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Eric Beret


Posted on 2013.05.09 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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In Texas, children are allowed to drink alcoholic beverages when with their parents. Growing up I would have wine with dinner on special occasions or beer with pizza during the Super Bowl, things like that. Traditions I would like to afford my own children - not for something as nonsensical as tradition - rather the practical application of demystification, and the ability to participate in a sort of rite of passage - acknowledging the maturity of my children and broadening their responsibilities; the kind of things which churn out fantastic, well-adjusted young adults.

I find it awkward however, that my freedoms are dictated by the state in which I reside. I think I better understand proponents of gay marriage now. As a strong believer in States' rights where the Federal Government is concerned, I am also beginning to acknowledge that many things do not have a correct answer. There are fantastic arguments for both sides of the Federalism debate, but it is a complex issue and cannot fully be solved by a single point of view. The truth may not necessarily lie somewhere in the middle, because the two extremes on either side are often rooted in ignorance or intolerance, or both extremes are equally correct, disallowing the overlap required to discuss nuances of viewpoint for either mutual understanding or a course of action which incorporates two constructive and sane albeit opposing systems.

I ran across this in my FL recently and was dumbfounded by how much more broad the concept is than it may at first appear. It can apply to very nearly everything. The problem is we, as a people, are unaware of this because of how we believe things should be, and that stems from indoctrination, not truth:

As we move through life, we date someone for fun, then someone to raise kids with, and finally someone to grow old with. Is it any wonder stage three has the highest percentage of people coming out gay? We grow tired of the endless negotiations. The not-seeing-eye-to-eye. The mismatch of libido and turn-ons and subtle triggers. After a lifetime of compromises and ass-kickings, we just want things to "click". Is that too much to ask?

Anyone who knows anything about why we do what we do should be familiar with the level of indoctrination it took to get us there. Our opinions aren't necessarily our own - they are what society wants us to believe is truth through programming - yet even a cursory glance at that truth will reveal the fabrication if we choose to seek it out. There remain many excellent reasons to adhere to the construct, but deigning to do so because we're aware of them and the good they do versus blindly following out of ignorance are two very different things. The latter skews perspective; we start believing that some things are "right" and other things are "wrong" because we believe it to be so - look around, we can prove our rightness because society is doing it too, unaware that society is proving they are right because they see us doing what we see them doing without evening understanding that is why we're doing it. Even if it feels wrong, we do it because we believe it's right. We tell ourselves lies to bridge the gaps in our worldview - mocking aphorisms and proverbs passed down from generation to generation that we believe reflect truth, or quotes from famous persons that have stood the test of time; Nothing in the world is worth doing unless it means effort, pain and difficulty - not because they are true, but because they help us cope with our limited awareness. We in turn make them true. We don't need to suffer violent, horrific events to appreciate the times we aren't experiencing violent, horrific events. That's just dumb.

A series of TED talks I saw by Brené Brown (thanks codekitten!) taught me there is a difference between guilt and shame; guilt is a focus on behavior, shame is a focus on self - "I did something bad," as opposed to, "I am a bad person." That which focuses on behavior can be identified and changed. That which focuses on self is narcissistic. And narcissism - fueled by shame - results in an unhappy life of rage and blame. What's worse is those who base right and wrong on societal views honest-to-god believe they are the normal ones (their word, not mine). Any deviation from "normal" is aberrant and wrong. I touched on the manifestation of this in my tongue-in-cheek rope-a-dope EPD.

I just want to raise my kids to be fantastic, well-adjusted young adults. I want them to question everything generally thought to be obvious.


michelle1963 at 2013-05-09 13:08 (UTC) (Link)
People want easy answers - answers that apply to all similar situations, at all times. The problem is that the type of solutions designed to be easy are usually ineffective.

My dad, too, allowed me wine with dinner or a beer with pizza - despite the fact that in California, unlike Texas, it was against the law. And like your dad, he did it for demystification purposes. I learned to drink responsibly.

Children learn by modeling their parents. You too, drink responsibly. But here's the rub, kids learn a lot of poor behavior from screwed up parents. Or there is the issue of the adult (21 year) sibling getting the underage (19 year) sibling toasted, without the concept of responsibility, because the adult sibling isn't experienced, nor an authority figure. The two siblings just want to have fun.

Problem is that making a behavior against the law doesn't consistently prevent it from happening. It might make those who try to be responsible stop and think. But for the parents who just don't care or those short-sighted siblings who haven't learned to stop and think about long term consequences if something goes wrong, it doesn't prevent it.

A simple and ineffective solution for complex societal variations.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-05-10 02:38 (UTC) (Link)
You're absolutely correct. Making a behavior against the law doesn't prevent it from happening. When sodomy was illegal in Texas it never stopped gays from breaking the law.
ehowton at 2013-05-10 03:35 (UTC) (Link)
Of course! Because heterosexuals would never engage in anal intercourse.
codekitten at 2013-05-11 00:55 (UTC) (Link)
ha! nice one.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-05-11 19:37 (UTC) (Link)
I never said that they didn't. Consenting adults can pack fudge all they want. However you will never catch me getting my fudge packed or with shit on my dick.
jobu121 at 2013-05-09 18:27 (UTC) (Link)
My dad too allowed us to drink beer while fishing on the boat. And we each got a glass of champange at New Years Eve.

michelle1963 I never knew it was illegal in California and if it was no one told my parents.

I think it is a balance when it comes to parenting. I would say be consistent.
michelle1963 at 2013-05-10 03:34 (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I had o think back and consider why i thought it was illegal in California. You know, I don't know for a fact that it was. I assumed it was, because my dad told me not to advertise that I was allowed to drink, albeit small amounts, at home. It is conceivable that he had another reason for making the request.
jobu121 at 2013-05-10 13:33 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm I am not sure but my parents did not seem to care lol :)
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