I wonder how many internet searches have been made in the past week for "Idalia name origin." When I made mine this morning, this is what I got back: The name Idalia is a girl's name of Italian origin meaning "behold the sun."

A pretty name, if a bit ironic as the name for a hurricane. It makes me think of flowers ... and onions.

Be that as it may, when the weather radio awakens me at 4 a.m. with a tornado warning, that's too close to my regular rising time to even think about going back to sleep, so I might as well write.

The eye of the storm has already passed west of us, but of course the storm is much bigger than its eye, and we are currently feeling the effects as a drizzling rain.

The tornado danger is serious, as it is with all Florida summer storms. However, I do wonder about what appears to be inflation in the language of our weather advisories. I'm accustomed to "hurricane warning" meaning that a tornado has been spotted nearby and one should take cover immediately. Indeed, "take cover immediately" is what the weather radio said. Porter may have taken that literally, in his own way—rolled over and adjusted the sheet around himself—but I got up and checked out the weather map. I would have expected a tornado watch rather than a warning, which means "conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather," but a tornado has not yet been spotted. Then again, it's hard to spot much of anything in the dark, and I certainly would have been more concerned if we lived in the eastern part of the county, which was clearly getting some pretty nasty weather. But it was moving away from us, so life goes on, albeit with a little more vigilance.

Preparation without panic.

As far as I can tell, our state and local authorities have done a good job of that. Schools and government offices were closed in advance of the storm; given that Idalia could easily have altered course in the middle of the night, I think that decision was not made from panic, but prudence. When we were on the highway yesterday morning, I was happy to see lines of power trucks snaking their way into the state—we saw several from North Carolina, one even from Michigan. That makes good sense, too, since the hurricane will hit somewhere in Florida and it will be useful to have the workers and equipment close to hand. Governor DeSantis has already shown that he puts priority—speed and funding—into getting Florida up and running again as quickly as possible after a disaster. For the same reason I was glad to note yesterday that a portable generator had already been put in place at the sewer system pumping station in our neighborhood. Even if many of these preparations turn out to be, as seems likely, unnecessary, it's a good drill.

Sometimes these days I look around at the world and wonder, "Is this work I'm doing (whatever it might be) worth spending time on? If my world blows up next week, will what I'm doing have mattered at all? Should I instead "take cover immediately"? Are we in watch or warning mode?

"Watch," I think, and go on with my work. But it's a question worth asking now and then.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 4:48 am | Edit
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Category Hurricanes and Such: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

The builders in our family might enjoy this video.  I'm not a builder, but I loved watching this cabin-in-the-woods go together in 18 minutes.  That is, a 36-minute video watched at 2x speed.  The actual project took about a month.

If you liked this one, you can see more of the story here.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, August 28, 2023 at 5:31 pm | Edit
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For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists, nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works;  but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world. 

If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them.  And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them.  For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator. 

Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him.  For as they live among his works they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful. 

Yet again, not even they are to be excused;  for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

– Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-9 RSVCI

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 10:09 am | Edit
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I began this blog almost 20 years ago, a fact that astounds me. In those years I have written some 3200 posts. Where have those 20 years gone? Have I accomplished anything good through those posts?

Perhaps it's time to revisit what I wrote about why I began to publish my thoughts.

Lift Up Your Hearts! can most charitably be called "eclectic." Some blogs are political, some personal journals, some accumulate interesting articles and news stories, some keep far-flung families in contact, some are formed around a specific cause or issue. I aim to be jack-of-all-trades, and if that means being master of none, I see nothing wrong with that. It depends on your audience. Five-star restaurants require highly-trained and gifted chefs, but I'd take my mother's home cooking and the family dinner table any day.

Fine. But why? Why do I put so much time and effort into blogging? What do I hope to accomplish?

I post first of all because I can't stop my mind from writing, and it's helpful to give concrete expression to the phrases, paragraphs, and essays that are constantly churning within my brain. The blog is a particularly satisfactory way of getting my thoughts into print: the primary audience may be small, but they're loyal readers, and occasionally people stop by from all over the world and find something useful. I can write what I want, when I want, with no pesky editors, stockholders or advertisers to interfere.

Because I write primarily for family members and friends who actually enjoy hearing about the details of our lives, there are a number of posts that are personal and of no interest to the general public, whoever that may be. I make no apology. You don't like it? Don't read it. This is not high school English class. There will be no homework grade and no final exam.

Then there are the random posts of odd bits of news, posts from other blogs, and anything else good or ill that has struck me as worth sharing. There's a lot of data out there, with a very poor signal-to-noise ratio. If I find something good, important, or thought-provoking, I want to increase its visibility.

It is obvious to me that most of the best ideas I've had, and the good decisions I've made, especially in the areas of childrearing and education, came because someone else was willing to share them. I take some credit for implementing and expanding ideas, and for having a few of my own, but I'm keenly aware that most of what I've done right I owe to someone's book, someone's conversation, someone's example. What's more, there have been many, many ideas about which I've thought, "Why didn't I know this years ago, before it was too late? Why didn't someone tell me?" For this reason I have not hesitated to pass on good ideas when I think the recipient might be receptive, or at least interested. I love to give books that I've found helpful, though I almost always add the caveat that I don't necessarily approve of everything the author has to say. Sometimes there's much I don't like, but always there's at least something I find so valuable I want to share it. Do I expect everyone to appreciate what I find valuable? Of course not. Am I offended if they ignore what I find important? No. Do I direct certain books or articles at specific people because I think they "need" them? Believe it or not, I don't. I share what I find good, useful, enlightening, or helpful. I want to make information available, in hopes that fewer people will look back and say, "I wish someone had told me about that before."

