Friday, August 28, 2009

Not Ready to Make Nice

"When fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."
-Anatole France

I guess I'm not going to be very good at blogging beautiful, positive thoughts. When I am stirred up and hurt or furious, that is when I want to write, unless it is springtime and then I can wax poetic about nature. Right now I'm still smarting from only one small sting on top of many others built up over 8 years.

It seems that the characters we love best in books and movies are characters who are unique individuals with a dream to realize and a fight to win. "Dreams" and "fighting" translate into reality somtimes in ways that aren't appreciated. Here in the false safety of my adopted hometown, these sorts of characters are not beloved. They are, at best, ignored, and at worst, persecuted. A dream, or a fight, after all, has to be realized through effort. One would think effort against the odds might sometimes triumph, but in the face of odds, people would rather swim with the tide and stay in their little school of identical fish. Phrases like, "pick your battles" and "its not worth the hassle or the fight" seem to mean something else to me. They feel defeatist. I want to say, "When IS it worth the fight? Which battles am I allowed to pick? If it means enough to me, but not to the majority, does that mean I should give in gracefully and bleat along with the other sheep? Why don't I get to decide what I want to fight for? Teamwork and cohesiveness has its place, but not when my core passions and beliefs are the payment." People don't want to fight for anything these days, at least around here. Because it might upset someone. It might make someone uncomfortable. Worst of all, something might change! (Gasp!)

Wondering if I'll ever get around to the point? What's got Tahlia all fired up this time? Let's start at basic needs. Yep; Maslow's Hierarchy. Food. Safety. Build on these, and you get to do the things that look good on paper, the testing and the pretty crafts that show what we've learned. Wait though! We don't quite have those basic needs met here. Not just any food will do! If those little bodies aren't getting what they need, how can we be sure that the bricks of learning that we pile on throughout the day, the month, the year are not going to slide right off with no foundation beneath? Yes, I'm talking about food... eating... nutrition. Let's pay attention to it for a moment. It underlies everything in our day and our lives. but we ignore it and abuse it, ourselves, and our children. We wouldn't think of injecting our children with cancer cells, but we feed them, in great quantities, the very substances that could well be contributing to cancer, as well as attention and learning problems, among others. Even if the proof that is out there isn't enough for you, what about common sense? Does it make sense to put genetically altered and man-made chemicals into our children's bodies on a daily basis through foods, drinks, and body products? There ARE options. Nature is here, and no matter what you believe about how it got here or what its purpose is in our lives, it just makes SENSE to only use what we know we can trust.

I'm really getting off topic here. It is easier for them to do what has always been done, to feed children high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and hydrogenated oils that come in a nice little package called "Graham Crackers" with no preparation necessary. Don't dare question this, and don't look for alternatives. I am expected to convince parents of something I not only don't believe in, but I vehemently oppose? How can I do that? Would you of faith be comfortable denying your most deeply held beliefs in the name of what is easy and consistent? I think not.

Maslow's Hierarchy. I mentioned safety too. Safety comes in learning about ourselves, our history, our human weaknesses and mistakes. It comes with learning about bullying- how to manage as targets and bystanders. I think it's all linked to acceptance and tolerance. It's linked to protecting our planet from ourselves, the biggest bullies of all. But we spend weeks educating our children about Valentines, apples, and pumpkins, and only one day on Martin Luther King, and none on Earth Day or Arbor Day. I tried a year ago to implement an anti-bullying lunch club, but it was not supported. I spent 3 years working with our district diversity committee to create a cross cultural curriculum that fit beautifully into our present curriculum. Now the district can claim it has this in place... except it's sitting somewhere unused and unwanted.

By all means, let us keep things easy and comfortable. Let's ignore what we know is right because it's too difficult. Let's all look the same, dress the same, worship the same, and act the same. Be sweet, nice, and non-confrontational and you will have many friends. They won't know you and you won't really know them, but you can collect them on Facebook and invite them to parties.

Be careful, Tahlia, don't alienate anyone. Don't ruffle any feathers. Don't let them see how much you care. Be diplomatic; agree with everyone; smile and look pretty. It matters more that we are all in line doing the wrong thing, than to have a few people out of line, doing the right thing.


No comments:

Post a Comment