Sometimes when I look at my son I am relieved that he only knows three words.
I am happy that his priorities are only to eat, drink milk, and to run down our hallways for exercise. I am grateful that he only has two drives: happiness and hunger.
Most of all, I am content that in this space and time, he is shielded and insulated from the apparent ugliness of the larger world around him, a world that will no doubt be waiting for him someday other than today.
We live in strange times.
If the Mayan 2012 prophecy isn’t enough to scare you, just turn on your nightly news. Surely before the hour is over you will observe stories of children shooting children, children shooting parents, parents shooting each other, and people dying for other reasons that are difficult to understand.
As a mother it’s difficult to prepare yourself to answer questions about occurrences that don’t seem to make any sense. As a parent, you wonder just how long you can protect your child from that which seems to be lurking right outside the door.
So for right now, I remain appreciative of the smallness of my child’s world and the three words that he repeats over and over again, preparing myself for the day when together, we will have to try to talk through what is happening around us and try to make sense out of it.
At the beginning of the year, I stopped looking at the History Channel because quite frankly, it started to scare the h*ll out of me. I’ve never been one for scary movies, so butchering people has never been my thing. But even as a self-proclaimed history buff, there was only so much Nostradamus, Third Reich, and information on biological warfare that I could take. Just like so many other Americans, I was in need of something mind-numbing, brainless, and un-thought provoking, so VH-1 has become my best friend.
But we can’t escape the news and the news as of late, has shed an unfortunate light on the unkindness and mean spiritedness that pervades our society.
Though I find myself saying more and more silent prayers for victims impacted by gun violence, it’s sad that sometimes it’s these stories that offer a bit of reprieve as the cause of the violence (no matter how poorly manufactured it is) is something that follows some sort of logic. (This will be seen as a very controversial statement, FYI but I understand it as a segue to the next paragraph)
Yet, when I contemplate news stories such as that involving Rush Limbaugh calling Sarah Fluke, the third year Georgetown law student, a “slut” and a “prostitute” after her testimony at a congressional hearing on birth control funding, my unease with what our nation’s culture has become only increases.
I can’t say anything about Mr. Limbaugh that hasn’t already been said so I won’t try. What I will say is that what truly disturbs me about this particular situation is that I do not believe that even he (Rush Limbaugh) believed what he said which speaks to a much bigger problem.
Mr. Limbaugh has established his celebrity on discourse that divides and polarizes us, not only as a country, but as coworkers, neighbors, and coeds.
He has been able to do this because someone…apparently 15-20 million people allow him to by listening to him daily.
When did it become entertaining to observe and listen to hate?
This question is one that I hope my son never has to ask me.
See, I can try very hard to explain gun violence, and I can even try to walk him through ancient doomsday scenarios, but explaining why we as a society buy into hate for the sake of being hate…that’s one thing that I’m unable to understand.