Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Called Gratitude

I've been very busy with thesis work-that, and reading David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas-so I haven't been blogging, but I just read on NPR that there were more births in 2007 than in any year in our nation's history-even more than the Baby Boom generation. This fact gives me pause for several reasons. 1) I think, hooray! Wyatt will have a ton of playmates. 2) People are doing a better job at taking care of the planet, but the question is- how much better? We, as in Carrie and I, use disposable diapers. I am aware that this may be bad for the environment, but I secretly feel that some folks don't have anything else in their lives to worry about... this probably makes me a callus ass. But here's an example of what I'm talking about ... one of my friends was trying to tell me that the little faux-bubbles in Bath and Body Works hand soap travel down the drain through the sewer and into the ocean to choke little fishies. I had to put my hand up to stop- leave a message at the snap. I guess I can only worry about so much during the day. And on the diaper issue, all I can think of is the Saturday Night Live skit for chewable Pampers. I know people who think this would be a good idea. 3) We stopped at a fast food chain for dinner tonight after Wyatt's nine month pictures. It tasted really good because it's been literally years since I've been to one, but I couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt in my gut (maybe it was the slice of cheesecake) as I dumped plastic forks, straws, Styrofoam cups, sandwich bubbles, napkins, etc into the trash. I wanted to ask them if they recycle. This particular establishment is reputable for its charitable programs to help married couples stay married and help maintain some sort of stability for foster kids. I was wondering if all that energy going to help people could be negated by landfills full of their trash.

Why am I having these kind of thoughts? When I was younger I couldn't have given a damn-in fact, I used to LITTER! (that's right, just toss that bag of fast food refuge out the window) that is until an older friend gave me a hot reaming for it and I realized he was right. I haven't littered since. I'd like to think I'm relatively considerate of the environment- I insist on fuel efficiency, I recycle, I use those fluorescent, incandescent light bulbs. I guess maybe I'm wondering what kind of world Wyatt will grow up in with all those people. Kids are really into the green push too. I have students who started a Recycling initiative at our school; I'm thinking of a really bright young man that wants to study environmental engineering, others that volunteer to support politicians whom advocate for the environment. I think there's definitely hope. Kids today are more inclined to think green.

Just today I overheard a Junior talking about Darfur. Some of my kids are reading books like Not on Our Watch on their own. It was a student whom educated me about child soldiering. This girl has been to Africa, and is going over again to help reform child soldiers. So many others want to teach...

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always a stellar human being, but I certainly feel privileged to teach such conscientious youth. I don't know where I (or our world) would be without them. It gives me hope to think Wyatt will live in a better world. With any luck he'll help to make it that way.


emily said...

A few comments:
Wyatt is totally making your face. I see it a lot whenever I say something silly to you and you don't want to laugh, so you make that face instead.

I don't use straws or lids for cups. It's wasteful and unnecessary, unless you're a clumsy kid. How cool does that make me?

John said...

It's scary to think he's imitating me, but maybe you're right. He is, however, a gemini, and I'm a pisces and they're pretty different, so maybe he's not totally doomed.

Decontee said...

Your son is ADORABLE. Truely beautiful.

I liked this post. I exhaust myself worrying about what im buying and where Im buying it from...environmental issues...all that stuff. It actually stresses me out! I mean...its all important and well-worth thinking about, but sometimes I just get a really negative attitude. I burn myself out. I like how you look at the bright side. Young people are getting more and more conscientious. That's encouraging. I think things will change for the better. and i hope so!

John said...

Hey Christen! Sorry we couldn't make it out on the 28th. Please keep me posted and let me know how I can help.

Mr. President said...

I don’t think that this boom of birth in 2007 is something to think so positively about… After WWII there was something to celebrate; our men came back from such a dire war and the worst possible scourge was literally destroyed. What did we have to celebrate in 2007? (I mean come on; Windows Vista was unleashed that year!)

If we did not have much to celebrate in 2007, then why was their an increase in birth rates? Maybe the depressing situations going on in the world made people want something so pure, that it would put all the darkness in the world in the back of their minds; a child so innocent and oblivious to the desperate world that they live in. This then would most assuredly lead to people making illogical decisions, to have a child when they don’t have the recourses. Then the tax payers would be paying for the ilogically inclined new parents ecstasy and since welfare is sometimes not enough, this would lead to the “ecstasy children” suffering, while they are brought up by their parents with insufficient funds.

(This boom of birth could not have helped the state of our economy today, and it could be bleeding it…)