Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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my thoughts: on children

It seems wildly apparent to me that our culture is really not pro-children. Being anti-child isn't the “it” way to be as yet generally, but we definitely seem to be headed that way. Although I use we, I use it loosely to reference our culture. As in so many ways, in this I also tend to have a counter-cultural mindset.

The most upsetting experiences I have had with the not completely anti, but also unfriendly-to-children cultural atmosphere is in the church. While I am a member of a particular church and I definitely do include them, I'm speaking of the church in broader terms. I have found a few exceptional groups, but overall, I've found that even Christians are unfriendly to children as a rule. Not just in the edifices of the church, either.

I believe children are the future. Isn't there a song that says that? Maybe Michael Jackson sang it or was a part of it? Anyway, as the future, they are really what all of this… they are the point of all our efforts. Unless, of course, you agree with the person who told me about the only three things that motivate people (for the record, I still disagree with those three). ←LINK to first post about MOTIVATION

As a result of my disagreement with those (LINK TO MY THOUGHTS ABOUT) motivations, and perhaps because I believe love is actually the number one motivator, I believe most folks inherently know that children are the reason for all of it. Most folks know that children are the actual why behind and within just about everything we do.

So, why do we have the cultural disregard and devaluing of children? I don't actually know the many-faceted answer to this. I think it's got so many sides that it connects to most everything that is touted to have value of the world. However, ultimately, and like the overall picture of the Mandelbrot Set, I think it's because evil has led us to believe that other things are more important than including children, or valuing children, or having children.

I have been long working to teach my children to serve. Sometimes I think my efforts are working. Other times… well, they are children. There have been some wonderful service opportunities organized by my church in various places and by various people. Apparently these folks have talked about me (gossip?) and made sure to include in the announcement about the service projects that only certain age children were welcome. Well, because of the circumstances of my life, if any of my children are excluded, the whole family won't make it. This is just one repeating example of the unfriendliness to children I reference.

Another manifestation is the cruel words I've heard on more than one occasion about my family size. One guy was even so direct as to use tone of voice and words to tell me I was crazy. Most folks use neutral words combined with derogatory tone to communicate the same. The only reason anyone would do this is if they have fallen prey to the predominant culture of child-devaluation.

Do you see what I've described in our culture?

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