Friday, January 2, 2015

Enable versus Empower Healthy Change for 2015

Our society boasts of what we do for our children. We take the fangs and claws from the world and present a fuzzy pink version with anime eyes. We structure their time. We teach them to take tests. We teach them to follow the rules. We do for them. We wonder why they tune us out, why we can't seem to connect. We wonder why they don't respect anything or anyone. Popular mainstream songs suggest sex as a new religion since religion says everyone starts out flawed. Why not start the year by starting to empower our children rather than enable them. Let's teach them to be responsible, let's teach them to strive toward bettering the world. Why gloss over the struggles other children face and focus our children on being self centered and  absorbed on how they look and what they absolutely have to buy. Why not teach them to have substance, to problem solve, to have empathy? Empowering is offering someone the chance to do for themselves, they may succeed or not. Support them, offer them open ended questions and let them work it out. Stop cutting the crusts off the bread. Stop scheduling their days down to the minute. How will they ever learn to appreciate time, goal set and create their own schedules? When you schedule someone to the hilt, what they learn is to live in a routine. They learn to squander free time as if it was just time to wait. It is absurd that people could choose to live life as if it is a waiting room. A beautiful world with more than a million potential REAL experiences, instead we sit and kill time matching shapes or pushing buttons mindlessly on video games. Nothing gained, but time lost that could have been spent appreciating a gorgeous day, a loved one's laugh, learning a new skill or having a meaningful conversation. How do you teach your child to be conscious of the world? What responsibilities do you give your child to foster growth rather than a perpetual child that becomes an adult in age but not maturity? Why is college the new high school? Why doesn't that sound absurd?

Parenting Tips to Stop Enabling Kids - More4kids
Too Much Structure Can Harm Your Child - Dr. Jenn Berman

Did you know that Monarch Butterflies may join the endangered species list? We just have to kill off milkweed with pesticides, as we are more important than the environment. Can't have a few milkweed plants on the farm, fuck some stupid bug? It's not a big deal? There are millions of insects. I happen to think of them as a symbol of life. They are a living work of art. The species has it in their genes to migrate, it takes generations of them to make the migration. Did you think that a monarch butterfly in New York really wings it all the way to Mexico? It may take three or more generations as they make the transition. When I was a child I was taught that monarchs stay in their cocoons all winter. The same teacher told us the next day that it was going to be a harsh, cold winter. I went home and gathered up my mother's empty cardboard jewelry boxes with cotton in them. I went out with my wagon to the milkweed patches. I carefully gathered the cocoons and put one in each box. I put the boxes under my bed where they would be undisturbed and unnoticed. Two weeks later, my mother got home from work and opened the door to over thirty monarch butterflies that burst out into the autumn breeze like orange and black confetti. She never knew why. I was furious because I found that one wasn't strong enough to knock the lid off the box. I would not have left the lids on had I known it would only take two weeks rather than four months for the butterflies to emerge from the cocoon. I went back and confronted the teacher about being wrong. She had the gall to tell me that I was just a kid and didn't know what I was talking about. Come on teachers, research what you teach and don't condescend. Accept that when you say it, kids are going to test it, and they might just prove you wrong or misinformed. Teach them! Empower them. The answer should not be C or all of the above, or pick the longest one as it is usually right. Sadly, I joke about this but my classmates in public and private school found these tactics to work for an average to better than average test score. Did they learn anything or just learn to take tests? I learned from monarch butterflies that part of learning is experience, that you can't always find the answers you are searching for and the best intentions can be the worst choices. Putting the cocoons away for safe keeping against the cold winter was enabling and in the end cost one fragile life. Empowering would have been leaving them on the plants where they belonged. I cared so much I wanted them all to live and by smothering them I failed at the very goal I strove to succeed at. Good lesson for every child to learn, good lesson for every adult to learn. What are monarch butterflies to you? What can you do to help rebuild the populations- empowering a species survival? In Mexico, stop deforestation of habitat there, in the United States stop treating milkweed as a weed. Plant it in your gardens, protect it as a species as it goes hand in hand with the survival of the monarch butterflies. I want to be remembered as someone who chose to improve the world, not as someone who defiled it and turned a blind eye to the abuses others in my species perpetuate on it. 2015, a new year and a new chance to stand up.

Learn about Monarch Butterflies

  Scanning through pins and tweets this morning I noticed that any pictures showing women had once sentence bites about how women have to look their best, and men better like beer and tits. I was saddened that only one article and picture had substance. I was depressed by the substance there.

