I'm writing in English, which is strange in itself since I really love my own language, Finnish, and since I detest the power position that the English language has in global communucation... but I'd get way too many complaints from American friends if I didn't write in a language comprehensible to them.

Jul 11, 2011

Mama Bear mode

I just read a post in my friend Reuben's blog about two girls who had a bad experience with a mormon father of their friends (Won't be Friends with Non-Mormons?) In her question to Reuben, a girl told how she had some excellent mormon friends, but one day their father came up to them and told them that his daughters wouldn't be allowed to play with them anymore. The girls never knew the reason. This story is worrying in many ways, but I guess the most likely explanation for the behavior of the dad is that he felt the girls were somehow a bad influence on his daughters and felt the need to protect them. We don't know if he was being overly protective or not. I don't know much at all about the situation, but it made me think about a subject I've wondered about before.

There is something often called the "mama bear mode" that we find good or at least acceptable in parents. Parenting instincts are the most revered instincts, right? And therefore it's commendable when we protect our children in any way that's needed, right? Sure, in many situations. What disturbs me is when this mode makes parents hurt other people. Parents attack (at least verbally) other adults when they feel their children are being slighted, or like in this case, upset other children to protect their own. This example especially worries me. Our own children are of course our main responsibility and we love them, but shouldn't all children be protected from hurt, whether they be ours or someone else's? And talking about adults, those of us who are Christians at least should see other people also as precious.

Attacking others to protect our own children is a very basic instinct. Almost all mammals have it. As humans we can, however, decide to override our instincts. We can even override our survival instinct, and more often we have to ignore our sexual instincts. Why then can't we decide to react slower when we feel our children are threatened (assuming they aren't about to hit a car or something that needs immediate action) and make decisions that spare both our children and the feelings of others? I think it's because of our culture. It's good to be protective, we think. Mama Bear is almost sacred for us.

Before anyone objects I want to say that I think it IS important to protect our children. Sometimes that might mean we have to make someone else upset, I know. However, I think blind admiration of mothers and fathers rushing to snatch their children away from any perceived harm, and lashing out on others at the same time, is not good.

Jul 2, 2011

My Favourite Things

I'm never tired of ranting, but lately I have been very lazy about writing down my rantings. It takes a lot of energy to try to see something from all points of view and discuss it as deeply as possible. I decided to make a questionneer to find out what I should rant about and in stead write a blog entry about my favourite blogs.

I'm one of those blog readers who mostly likes to read things by my friends. Also, I really like blogs that are completely different from mine. Happy blogs, funnily written, with lots of pictures and not much text, reasonably often updated, by special friends of mine. Here are my three favourites. (I downloaded your pictures for advertising purposes only, dears!)

Puhti. This blog is in Finnish and English. The writer takes lots of photos and they're beautiful. All the sweet walks with her children in the nature makes, the fourth child's playing of tuba and the joyous yongest child make the reader feel like her life's a bliss although we might suspect she's editing out some annoying stuff... She sews pretty clothes, toys and other things and knits inventive bracelets, socks and such. Feel good blog. And I love love love the writer - she's one of my absolute favourite people in the world.

Lista Asioista. The blog is written by one of my best friends, only in Finnish. She writes lists of things. Not too heavy reading. Occasionally she also includes her Illustration Friday drawings. She's a great artist - style is sort of illustratorish. Lately she's been inventing art therapy for adults - fun stuff that don't require much skill but can make you sit and play artist for hours.

Five. This is a newer blog, in English only, and it's already one of my favourites. You know how blogging often makes ordinary lives seem sort of glamorous? Well, knowing these five sisters (actually I only know three of them, and have once talked on phone with a fourth) I think they manage to make rather glamorous life seem ordinary, or at least attainable. Ok, so I might not get to travel to Korea and Hungary in the same year, or sing in an opera, but they write about it like all the readers were close friends (knowing how large their circle of friends is that's really possible) and they were just chatting on phone, so that makes me feel like I'm part of all the glamor. Also, I'm not too excited about mama bloggers but One manages to make it interesting (it helps that she's the only mama so far among the five...)