Not Mine

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Not long ago I saw something in the news about a village in India where men vastly outnumbered women. Seven out of 10 residents in the village are male.

I don’t want to delve into how a village got to be that way. The motivation certainly isn’t new. Societies throughout history in all corners of the world value boys more than girls and some are not afraid to weed out those pesky XX chromosomes.

The practice is despicable. It should go without saying that ALL life should be valued, not just those with a penis.

Something struck me though in the news report about the Indian village. The reporter asked one mother about her home and whether her fellow villagers understood that women are needed for a community to survive

The woman said of course families understand the serious mathematical issue with having nothing but boys, but they just don’t want the girls in their own house.

That kind of thinking has always stuck in my craw. That idea of Sure we should all make sacrifices, but not my family.

It’s just infuriating how, when we know there’s a problem, we refuse to make the necessary changes as a person and family unit to deal with it. There’s a sort of refusal to think collectively for a community rather than just your loved ones and relatives.

I watched another news report about autism and vaccines. Despite the fact there is no credible evidence of their being a link, some people insist there’s a connection. The problem is, when more and more children are not vaccinated, they affect those around them who are still susceptible to contrating those diseases.

The families who don’t vaccinate their children say they understand the problem, but they only care about their child. They would rather risk the lives of those around them than to risk their child getting autism (which again, is NOT A RISK).

A love for family is strong and that is a good thing. Homes, communities and cities are built on that simple nucleus. The beauty and tragedy of family is that it can make people who are ordinarily carefree about their own well being become emotionally committed to their loved ones. The downside to that is many take on a passive-aggressive selfishness and justify pretty despicable acts in the name of but not my family.

The solutions to all of our problems must start with the individual, then the family, then community and then society. We must realize that while our families are paramount in our lives, we all still share the same communities. The condition of that community affects the condition of family.

If we don’t learn to start with ourselves and ours, nothing will ever change and our societal ills will grow worse.

I have a young daughter. It is my mission to ensure she has a good, productive life. Part of that goal is keeping her in a community where that’s possible.

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