This is a heavy post. So, before you decide to read it, look at this picture of Little J when he was just a wee little bebeh! So much has changed! He's not cross-eyed any more! Now, you can be done there if you want.
I've been thinking a lot recently. I think becoming a parent (or having any other major life-altering situations that include you never being the priority) really open up your mind to handle more cool stuff.
First off, I am an inherently selfish person, so I think taking care of someone else 24/7 is such a jolt to my brain function that it's helping me not just think about myself all the time. It's made me more aware of other people, how they function on a day to day basis, and what the heck is going on with our crazy world. A bit on the first point - on focusing on other people. One thing I love about being a mom is that you can talk to ANYONE about ANYTHING now, especially if they have kids. If they have had contact with a child in the past 100 years, you have something in common and that's a place to start a conversation. I love this. I love getting to know people, especially ones with kids my age, so I can pick their brains for parenting tips (there I go, being selfish again).
Now, on to the second part of what I spend my time thinking about - WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON WITH PEOPLE THESE DAYS?! There have been so many violent things happening lately! But, on the flip side, there have also been lots of touching stories of people proving that there is still good left in humanity. Now, I know that because of the media-driven culture we live in, any event, whether horrific or heroic, is plastered all over our screens within minutes of it occurring. People that would not have been noticed twenty years ago are getting recognition, so I know that maybe I'm noticing these things now because they are hyped more, not that they're actually happening more. Regardless, they are happening, and I've been thinking about why.
First: We need to stop glorifying violence. Sylvester Stallone (who I adore) is coming out with a movie called Bullet to the Head. It's about hitmen killing other hitmen while killing other people. Stop it people. Stop going to see these movies. Stop making them. Just stop it. There's enough violence going on in people's neighborhood's and homes. There don't need to be two-hour-long movies filled with more violence. I realize that the macabre is alluring (watch Bones ever?), but the fascination with serial killers and mass shooters and junk has got to stop.
Second: RESPECT! What happened to people treating other people like people? Gosh. I realize this makes me sound like a geezer, but people, put down your handheld devices and look people in the eye when you talk to them. The other person you're interacting with is another human, complete with feelings (just like you), ambitions (just like you), weaknesses (just like you), and redeeming qualities (just like you). The bullying epidemic is outrageous. Parents, teach your children to love and respect other humans, even if they "deserve" it or not. Children, do those things. A disturbing trend I've also noticed with respect to respect, is the de-humanizing of, well, humans. When there's a loss of life somewhere in the world, the number of lives lost is reported and that's it. On Sunday night, 234 Brazilians died in a fire in a club. 234 mothers' children, 234 brothers, sisters, and best friends are gone. Maybe we don't want to feel sadness about the event, so we compartmentalize those lives into some non-human file in our brains and forget about it. It's ok to feel sad about those people who died. It's ok to feel.
Third: I've noticed a wonderful trend of people being not horrible to each other. Lots of people are donating money online to lots of great causes and generally being nice to strangers. I think this is one of those instances where people aren't being more generous, but there's more being said about those that are. Either way, it's great that they're getting more attention. Hopefully it can inspire people to be better humans.
I think that's all I'm feeling strongly about lately.
Wait! One more thing! Something on kids' public television has got me up in arms! In shows like The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, and Wild Kratts, the characters are always intervening when animals in nature need help, and "saving" them. This is WRONG! Animals in nature DON'T need our help, and teaching children that they do is wrong. Children need to understand that carnivores are not evil, and herbivores are not all pleasant. Lots of animals die every day. Circle of life, people.
Now, let me qualify this by saying that those animals involved in oil spills and tangled up in trash, etc deserve to be helped, because it's our responsibility to fix what we've broken (the ecosystem). But, if a baby wildebeest is about to get gobbled up by a crocodile, so be it.
Ok, I've said my piece. If you've made it this far, congratulations!