I felt going heavier gave way to flexibility and comfort that I hadn’t felt in months. In that moment I remembered…. that that one protects inevitably atrophies.

Survival necessitates adaptation not compensation. The surest way to weaken a force is to shield it from challenge, to preclude it from acting as intended. Devoid of shelter, a virus mutates, grows stronger.  Containing a single nucleic acid and protein coat, this primitive life form does what humans do not, thrive.

Unlike the virus, we are cursed by choice; choices that increasingly seem to weaken us. As we evolve, we choose to shield ourselves from the very threats that fueled the adaptation that secured our dominance as a species.

Shielding humans, particularly children from ordinary threats cripples them. A child not challenged cannot and expects not to adapt. The inability to adapt invariably results in the demise of a species. Bathing children in sanitizers and teaching them to run from bullies represent just a couple of ways that contemporary society is hobbling children.  Viruses exploit the ignorance of well-intentioned soccer moms and attack the child’s immune system that was undermined by the lack of early challenges.

So-called “woke” parents take the sheltering to a whole new level. They not only attempt to eliminate “threats” from their children’s’ lives but children everywhere. They make the case that such protection demonstrates compassion but are unaware it is they that are the existential threat. Compassion is critical to evolution, but it should come after the child has failed to overcome a challenge not before.