40 Years of Selective Ignorance

Posted: March 6, 2015 in Catholic, chocolate, coffee, good choices, lent, vegan
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Selective Ignorance

People start their training for selective ignorance early in life. Until recent efforts to reduce bullying in schools, the victims of mistreatment from their peers often found the pleas for help falling on deaf ears. It always seems justifiable to mind your own business when you look at things from a “how much good could I do, anyways” perspective. This looking out for number one really makes you a big piece of number two.

Let’s talk about the animals. What can I do to help the animals? Vote with your fork. If you find pictures of chickens crammed in tiny crates with other chickens unpleasant to look at, don’t eat chicken. If you are a huge fan of Charlotte’s Web (and so are you kids), say no to pork. When videos of calves being taken away from their milk-producing mothers as soon as their born pull at your heartstrings, say NO to beef.

 

Consume no animals

Many things in life fall into the category where the velocity of daily life and the more and more overscheduled family allow convenience to trump doing the right thing. It takes more effort to do the right thing. Being consistent requires planning ahead. We are a reactive society. Unfortunately people react more strongly to the latest trends on Facebook and Twitter than they do to the ongoing imprisonment and lifelong torture of animals for our food.

I have been out of work for two months now. Keeping your morals about you becomes more challenging as pressures for new work and household budgets mount. There are always choices to make. See them and seize the opportunities. Be right with the world. To help with the grocery budget, it is okay to not have any beer. No beer at all. This did coincide with my brilliant idea to give up coffee and chocolate for lent. Giving up coffee has been an epic undertaking. Epic. Seriously, epic. “Chocolate and coffee are your two main food groups,” says my oldest daughter. So cut back on the beer and I could sleep. Sleep a lot. With my busy family, there is little time for extra sleep. See if this sounds familiar to any families out there:

Morning: Alarms start going off between 6 and 6:30 for morning showers or last-minute homework items. Three kids must all be up around 7 at the latest. My time then gets split between making breakfast and school lunches and water bottles. It is like herding cats, but usually ends well. My wife gets up around 7:30 when she is not on the road and by 7:45 and I am off to the high school. The rest of the crew is ‘ready’ to depart by 8.

8:30 starts my work day which can go until 2:30 when the kids are ready to return home. We have classes at the church, basketball, volleyball, flag football, speed and agility training and the occasional school function that pops up unexpectedly. During the school day, there are orthodontist appointments, dentist appointments, doctor appointments, calls from the school requesting forgotten books or homework, injuries from recess and taking the dog to the vet.

Dinner is a challenge. For a vegan, the amount of pizza that I buy or cook is unreasonable. I am not consistent with what I preach: “Don’t eat animal products!” -à “Here’s some cheese pizza kids…” I am not Rachel Ray or Emeril, nor do I pretend to. The disparity between what I’d like to have my kids eat and what they actually eat is a chasm that I am trying to bridge. We do not sit at the table together consistently as we are not all home at the same time most days. These are lazy excuses.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Doesn’t it?

I cook pasta and serve it with a meat and cheese free red sauce. I make vegetables, but not every day. I add in foods that I believe are important. I talk about nutrition. I garden and talk about the power of plants. I do not force anything on my kids. I want to amplify my parenting and fit it all in around finding a new job and helping my kids increase their performance in the sports of choice.

I commit to stay in shape. I am through 64 days of TapouT XT and have the aches and pains I would expect as a 47-year-old participant that doesn’t get enough rest. I try to run four days each week, including a run of at least 10-12 miles each Sunday. I have a green smoothie about three times a week and keep chia seeds in my diet to give me an edge. I drink tons of water.

I could really go for some coffee right now.

Seriously, is my suffering during lent helping God in any way? I’m not sure, but I am not getting headaches anymore and my productivity is skyrocketing. I took my girls to a mission at the church the two nights ago and heard a prayer that really got me thinking; it went something like this:

                God, please take anything or anyone from my life that is keeping me further from You.

Say that and really think it through. Coffee and chocolate, bah! Beer to save the grocery budget, pish posh. Anything or anyone. Much of the sermon circled the idea that we try to prepare for all manners of ‘storms’ in our lives. We save money for a rainy day. We tell the kids to look both ways before they cross the street. But, the truth is we can’t really control any of it. We spend much of our time worrying and stressing about a myriad of potential life challenges that we have no control over whatsoever. I felt that the point of it all was that we have to trust God and give as much love to our people as we can.

Make good choices people. Love the Earth and those around you as much as you can. Let’s plant seeds of happiness for future generations together. 🙂

Mark

 

 

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