Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Political Correctness On Steroids


I consider myself a sensitive person.  Certainly not too sensitive, but sensitive enough to know when someone is trying to insult or diminish me.  However, anyone who knows me would attest to the fact that I am also not an adversarial person, and that if anything, I give some people too much of a benefit of the doubt to a fault. 

So what am I trying to get at?  I’m saying here that if someone said anything offensive to me, I would definitely be one who could detect it.  I may not react, but I would definitely know it.

***

Now here’s the thing.  Say, you were at a play lot with your preschooler and one of the moms your child plays with blurts out, “Wow, your daughter is tall.  She’s really growing up so fast!”  Would you take offense?


Well, a friend of mine happens to be the one who made the remark and guess what she got for what she said?...a reprimand from the other mom, labeling her spontaneous and might I add, innocent remark, a form of harassment and even bullying.  According to the other mom, what my friend said could potentially make her daughter feel self-conscious and that such comments about the child’s height highlights a difference and is therefore politically incorrect.

I don’t always understand everything that happens in this world but last time I checked, bullying has everything to do with intent.  It’s intended to instill a sense of power imbalance and therefore it aims to intimidate.  It also involves aggressive behavior and negative actions and/or derogatory remarks.  As for political incorrectness, an act has to have the intent to marginalize and promote intolerance to fall under this category.  Mere acknowledgement of differences does not make someone politically incorrect precisely because political correctness is about promoting plurality or acceptance of the existence of such differences. 

I don’t know how commenting on a child being tall could be construed as harassment, bullying and politically incorrect when (1) being tall is generally accepted as an asset, a desired or valued trait in most, if not all, societies; and (2) there was clearly no malicious intent when the observation was made. 

I’m a liberal and am all for political correctness.  But it frustrates me when people invoke political correctness so quickly that they forget about common sense.  Claiming any statement that talks of any sort of difference as ‘politically incorrect’ is simply neurotic to say the least.  Would this mom still be so upset if someone remarked, “Your daughter is so smart and so advanced”?  If she were not a hypocrite, she should feel offended just the same.  Either way, she’s still neurotic in my books.  I feel sorry for her daughter.  Maybe this parent does not realize that by prohibiting anyone around them to say anything that highlights any trait that sets her daughter apart, she is also diminishing her daughter’s humanity.  Sure, she may think that she’s protecting her daughter from insults, but she could also be depriving her daughter from fully realizing her uniqueness and ‘special-ness’.  She’s also not giving the child the opportunity to learn how to discern which comments are objectively harmful, and which ones are merely supportive.  I believe in active and involved parenting.  But I know when something is just too much and when a parent just needs to get over herself/himself and get a life.


I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.  How would you have responded to the situation?


***Photo credit: flickr.com Creative Commons
 




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A SAHM's Secret Identity Revealed



If you have been active on Facebook in the past several weeks, I'm pretty sure you have come across these photos...



I wish I could congratulate the original creator(s) of these collages for not only being able to go viral, but for also inspiring me to come up with my own.  Unfortunately, I honestly don't know who the original source is.  In any case, here's my own creation.  I thought that, since I'd gotten sick and tired of explaining my choice to be a SAHM to people who keep asking about my life either because they're just genuinely curious, or are simply thinking that I'm wasting my life away, this would be a great and succinct way of summarizing and saying 'Leave me in peace!'.

I hope you enjoy!  And if you can relate, please do share away and link back to this page. I wouldn't mind going viral either.... *KA-POW!*  





If you're a SAHM like myself, have you experienced any annoying comments or questions about your lifestyle choice?  I would love to hear from you...

Attribution:
*Mother Teresa photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/peta-de-aztlan/3476636111/sizes/m/in/photostream/
**Other photos are either properties of this author/blog or taken from flickr.com/creativecommons and have no known copyright restrictions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Deconstructing Vhallentine’s Day

Now I understand completely.  After years of questioning, I finally get it…

Valentine’s Day and Halloween are the same!

As you may remember from a 2010 post, I admitted that I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day (VDay).  So really my likening this day to Halloween should not be a surprise at all.  If you don’t have a sense of humor and think of Valentine’s Day as sacred, then this post is not for you.

For the rest of you who have nothing better to do, here are the facts…

1     Both holidays celebrate insanity.  Face it.  Researchers have found that the brain activity involved in falling in love is similar to the brain activity when there is addiction or euphoria.  Ergo, romance / falling in love is a form of insanity.  This all makes sense.  How else can you explain people spending an average of $170 on Valentine’s Day?  That’s just plain ridiculous, don’t you agree?  But it’s true that some people do crazy things on both VDay and Halloween and they’re perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, on both occasions.  Halloween allows individuals to let their hair down and pretend to be someone else via elaborate costumes, while VDay encourages going over the top in wooing someone, whether it’s done through a super creative and completely unexpected marriage proposal, (which incidentally, also sometimes involves putting on elaborate costumes), or simply through a unique and partially embarrassing date and profession of love.  (And here’s a tip.  The more embarrassment you put yourself through, the higher score you get on the love meter.)

