After I posted yesterday's blog entry on Facebook, I had a huge mix of responses, and it started a discussion that was interesting, to say the least. My husband's response has had me thinking more about it today.
He quoted an old saying, "Two men in jail looking through the bars, one sees the dust, the other see the stars".
This, I guess, is a bit like the old question of whether a glass that is filled to the middle with water, is half empty or half full. Those of us that are optimists would see that the glass is half full. Pessimists, who tend to see the worst in situations, would tell you that the glass is half empty. The men in jail, had two choices. They could look through the bars and see the dusty, dirty ground (the negative side of their plight), or they could look to the heavens and see the stars, thus searching for the positive. I'm definitely a 'half full' type of gal! I believe people are inherently good, and have decent intentions. Yes, of course there are always exceptions, but that is all they are.
Yesterday's discussion kept returning to how this world is worse today than it was in the days of our childhood, and the dilemma we face as parents to protect our children from its ravages. I guess in some respects life today is worse. There has been a huge moral decline over the last twenty to thirty years and this is due in a large part to the increase of consumerism and quick fix ideals. People crave instant gratification and can easily find it, whether it be on the internet, on the television, or in real life. Gratification of all kinds -
- sexual (speaks for itself really - have you any idea how many porn sites there are on the internet?)
- military (press a button and a country is destroyed!)
- wealth (poker machines, lotto, pyramid schemes)
- health (quick fix cures rather than prevention)
- communication (email, text messages, instant messenger, mobile phones)
- food (why do you think it's called 'fast food'?)
You get the picture. We want it all and we want it now. This kind of living does nothing for our moral growth, and to me living simply is about raising our moral standards. I'm not about to shun all technology, but for me there is a time and a place. And there is a time and place to teach our children about independance, about risk taking and about living responsibly. If we buy into the hype and the scare mongering, who wins? Not us, and certainly not our children.
My dear husband also commented, 'as in nature, when things reach an extreme point...they turn around'. It's happening already. I see it daily on my blog surfing and in discussions with other mothers. We're not happy with the way the world is forcing us to live, but we can be the cogs that will get those wheels of change in motion.