Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
indoors are considerably higher. And the chances of them getting fat, and suffering ill health and a reduced life because of it, are pretty much odds-on. ¶ The more you look at things, the more you realise that there is no such thing as a “risk-free” life. Even staying in bed, you have a one in 650annual chance of being injured by your mattress or pillow. If you go out into the garden, 5,300 people a year are injured by flowerpots. And, in the end, we all die anyway. ¶ In the meantime, in most things, the safest way is often the way that appears, on the face of it, to be the most dangerous. That sounds all wrong, I know; but here’s an example—traffic accidents. The way to cut those, you’d think, would be more safety measures—more speed restrictions, more pedestrian safety-barriers, more warning signs. And yet in Holland, in 2003, they ripped the lot out, and made the city of Drachten “Verkeersbordvrij” (free of traffic signs), so people had to think for themselves. Until that time, they’d had an average of eight accidents per year. Since then, there have been none at all. ¶ So if you really want to be safe, the best thing to do is to start ignoring safety advice. ¶ This means developing your own ability to judge and handle risk, rather than expecting others to do it for you. ¶ Start today. Start now. ¶ Sell-by dates? “Traffic lights” to warn you about levels of salt, sugar and fat? How about using your own common-sense instead? ¶ Ditto cycle helmets: they’re designed to protect you from a fall, not from being hit by a car, so wear one in the skatepark or on the mountain-bike track, but go bareheaded on the road. Feel your own vulnerability, and learn from it. ¶ Or how about doing something really daring, like letting your children go out to play? Like you did when you were young, in fact, and like children have since the dawn of time. Now that would be brave, wouldn’t it.
Warwick Cairns’s new book, How to Live Dangerously, is published by Macmillan in Autumn 2008