Here it is over a week since I last "blogged". I'm getting the hang of this lingo thing! There are times in my life that I feel more left behind then a 90 year old person. Some of it is intentional, such as I'm not sure all this technology is good for our brains or our bodies. I think physical labor is as meaningful, if not moreso, then computers are for sure. And perhaps another reason is because I'm a stay at home mother with no real need for technology in our day to day survival. I can work the computer if I need to and that suits me just fine. It's a problem for when I re-enter the work world, I realize and I will need to "update my skills" at that time. But for now this is okay.
As Music Man can confirm, I SHOULD NOT surf the web since I end up invariably on CNN.com, imaging all the horrible things that can happen to us and our children. Why is the media so slanted to the violent and horrible, and why are we so fascinated by it? I've basically just taken to reading the headlines and not the whole story, because otherwise you just start to believe that's all this world is now. And I know in my heart that's not the case. Being that I am not at all fascinated by it and just wish that good news could be more mainstream then the occasional smile in someone's bi-line. There are gobs of good things happening all over the world every day, but is this what they report?? No, I guess the old adage is true: sex and violence sell. But what is this telling about our culture and world? What are we passing on to our children? It makes me so sad to think about this on a broader scale, when we are depending on the very generations we are allowing to witness these horrible acts time and time again in the name of entertainment.
I have a neighbor who is a nice woman. She's got 4 boys, 2 of them are virtually the same ages as mine. When we first moved in, we used to play together, but at the time our two similarly aged boys were 27 and 6 months old. Now that her boys are older, in the 10, 5, 4 and 1 1/2 range, we've had to stop playing with them somewhat. We find their play to be too violent and aggressive. One of many occurances was when we were at their house for a short visit a few weeks ago, one of her sons came and pointed a play gun at Maestro. Maestro just looked at it, and said "What's that?". We have the household that we've chosen, and the non-violence that I want my boys to live. However, it made me terrified at the same time that they don't have a clue what these "toys" are and consequently, how can they know that they aren't toys at all? Why are we giving instruments of death and violence to your children as playthings? I don't know how to resolve this conflict in myself. I have called the Local Police Department to ask if there is an officer that could sit down with the boys, show them a real gun, explain why they don't play with them and to tell an adult if they see one. The police department will not do this. They told me to contact a local gun club and ask if they have someone who could do this for us. This is infuriating to me because I am trying to answer my son's questions about guns. They have 3 officers that work with children in the schools, dealing with drug issues and whatever else they would deal with. But not how to possibly prevent a horrible accident by telling a child why NOT to play with guns. Makes me hopping mad!
This family that I posted about earlier is a nice family. They have well mannered boys. But, the boys play is violent and aggressive. They completely model what they are allowed to watch on tv. Since basically birth, they've been watching things like Star Wars movies, the Pirates of the Carribean, Spiderman and the list goes on. Now, these have been marketed as "okay" for kids to watch. I don't believe that to be true. All of them model and glorify violence and are not suitable for such young, totally impressionable minds. If they are so conditioned to seeing these images with suffering and death, why would they not become blase about it all? We wonder how children can walk into a school and gun down their classmates and teachers and feel no remorse or kill themselves? They are just conditioned and don't even know that dead is dead. That taking that life is more precious then anything. But, if they don't feel precious themselves, have not been taught self-discipline and compassion and haven't been shielded from these things, then they don't know. Teachers can only do so much to catch the signs, parents can only do so much to catch the signs, I think the only way to stop this is to stop laddeling this crap into our children.
Imagine what a better world it would be if they were laddled good images, positive and hopeful images instead of death and destruction. Image how they could change the world with feelings of faith and hope and non-violent power. I, for one, would like to see that fed to our kids instead of always horrifying them with violence and sex. But, I know, as my family and friends may tell you, I'm so annoying with my hopes and dreams. Maybe it's just me and John Lennon, huh?
I promise, my next post will be more upbeat. I'm a little upset today.