Oriental cultures do not seem to grasp the importance of valuing species and not trying to exploit endangered species. Japan stop hunting dolphins and whales. Seriously. There is research that demonstrates dolphins have their own language. How do we rate as a species, when we choose to tolerate the callous murder and abuse of another intelligent species? Today, I read about Chinese farms where tigers are raised to turn into pelts and a bone wine that allegedly gives people the feeling that they've temporarily relieved arthritis symptoms. No research to support it, and it is illegal to kill tigers or sell the bone wine; interest was flagging as it was considered terrible. Social pressure decreased sales. Then the farms cropped up and pushed to make sales, they fostered interest. Poachers got back to work in India and other countries to supply bone wine so a few people could claim a little relief, I wonder what miracles would befall them if they tried a dose of ibuprofen or cider vinegar? There are options that do not involve destroying a beautiful species out of self centered, egocentric thinking. We really need to break out of the mold of considering ourselves the only and most important creatures in the world. In a world without diversity, there is no survival or sustaining population. Don't believe me, get a petri dish. Colonize it with one type of singular celled organism. They consume all of the resources there and eventually die out. Life needs life.

Japan Is Back in the Hunt for Whales -

Learn more about tiger farming

I picked on the orient, but how about a little home introspection? Many of you have heard me gripe loudly against fox and coyote penning. You think America is above abhorrent hobbies? Think again. Fox and coyote penning involves having fenced in areas that usually have electric wire on the top and bottom to keep the prey in, then hunters set packs of dogs loose in the cage. They bet on which dog will rip the fox or coyote up. They watch. They pay people to do this on private land in a lot of eastern states. You thought your local hunting club only went out on British style free release fox hunts? Think again. They justify it claiming it is humane and that they are hunting pest animals, but it's okay because they were raised on farms. These sound logical to you? Stop supporting them. Stop supporting farming animals for their pelts, that doesn't make it any better. You don't look sexy wearing a fox or coyote tail, or putting a fox face skin mask on your head. Support a face painter, get a painting of a fox instead or a mask. Many artists do lifelike masks that don't leave me thinking of Leatherface when I see them. It just advertises your willingness to endorse apathy to another species. The older I get, the less tolerant I become. I choose to purchase meat and eggs from local farms that use responsible practices. I don't support mistreatment of animals. Dog fights and the culture that fosters them still perpetuates abuse of animals. We can choose to pressure people to stop. We can choose to support legislation to punish abusive animal owners instead of just slapping them on the wrist with a little fine. We can change this, it is absurd that we have not. Let's start 2015 right. Let's start by changing how we respect other species.

Fox Penning : The Humane Society of the United States
Coyote & Fox Penning - Project Coyote

I don't support abuse toward humans either. I picked up the paper to read an article on South Korea. While you are all hating on the ruler in North Korea, did you know that South Korea has a BIG problem with slavery? No? I didn't until this morning. There was a story about a homeless man offered a job and a place to stay. He jumped at it, only to find it was slave labor at a salt mine. He was not paid. The man who turned him in was paid $700 for him. Living accommodations were appalling. He and others tried to escape and were returned by community members who were corrupt and supported the slave owner. They were beaten. They did not consent to being slave labor in salt mines. The local police were paid off to look the other way and help return escaping slaves. The story ended on the happy note of the man getting a letter out to his mother one of the times he tried to escape. His mother went to the authorities in Seoul, who went undercover and caught the slave owner. The problem is, he wasn't the only one. There are more who do it, and they offer money to turn a blind eye. Before we scowl at Korea, don't we let lobbyists pay our legislators to shape legislation with regard to who has the money versus the wellbeing of constituents? How absurd it is that we haven't pressured changes to legislation to stop lobbyists? Did you know that most Congressmen retire to become lobbyists and get three times the pay they got in Congress? Did you know that, when these one time legislators were interviewed they all said they get more accomplished now as lobbyists than they did as Congress? Maybe we should be picking our lobbyists instead of wondering at the ineptitude of elected officials who are being paid by private interests to be inept! New year, new start. We have to be honest with ourselves if we want to make real, positive change. If we want a better year to be more than just a yearly lip service we do as a ritual without really attending to it.

The Facts – The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day …

Let's set some goals for the year, choose to treat our own bodies with respect. Choose to respect the world as something other than a resource to use. We are not ticks and leeches, let's demonstrate that. Let's teach our children to be capable, mature adults. Let's empower them and each other, let's stop enabling.