2    Both VDay and Halloween offer a justification to indulge one’s sweet tooth (or is it addiction really?).  The only real difference is that one holiday prefers orange and black wrapping, while the other fancies red.  When a woman drops hints that she wants a box of chocolates on Vday, is that not a form of Trick or Treating?  I think I’m onto something here…..Hmmm…… 

3    As I had spoken about in #1, both holidays are days for costumes.  People dress up and often times dress up in a way they normally wouldn’t.  I mean this both literally and figuratively; that on both holidays, some people find themselves as somebody else, acting in ways they normally don’t.  Lovers are encouraged (or forced) to put on their ‘romantic hats’.  Literally speaking, people also find themselves dressed up more nicely to go out on fancy dates on Vday.  Some women also succumb to their inner angels…that is, Victoria’s Secret angels, wearing lingerie their rational minds normally perceive as utterly nonsensical and ridiculously uncomfortable.


Certainly, one other similarity is how much Hallmark and other businesses profit from both holidays but that’s true for other holidays as well, so there’s really no point in highlighting that.  Now it’s confession part.  What is the most out-of-this world, or at least out-of-character thing you’ve ever done OR was done to you in the name of Valentine’s Day?  I’m not being elusive here when I say I don’t have anything to disclose at this time.  If you know me, you would completely understand.  I simply did not have a love life colorful enough to create bizarre Vday anecdotes.  What about you?  Do you have any remarkable Vday stories to share?    


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Greatest Hits Love Letter

The web is currently buzzing with news of Whitney Houston's sudden death.  As a tribute to her amazing talent, and as somewhat of a sequel to "Life Is A Cliche", I've come up with this Whitney Houston-inspired 'love letter'.  Let me warn you that this is going to be corny beyond belief but hey...I had to work with the available material.  These hits will always be loved and for most of us who grew up listening to Whitney's songs, I will bet that they will evoke nothing but sweet memories....(or so I hope).


There was one moment in time, when I felt so emotional.  I knew I’ll always love you and just always wanted to run to you.   But now that you’re gone, I feel like I have nothing all at once.  Why did we have to part?  Didn’t we almost have it all?  I keep asking myself where (do) broken hearts go?

Now I see that you’re not all the man that I need.  I know that soon, I’m gonna wanna dance with somebody, with somebody who loves me.  I’m now saving all my love for the greatest love of all.


You will definitely be missed, Whitney.  May you rest in peace...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For You....The One Who Lost A Dream

If my voice mattered right now,  I would make it known how much I feel your pain.  No words need be spoken for each tear shed, each breath taken, echoes your unspeakable sense of loss.  Yes I've gone through it too but I will never claim to know exactly what's in your heart.  When hearts shatter, each shard is unique, every throbbing pain is personal and so is the way the shattered pieces are put back together and healed.

If my voice mattered right now, I will share share with you this piece of advice...

Grieve.

This is a process and though unique for every soul, there is a way to approach it and this is what I have learned....


Go right in.  Dive into it with everything you have.  It will leave you when you are ready although I personally do not think it ever completely leaves you.  Have patience.  The pain will be dulled by time, experiences and most importantly, the wisdom gained from the whole process.  Grief changes you and it has the ability to let you see more of who you are if you let it.  Get acquainted with your grief.  Let the tears, the questions, the doubts, the anger, the sorrow all flow.  But also know that wisdom, hope, forgiveness, and faith are waiting for you to welcome them in.  You must welcome them in, in time, for your sake...for your life's blossoming and sustenance.  Stay in darkness for a while if you need to, but keep your eyes on the beacon to lead you back to shore and keep you from drowning in stagnation and despair.  

As you find yourself in grief's company, recognize the value of belonging to a 'community'.  I wrote 'Employ Friends' as part of the approach because you need others in this journey.  And I chose 'Friends', instead of the word 'Family' because friends are people YOU choose.    You may choose some family members but what I am saying here is that family or blood relations don't automatically grant anyone access to your grief.  It is up to you.  Be clear that you have the power to choose who you want to share your sorrow with.  Be equally clear that you cannot go through this by isolating yourself.  Believe me when I say that there are a number of like-minded and loving individuals out there who have shared a similar experience and have gained valuable wisdom from their own journeys.  Take what they have to offer.  Hold your friends' hands.  Warm yourself in the embrace of those who love you.  Where there is love, there is acceptance, support, and a shared dream of your spirit's healing.  That is really the only place you need to be in.

This is all I have to say....if my voice mattered right now.