Last February, it was reported that an Englishman drowned in three feet of water, twenty feet away from a British rescue crew, who refused to wade in and save him because the rules prohibited them from doing so.
Earlier this week, a lifeguard in Florida, Tomas Lopez, was fired for saving a drowning man who was out of his patrol zone. The lifeguard is unrepentant, saying a life is worth more than a job. His fellow lifeguards agree, and went on strike to protest his firing. His company is now reconsidering.
Tomas Lopez and his fellow lifeguards embody the American independent spirit. For now, some Americans are still willing to say “to hell with the rules” and do what’s obviously right.
However, as our nanny state grows, sapping any need for innovation or for us to take responsibility for ourselves, can we help but go the way of England and other wellfare states? Let’s hope the Tomases of the world don’t get nannied away.