Please don’t call me stupid

Just recently twice people that I like and would otherwise behave very nicely and respectfully  had called me stupid because I choose to occasionally ride without a helmet. One said that she wasn’t calling ME stupid, just saying that choosing to ride sans protection was a stupid decision. Well, as Forest Gump’s mother used to say… stupid is as stupid does.

I don’t want to discuss the merits of wearing a helmet here. I attached links to the end of this post with pretty good information about it so you can make up your own mind. What is the focus of this conversation is why in this world some people would lose their civility and have such strong opinions, and voice them, about something they have nothing to do with personally?

Why so, if their opinions are usually not even their own? They talk in sound bites about the social cost of treating people injured in accidents, even though they never thought for more than 5 seconds if this is actually a real point. Especially in America.

Some people talk as if I am some sort of kamikaze rider, looking for an accident  and the afterlife.

I wear helmets most of the time and in some occasions, if the law allows, I choose not to. I did that after researching the subject extensively, talking to many other people, some who agree with me and some who don’t.

Calling me stupid will not change my choices, other than the choice to avoid talking to someone so prone to call me that over an issue so unimportant to their lifestyle. Imagine what such a person could say, or do, if we start talking about the real difficult subjects, like religion, abortion, politics, or the Boston Red Sox?

Some articles about personal freedom:

The truth about helmets

Personal freedom vs. Society

Paternalism and freedom of choice

Some articles strongly encouraging the use of helmets at all times:

Helmet use saves lives

The truth about helmets

Motorcycle helmet laws