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facing the future

facing the future

I dreamed last night about funerals of children. One after another, day after day, tiny little coffins being led into this massive church. I heard all their names and ages, I saw them in little white dresses and communion suits and was told the ways in which they died. They all were victims of war. I woke up crying.

I've gone back to watching the news again. My hiatus lasted all of one day. I decided that blissful ignorance is not the way to go. I want to be armed and informed when arguing and debating with people whose opinions differ from mine. I flip through all the news channels; CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews. It brings me great worry and anxiety to see where the world is headed. It's the kind of anxiety that a daily dose of Paxil is not going to help. It should be there for all of us. Not just worry-warts like me.

They were talking on several of the stations last night about gas embargos and whether or not we will witness a repeat of the time when their were long gas lines. I remember those days well. Odd numbered license plates could get gas only on odd days. The cars on line at the gas stations snaked around the side streets, interrupting our kick ball games. I worried even then about the future of our world. I asked a lot of questions. My friends went on with their kick ball games. I went inside to read the paper and find out why. Why our parents always had this look of concern on their faces.

It's the same thing now. My kids want to know. Are we still at war? Is there going to be a nuclear war? Will the world still be here ten years from now? Twenty? What happens when the ozone layer is gone? What if there is no more clean water? Are there going to be more terrorist attacks? Why are people so mean? Why do they kill? Why do kids have to die?

My parents always had vague answers to those questions when I asked them. My answers to my own children are no better. I don't want to frighten them, yet I don't want to be all Pollyana with them either. I want them to know the world is a scary, sometimes evil place, because I want to them to find the spirit to change it. I want them to grow up to be people who will work for change, who will want to make this world a better place instead of hiding their heads in the sand and pretending everything is ok.

But honestly, I can't answer all their why questions. Because I don't know. I don't know why some people think it is ok to walk into a crowded restaurant strapped with explosives. I don't know why people spend their whole lives honing and sharpening their hatred. I don't know why no one will stop our natural resources from disappearing or why some people kill their own children or why bullies roam the hallways of every school and no one ever thinks to blame them when an otherwise meek child explodes in rage.

I'm sad that this is the world I have released my children into. I am sad that every day is fraught with worries and questions and visions of war. I am sad that so much of their lessons in school have to do with saying no to bullies and no to drugs and no to sex and there is not enough lessons that say yes to change and yes to speaking up and yes to finding the positive things in life. I am sad that they take these things into their sleep every night where the worries manifest themselves into nightmares.

I want to arm them with confidence and hope. But how can I when I don't even have those things for myself?


You can arm them by saying "yes" to questions. Questions are more important than answers. Fear comes from ignorance, and the lack of spirit to seek out knowledge. Spirit gives them the incentive to ask, and then try to answer questions. Socrates was considered one of the wisest of people not because he knew answers but because he knew how to ask all the right questions.

The world, regardless of state, will only benefit by the well taught application of brains - something which is available to all who have brains, but which many chose not to actively embrace. Teach your children to be wise, and the world will be a better place.

I too remember the gas crisis and lines of cars. That's when it became hip to have a car with the best gas mileage, and all the car commercials advertised their MPG numbers.

My graduate advisor drives a Honda Insight which she bought last June. She just made her 6th stop at the gas station in 10 months!

i myself cannot answer why people voted for dick cheney...

but it is vital that you and the kids keep azking questions - it's when people stop asking and stop challening that pigfuckers like him and nixon and hoover and bono get away with things...

agreed. hopeful people ask the questions, watch the news, and try to make a difference, because they believe that they can. Would that there were more plainly evident examples of this behavior, and that more were made of them.

When I was 13, I went to summer camp for 2 weeks. It was during the Cuban missile crisis and everytime I heard an airplane, night or day, I was afraid that it would drop a nuclear bomb on me, alone at camp, and on my family, miles away. It was the most terrifying time of my life. The only way out was for me to step away from the evil. Becoming a cog in the machine to change the political course of the world made me feel powerless. Instead, I focus on the good in my own micro-world. I teach my children to share, how to settle conflict, to respect me and themselves. I can only hope what I teach them about their own lives will lead to understanding about the choices other people make.

Whenever I asked a lot of question, my dad handed me a book to read. I learned how to seek out the answers for myself.

Part of the world setting (some 20 years from now) in Marge Piercy's He, She and It has the mid-East a black spot on the maps--they nuked each other so badly that area is totally unliveable. May that not come true. (We have also destroyed most of the ozone layer.)

OMG, are you articulating what in my head or what! I have all these people telling me not to read the papers, surf the internet as much as I do, because, well, it makes me depressed.

They don't get that that in iteslef makes me depressed.

I'm isolating pretty seriously right now, just because I cannot handle the complacency that surrounds me, a sort of militant ignorance that refuses to know, much less even form an opinion.

It makes me very depressed that even 9-11 wasn't enough of a warning shot, so it seems. With that in mind, I don't want to know what it might take.

all we can do is hope for the best and give our children hugs and answers, to the best of our abilities.

i still believe there is hope.

I'm sorry, but depression and anxiety are the sane reaction to this world. I'm wondering whether the world isn't too efficient in some respects - efficient corporations, efficient political structures - and whether sowing inefficiency (creative chaos) where possible wouldn't be a good thing to do. With only partial success, I try to love my wife and my children and show them you can do things for love, or other absurd reasons, rather than money. I try to show them that when you give someone your money for a product, you are voting for the means by which that thing was produced, and everything leading up to it. At the same time, I would not tell an evil corporate employer that he was evil, because I need the job. In a way, we're fucked for that reason. I don't have any good ideas either.

Miguel, corporate and evil need not be synonymous (For instance see: "Soul in the Copmuter. By Barbara Waugh). As you stated, you vote with your actions - which can take many forms, and which can come from many motivations.

Creative Chaos can be an essential element of living systems. Without it you'd still be a microbe. (unless you live in Kansas or Ohio) ducking thrown objects

I agree with you, creative chaos is an essential element of living systems. I think chaos is a basic requirement for creativity, which I consider a good, because creativity consists of drawing order from that chaos. I was trying to suggest that (excessive) efficiency = evil, not necessarily corporations, although they do have strong motives to be efficient.

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