Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shades of grey and judgement

I love the general trend towards environmental stuff, sustainability and natural parenting I see online and in the area I live in. I found though in both aspects people lose sight of the big picture and get dogmatic about certain things. I enjoy a good debate but not personal attacks or judgment and that happens all the time.

With certain topics people can get dogmatic. A while back a mom on a local AP group had a baby who was waking a lot and the mom was seriously sleep deprived and described her situation.  Instead of getting helpful advice people said to do things that she already tried and told her to basically suck it up buttercup. The same thing happens on message boards. This mom tried to breastfeed but it didn’t work out and a mom told her to start breastfeeding again.  They questioned why she was even on an AP board. That poor mother was obviously driven away. I gave her the best advice I could and advocated for her but it was too late. The damage was done.

I see similar scenarios all the time with other topics. People get so passionate and dogmatic that they miss the person and that not everything is black and white.  This happens with breastfeeding, CIO, the use of strollers and leashes, birth, nutrition vaccines, discipline styles, organic food and baby wearing.  We live in an independent culture and we are left alone to watch small children all day. There is no need to tear each other up over differences in how we parent. Sharing why we do things and why we feel we do about certain topics is one thing. It is another to judge or tear up other mothers or exclude them because they do things differently.

Another thing I see this with is with nutrition and chemicals. There are a lot of fads around in nutrition right now that people touted as being the way we should eat but their facts leave much to be desired. Another way is to not see the shades of grey that some products do have a use. Monsanto has terrible terrible practices. The things we grow in this country for livestock and huge industrial agriculture is not a good thing nor is the way they engineer seeds for use with their product round up. They go to other countries where there wasn’t a problem then make them use their herbicide and seed and create problems.  Despite all that herbicide has its place and in some instances with restoration or invasive species there is nothing as effective. The way you use it in those instances it does not pose a threat. I don’t agree with the way they genetically engineer crops for their seeds but there are more benign ways where “genetic engineering” does serve a purpose.

People often get stuck up on small details and miss the big picture.  There are a lot of sites out there that put on the guise of being an expert on a certain topic but the information is very bad.  The most important thing you can do is do your best. To be more sustainable live simply, buy used when possible, evaluate the products you get and cut back wherever you can.  Keep in mind the big picture of how you use energy, what you do about transportation, where your food comes from and what you need. For parenting do the best you can, learn from your mistakes and find the right balance.   It is ok to be a work in progress and to not be perfect. We can learn from each other.

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