Monday, January 15, 2007

I was listening to a pod cast interview with a mother who is speaking out against Hiphop because of the impact it has on youth and the messages it sends. She talked about the need to have “teaching moments” with her twelve-year-old daughter about lyrics they would hear on the radio (back when this mother still let the daughter listen to hip hop on the radio). These “teaching moments” were supported also by a caller who agreed that they must take these moments to “teach” their children that violence, misogyny and materialism are not “okay.” That’s it? That’s the message? The teaching moments that our children need are not that the things they love are “not right.” The teaching moments that our children need is a two way street. We need them to teach us why these things are important to them. Why are they important to anyone? What do killers (or people posing as killer-types) get out of killing people? What do rappers who talk about beating up women get out of talking like that or doing that? What does anyone get out of wearing expensive, brand named clothing and drinking expensive champagne? Dig deep. I’m guessing the answers are reasonable. A sense of empowerment perhaps? A feeling of self-confidence. A sense of control. A sense of being longed for.

What is the price that middle-aged Americans pay for these things? What is the price that middle-income Americans pay for these things? What is the price that you pay for these things? I sometimes go to great lengths to feel empowered, self-confident, loved and desired. I have binged on enormous amounts of food. I have smoked cigarettes. I have paid too much money for clothes, haircuts, jewelry. I have said things that are hurtful to someone else so that I could feel better about myself. And it is not easy to break free of those things because no matter how much spiritual and personal growth I like to claim, I’m still on the journey and working very hard to find healthy, enlightened ways to feel balanced and calm and loved. I don’t need someone to tell me that binge-eating or smoking or over-spending are bad habits or that they are not "okay." I know that. I need people to support me in my growth and to help me find alternatives. That is what we need to be teaching our children. How to get their needs met without hurting others. How to lift up other people and themselves. How to resist bad habits and to instead find new, alternative, self-promoting ways of healing themselves and feeling good about themselves.


Anonymous The one across the street said...

Amen, sister!!!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Bunny said...

Good post.

3:15 AM  

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