Packing knives, the anti-safety creep

I can hear the Walmart greeter now – she leans into her walkie talkie, “Security put your eyes on the gentleman heading toward the back of the grocery section.  He has a full beard and a GIANT knife strapped to his hip. He might be a danger – to himself and others. I did mention the GIANT knife didn’t I?!”

Not only did the gentlemen of Earth Skills come packing pocket knives and huntin’ knives. Most of the women and many of the children were packing, too. One of JV’s favorite quotes was provided by one of the event’s founders.  One early morning a number of years ago, when this gentleman was asked if he had his pocket knife on him, he replied, “Do I have my pants on?”

The next morning as day was breaking and the birds were singing I cracked an eye to see JV trying to find his pocket knife.  I mumbled, “What are you doing?”

His reply, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”

“Well go!”

“I’ve got to have my knife!”


My children learned the lesson that one of the founders of Earth Skills expounded on – you can manage many things in life with a knife in your pocket.  You are not more dangerous (the Earth Skills founders, instructors, and participants were kind and considerate) nor more prone to anti-social behavior because you carry a pocket knife (or a strap on huntin’ knife).  You are more prepared for the surprises of life.

My husband and I have a goal for our children – inspire independence. Safety creep is not part of this goal.  The lowly pocket knife is an essential part of the equipping of our children to manage themselves in this world – as is learning how to manage fire, but that is a different post.



Filed under Educational Philosophy, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, Practical Life - Elementary

3 responses to “Packing knives, the anti-safety creep

  1. My son never leaves home without one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thankful he’s had one. They often come in handy.

  2. Leah

    My Dad always had/has three things with him: some cash – it varies, a pocket knife, and a white hankerchief. For Christmas two years ago, he gave me embroidered ladies handkerchiefs. They are among my most treasured possessions, and I have one with me every Sunday and at any wedding, funeral, special occasion I attend. Now I think I might want my own pocket knife too. Do you think I could find one in pink or yellow mother of pearl? 🙂

  3. Isn’t it amazing what an impact adults can have on kids? Never ceases to alternately scare and delight me…

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