I was scrolling through the news this morning (so very 2012 of me I know) and the news was pretty bleak. The Syrian president is amassing a personal fortune offshore while his people are slaughtered, millions are starving and we're not sure what to do about it, some maniac has opened fire in a cinema in Colorado and in Australia - mothers are demanding their preschoolers photos be airbrushed.
As I remarked on facebook - you've got to be fucking kidding me?
Firstly, how is that anybody can think a small child is anything but perfect. Even in all their dirty grotty snotty smelliness? How can you possibly think that looking at photos of themselves enjoying life to the full at preschool might be detrimental to their older selves just because they were not perfectly 'made up' for camera day. How are you ever going to know that wearing Sesame Street knee high socks with a Hawaii themed green skirt and a blue knit jumper was your 4 year old's sartorial statement?
And how, HOW, when the world is so mental and so many people are living lives so full of pain can you possibly be instilling into your child that this shit matters? That the way you look at 4 years of age is important? What fucked up values are we giving credence to in our society?
We are so very privileged to live in a first world society. But that doesn't mean the rest of it doesn't matter. Somebody remarked that none of the stuff I mentioned in the first paragraph affects me so why get het up about it and that in itself is an attitude which drives me wild.
How can we NOT care? How can we tell our children that we want them to be kind and confident if they don't know that the rest of the world is not as lucky as most of the people in their world? No wonder people are growing up with some misguided sense of entitlement if they don't know that there but for the grace of god go they. And how can you NOT care that you are living in a world where violence, hunger, pain are NORMAL for people?
It all upsets me. The petty meanness of small children, the bigger less 'fixable' problems of the third world, the senseless violence going on around us all day every day. And apathy. Apathy really pisses me off. I don't have the answers but if people don't stay angry, don't stay disillusioned by the world being so off kilter, with people being so nasty to each other, if acceptance of man's cruelty to fellow man becomes 'OK', if airbrushing your small person's photo seems reasonable, then that saddens me. Because I don't want that kind of world for myself, let alone my children. Or you. Or your children.
We really need to care that the world is fucked up. We really do. Even if we don't have the answers.