ok… it’s kind of a political post, but hear me out. I promise, it’s worth a thought.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Syrian refugee issues, the pressure our world is facing regarding climate change, or the presidential election, then you probably don’t have kids or you’re just not worried about it. Which means you probably don’t think anything bad would happen to you. Out of sight, out of mind. Or, you may be thinking your opinion doesn’t matter.
We’ve all been there. That invincible state of absolute nirvana that takes over our adolescent brains somewhere between eating at the kids table and buying your first home. I look back on those years of high school and college and wonder why I’m still alive, or still have all of my limbs, or haven’t been checked into a mental institution. Nothing could have hurt me. Nothing was going to derail my plans of becoming rich and famous… or jumping off of that 50 foot cliff into water that was anywhere from 2 to 60 ft deep. We took a leap. We took many leaps into the unknown. Always jumping without testing the waters. Boy… were those the days. But being a grown up means learning to read those caution signs and weighing the benefits. It means taking into account the consequences of your actions.
However, to be honest, this is how we become parents. You don’t get to test the waters. You have to jump in head first and hope it’s not face first into a dirty diaper. Someone hands you a living human being and you have to keep it alive. You have to do everything in your power to sustain a living creature that isn’t a dog or plant. And then, the switch is made. The days of drinking your liver to death and jumping in head first are over. Every decision you make doesn’t just effect you anymore. This little human that calls you dad or mom, or daaaaa or mooowwwo, now relies on you to test the waters for him. He needs you to make sure he makes it. Meaning, if you test your life, you’re testing his as well.
With that being said, it blows my mind how our generation doesn’t worry or stay ahead of changing news and situations. I’ve heard from more than a few of my confidants that they don’t care who gets elected president, or that it doesn’t matter what the Prime Minister of BFE said. I’m not saying you have to have an opinion on every government decision or terrorist plot. Just that you should have some knowledge on the facts and stories. Keep some sort of hand hold on the changes going on around you. Why should you? Because you’re in charge now…
The question I always ask myself is, why does this matter? Why should I waste my time on following foreign news stories and political exploits?…And then my instinct kicks in. The instinct I didn’t have in college but now I hold close to my heart. The instinct to protect my family. And if that means reading about Syrian refugees, presidential races, border crossings, climate change and police brutality, then so be it. I maybe have 40 to 60 years left on this planet if everything lines up right, but my offspring have to deal with the consequences of our actions.
I just hope I’m ready. I hope we’re ready as a family. We try our best to lock our doors, wear our seatbelts, sometimes we eat our meat a little rare, but we always keep an eye out. We take note of how much our world is changing and how it will effect us. Now, I’m not talking about making sure child locks are on the toilet and covers are on the plugs, those are a given. I’m talking about big picture stuff. Like whether or not your children will have the ability to go to college and not have to enter into the draft.
So, why would you test your lives and be ignorant to world around you? Test the waters. Test how deep it is. Test the temperature. Test the friggin acidity level. Your voice might not matter, or maybe it will. There is no way to tell. One day you’ll look back and think, “Maybe something could have been done.” Or maybe you’ll look back and think, “I’m glad I was ready for that bullsh…” Either way, you’re alive right now. You’re alive and have a brain that’s willing and able to make good choices and decisions. I don’t have a few, if any, of the right answers to give my son about the world that’s changing around him. But he doesn’t care. To him, he’s invincible… up until bed time. Because according to his screams, it’s the worst thing happening in the world right now.
photo credit: http://charmedyoga.com