I’ve been struggling with several issues that seem to be connected. I can’t get clarity on what the central issue is for myself, and when that happens, it usually means it’s time for me to put it down on “paper,” so to speak.
Honoring one another – especially women
Those are the things swirling around in my head – especially when I get in front of Facebook and see so many vicious and often arrogant posts. We don’t have cable or any “regular” television. We don’t get the newspaper on the regular. We feel like we save a bunch of money not having these things, but more important to us is that we are no longer inundated with hyped-up negative and slanted news stories, nor are we overwhelmed with feeling like we have to keep up with the proverbial Joneses because of the endless commercials and television shows that reflect our consumerism society. We have the internet and we do indulge in Netflix. We’re way into LOST right now and I enjoy Downton Abbey a bunch! I find myself doing a lot of my own research online and in texts – books, not the phone kind. I know there are more garbage sites that just about anyone can post to, but there are also an abundance of legit sites with verified information. There are sites that completely contradict one another and I am one of those people that believes there are several reasons for this phenomenon. I believe science is often to some degree vulnerable to the scientist’s prejudice and interpretation. Presentation is everything! I also believe that sometimes things aren’t included that don’t fit into the desired result’s equation. In college, while in the psych department at a major university I saw this on several occasions. I also believe that slight variations can simply change the results. That being said, I’m REAL tired of people who act and state that the only legit information sources for cancer, autism, vaccines, food facts, etc. are governmental and traditional medicine. Seriously, are we kidding?!
My stance on vaccines is not pro or against. My stance is DO YOUR RESEARCH! Your children are worth it!! Be wise enough to look at information from both sides of the argument with an open mind and heart. When the number of vaccinations has more than doubled in less than 30 years, we should NOT just blindly roll our babies’ sleeves up. We should be asking questions without being treated like that makes us bad parents. THAT is part of what makes us amazing and brave parents. That is why God gave them to us. We are supposed to protect them with everything we are. Sometimes that may mean choosing to vaccinate your child, other times it may mean choosing not to. NO ONE on Earth loves your child more than you do. You should make the best decision for Your child, not the government, whose often greedy motives should not be trusted with the health of your child. My goodness look what they’ve done with that trust thus far!
Again, I’m not anti-government. I appreciate the amazing parts of living where I do, but I also don’t think that means I should blindly trust a body made of people who are constantly being lured into bad choices for the whole out of greed. It’s the human condition and left unchecked, it will wreak havoc on all that drink the kool-aid. We must advocate for ourselves and our loved ones. We should advocate for all, but this isn’t usually a big motivator in this busy world of ours.
Here’s the biggie. The one that makes my heart ache. Why can’t we look through those “mama’s eyes” of ours and recognize other mamas? – Mamas that love their children as deeply and sacrificially as we do? Why do we act as though anyone who believes the opposite as we do is ignorant and loves their child less than we do? Of course, there are crazies on both sides of any argument. There are some ignorant folks in our world, to be sure. I believe that the vast majority of mamas are just as amazing on both sides of this or any argument.
I had a discussion with a mama of a child with autism a while back. She was visibly angry with me when we began talking. I realized there was much more going on than what I was seeing on the surface. Once I was quiet I heard her say that she was tired of people accusing her of not doing what was right for her child. She thought doing what her trusted pediatrician said was the best way to love her child. I told her that I thought I was the model mama with my first because I was on time with each of my firstborn’s vacs. I did whatever the doctors told me to. My son was lucky. He hasn’t had any medical issues from his immunizations as a child that I am aware of. Of course, he was born in 1986 and didn’t have twice the number like our babies born today. She said she didn’t really want to know what caused it because then she might have to live with the guilt of it being her fault and the reality that it might not have had to be this way.
I get that. I have a child on the spectrum. You may not even know it if you met my child, but it’s there and sometimes I wonder… Mostly, I’ve decided that I have to educate myself from here on out – about vaccines, GMOs, our water, food, air, etc. I can’t drive myself crazy with guilt or trying to control everything, but I do have a responsibility to find out and share what I know with others who are ready to hear it.
I did the best I could with what I had at the time. I still do. So does my friend who’s little boy has autism. I believe 99% of us do. Guilt, blame and shame have NO place in conversations between parents who did the best they knew how to do for their precious children. It just keeps us all focused on the wrong stuff and nothing good comes of that, ever.
I have a responsibility to honor others. I have a responsibility to build younger mamas up and encourage them. I remember what it was be that young mama. I remember sometimes how disrespectful other (usually older) mamas were to me. How dismissive doctors could be. How impatient teachers often were back then. It’s such a tough and important job to be a parent. Most of us know that and still we don’t work to make things better for the next generation. What would it look like if we all REALLY listened to each other? What if we researched and shared and came to our own decisions with information that was gathered with human interest and concern? What if we sometimes agreed to disagree or better, yet, what if we agreed that what’s best for some, may not be best for all?
We aren’t really talking when we throw insults at each other. What is the priority? If we really believe our choice is best and we want to protect others, then shouldn’t we speak in love? People usually know when they are being spoken to in love with honor and respect. If people choose to go a different path, then do we stop loving them?
Of course not. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (I Corinthians 13:7). It’s not easy, believe me, I know, but it’s what love does.