I have just watched a most interesting film called “Concussion” Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu the doctor who discovered the injury incurred by hitting heads in football. Ever since this began to be talked about I have been scorned by many football lovers who don’t want to believe there is a serious problem.
Having managed head injury cases in my time as a nurse I know how devastating they can be and understand why many who end up with this problem called CTE end up committing suicide.
I have frequently told football enthusiasts that we should go back to wearing the original helmets football used. When playing with these the players were not told to bang heads like the sport does now.
At least now those who choose to play football know the risks. I still do not approve of small children being taught to charge hitting heads together. They are not able to make a decision for themselves. The parents should but many won’t hoping to see their child go to college on a sports scholarship. Many they should switch to soccer. While there is some evidence that injury can occur it seems to be less of an issue.
It is hard to realize that it has been so long since I have written. I don’t know what is wrong with me that I can’t get organized.
I have been thinking a lot about my life with my husband and the various stories he shared with me about his growing up. His father was a colonel in the Army and he was on Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He remembered things about that day even though he was only four.
One of my favorite stories let me know that he was not an angel when young. One day he waws playing alone and was bored. He decided that it would be fun to make paper airplanes and throw them out of the upstairs bedroom window. That was fun and he watched them as they drifted down to the lawn below. However, after a while just watching them float down began to pale and he thought of how he could make it better. Finding matches elsewhere in the house (being careful to not get caught) he sneaked back upstairs with lots of paper and matches. Lighting the paper planes he watched happily as they drifted down in flames. Having been a very dry season the grass was quite parched.
He watched with joy as one of the planes caught the grass on fire and the fire began to spread. Realizing that this might be a problem took his attention away from the next plane he had lit that was still in his hand. In panic he dropped the plane catching the drapes on fire. He stood dumbfounded trying to decide what to do. A glass of water from the bathroom put out the drape but there was still the fire growing on the lawn. Racing downstairs and outside he found his visibly upset mother putting out the lawn fire with the garden hose.
Reluctantly he shared the problem with the drapes and faced the wrath of a woman whose husband was currently in Arabia. He had plenty of time to reflect on this incident in the time he spent restricted to his room.
Since my husband was a rule follower, careful and meticulous it was fun to learn that he had a streak of choosing danger in his make up.
Life is truly challenging. One day everything is fine and the next…who knows? My daughter has ILC breast cancer. This type of breast cancer only shows up in 10% of people and doesn’t usually show up on a mammogram. It is frequently found by feeling a lump. It can also be difficult to treat.
ILC or Lobular breast cancer was only defined as a different cancer in 2012 and now research is being done on how it can best be treated. It has some things in common with lung cancer and a study is being done in Britain using the newest lung cancer med as a treatment.
Enough said about the disease itself. For me the hard part is watching my child go through all of this. Like most people I want to die before my children. I know this is not always possible but I don’t want to watch their pain. I think most parents feel this way.
During my time working as a nurse in pediatrics I saw parents struggling with the pain of having a seriously sick child. Losing a child has to be excruciating.
My daughter has a good prognosis but the journey changes your life forever, No more going blithely through each day. Even after treatment has had good results there is only remission…not cure. Learning to live with this reality is hard. I would take it from her if I could.
She is a positive person and is adjusting to this new world but I am having difficulty. I am a mother and want only the best for my children. Life is not perfect and we all have to live with that reality. Sometimes it is just not easy.
Today I have encountered several things that bring into focus some major issues plaguing our culture today. I think we may be beginning to see the result of changes in the precepts for raising children. As we began an era were in most families two parents were working the parents, trying to spend “quality” time with their children were lured into the idea that everything should be as perfect for them as they could make it. I am not accusing the parents. The changes in society brought this about.
Now if things aren’t perfect for that group of adults they feel deprived and entitled to more. They grew up thinking that everything would always go their way and want to insist on it in their adult years.
At the same time we began to change how children were treated in society as a whole. We fretted about feelings so that there ended up being no winners or losers. Everyone was treated “the same.” Unfortunately everyone is not the same. That is actually a good thing and learning early that things aren’t fair prepares you for what you face later in life.
Because children were the most important thing in the world they would naturally not care about others but only look at continuing to get what they expected. Others don’t matter. Many times money was used to get them what they wanted as in the case of the parents who bought their children into colleges. What did they learn from that?
We have lost values. Values are “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” (dictionary) Unfortunately I sense that this may be the beginning of a major change in our way of life. The decline of morals and the change of values to “me” and money is a bad trend. We have to correct this direction.
An old man said: I never wanted work that was useful to me but loss to my brother. For I have this expectation, that what helps my brother is fruitful for me. From Desert Father in Desert Wisdom translated by Yushi Nomura
How often we spare no time for what our desires do to others. We think nothing of climbing over someone to get a better job. Students cheat in class to get the best grades—-hurting themselves and the other students. And in today’s scene people aren’t wearing masks because is it annoying to them…taking chances with someone else’s life. So many think only of themselves. We live in a “me first” world.
We have to turn things around and teach values to our children…values that respect others and understand that our choices can hurt others. We have to train up compassionate and loving people.
My grandmother used to tell me about her life as a young girl. At 100 years old she hardly recognized the world she was living in. So many things had changed. Some of the changes have been good for us as humans and others not so good. We need to stay aware of the changes in our world and work to correct those that are bad for us and the earth. After all, our children will know what we have done. What world do we want to leave for them?
Today I go the cutest text from my granddaughter. She was having a conversation with her son who is turning two next week. I do love the conversations with young children. The wisdom can be amazing and the thoughts and ideas such fun. Enjoy this simple little talk.
Mom: Karter do you know where the remote is for the living room TV?
Next week I have signed up for two tasks at the Mediation Center. One is a Community Conference with two children involved and the other is a standard mediation. The Community Conferences (I’ll call them CC) are hard. It is so sad to work with these teens and hope to get them to see there are better ways to deal with conflict that violence. In some ways I am not looking forward to it. I will keep on doing them for now and may have to evaluate if it is for me.
The other mediation is simple and sometimes it can be too simple but there is not stress involved. It is hard to weigh them against each other. I will just keep on for now and see how this goes.
I am still thinking about the young people I am encountering in Community Conferencing. Since Monday celebrates Martin Luther King this quote fits right into my thinking
What I am seeing in the schools here makes me wonder if we can find either one. Intelligence is nothing without character. The environment in school can be distressing to those who want to learn. It is amazing that the teachers keep on. It has to be depressing to try and reach those who want to learn when around them is hatred and violence. It has to be nearly impossible to keep order in a classroom when there are so many things that you can’t do.
When I went to school the teacher was always right. My parents would come down hard on me if I wasn’t good in school. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the parents seem intent on blaming the teachers. Children are not held accountable for their actions.
There are some who are now realizing that teaching about character and accountability is crucial. Those traits are so important and often overlooked. For those raising children please have your children be accountable now or later in life they may end up being held accountable for something catastrophic.
This week I have been assigned two Community Conference cases. After reading the information on both of them I am amazed at what teachers are dealing with. I don’t know how anyone can teach in an environment with so many problems. From my recent experience I see so much violence erupting in the schools. Students get in arguments and their way of solving them is to get in a fight. This is not high school….this is middle school.
The environment of violence that we live in today is being played out by children! This is how they have learned to react. They have no experience with other ways to handle disputes and disagreements. We have to find ways to break the cycle. The Mediation Center does have a program that goes into the schools and teaches groups how to mediate a dispute and there are peer groups that are trying to help.
This culture of violence will continue until we teach alternatives to young children and help them to be played out in Elementary School. We have to stop it early.