Blogging provides many more opportunities than giving away a few books, and that's another reason I write. This is the one area where I think of a wider audience; someone, somewhere out there may care about what I have learned about xylitol, or epidurals, or math curricula. Again, I don't apologize for writing what some may not find interesting; if you don't like it, skip it. But if you find something valuable in it, and especially if you have something to add to the discussion, I greatly appreciate comments. Let them, however be polite. While I don't hesitate to publish comments I disagree with, I also don't hesitate to delete comments I deem offensive; I am the sole judge of "polite" for this blog.

One thing all my posts have in common is commentary. You get my opinion on politics, education, and health; on books and movies; on bike trails and genealogy. More often you get my opinion-in-progress, as writing is as much my way of forming thoughts as of expressing them. What you won't get is something directed as a weapon against you—certain public persons excepted, although even then I prefer to challenge ideas, not people. I write from my own accumulated knowledge and experience; whether you agree or disagree, your own experiences are more than welcome. My best work still comes from those who are willing to share.

Disclaimer: I'm a grandmother, not a doctor, lawyer, certified teacher, or other expert. I offer my experiences and opinions, not professional advice. Check with your own advisors, do your own research, and use your own common sense.

The blog never did become the discussion forum I had envisioned, but I'm not sorry about that. I had hoped to recreate on a larger scale the wonderful intellectual discussions I had enjoyed—especially when we lived near the University of Rochester—with people who cared about some of the same things I care about, whether or not we agreed about them, supporting each other in areas of agreement, learning from each other in areas where we differed. And indeed I have experienced some of that here, but the political and social climate of today plus the anonymity of the Internet is not conducive to the kind of helpful discussions I was hoping for.

By now you must be wondering if this is a swan song, and I'm about to announce the end of my blog. Not at all. I still need to write. The phrases and paragraphs continue to well up and swirl around in my brain whenever I am awake—and probably in my sleep as well. What's more, I need to write to an audience: For years I kept a journal, and now find it an invaluable source of information, but as an outlet it was less than satisfying to be talking to myself. I've tried publishing newsletters for family and friends, and while I have certainly enjoyed creating them, they were more for news than for thoughts. The blog has been perfect as a thinking aid.

I am not quitting this valuable format. I have, sometimes, considered a different platform, perhaps one a little more private (e.g. subscription-based), but haven't moved in that direction yet. I just keep going along as things are.

However, I have other writing projects that are crying out for more of my time. They don't serve the same purposes, but their own purposes are important, and they need my attention. Time is limited; just so is my "writing energy" limited. To focus on these other projects, I need to curtail some of my work here. Which is difficult, because writing here is one of the great joys of my life.

I'm not stopping. I don't even want to blog less frequently, if I can help it. There's more data than ever out there, with an even worse signal-to-noise ratio. If I find something good, important, or thought-provoking, I still want to increase its visibility. As a rule, I'd rather not just have someone's bare recommendation of a book, movie, podcast, video, or article, but want to know more about why the person recommends it. But I'm planning to violate my own rule, and do a lot more of pointing my readers to something I've found valuable, with maybe some commentary but a lot less, with fewer quotations and fine-tuning, which take a lot of time. After twenty years, my regular readers know enough about me to either trust, or not trust, my recommendations. What's more, I trust my readers to judge what's valuable to them at this point in their lives, and am content just to put the information out there.

For good or for ill, commentary will only be reduced, not gone. I still have plenty to say and opinions to flesh out here. For now, I'll just see how this experiment goes, and if it spurs progress on other fronts.

My heartfelt gratitude to all who have found my writing useful enough to hang in there for so long!

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, August 24, 2023 at 11:15 am | Edit
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Twice now I have published my review of Andrew Scott Cooper's The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran, the original review in 2017 and a reprise in 2020. You can read either of those to see why you should read this book.

To see why you should buy (and read) this book now, I'm telling you that the Kindle version is currently available for $1.99 on Amazon. That's the price of three postage stamps, or a small order of waffle fries at Chick-fil-a.

If you're concerned about the current cultural and political situation in the United States, you owe it to yourself to see what was going on in Iran 45 years ago. It may be even more important to read if you're not concerned about our situation.  If you're intimidated by the length of the book, or the subject, I strongly recommend reading at least the first few pages: the People, the Events, and the Introduction. That's only 25 pages. By then, you may be hooked, as I was; if not you will at least have been given a good overview of what is fleshed out in the remainder of the book.

And this is a good time to remind you of how helpful the eReaderIQ service can be, which will alert you when the Kindle versions of books or authors you are interested in have special sales. The last time I bought this book it cost $13.

WARNING:  These sales can come and go quickly, so if you have any interest, I'd recommend grabbing the book now.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 at 11:07 am | Edit
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Tomorrow will still come, our objectives have not changed, and our number one job is to work toward tomorrow and those objectives. — Warren R. Langdon

I am the family curator of my father's journals, written between 1959 and 1970. It's still on my List to get them into a form more accessible to his descendants; so far I've only managed to get all the pages scanned as jpg's. It would be great for them to be searchable, but while my father was an engineer, by handwriting he could have been a physician, and Google Lens' OCR hasn't been up to the challenge.

The scanned pages do make it easy for me to browse through them, which I like to do on occasion. Recently I was curious to see what my father had had to say about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I remember the event, because I heard about it on the radio at the eye doctor's office, but I wasn't in school that day so I missed whatever excitement might have occurred there. Any direct impact on my life was nil, so I was interested in what might have gone on that my 11-year-old self simply ignored. The following excerpts are all I could find that my father wrote.

Friday, November 22, 1963

This is the day that President Kennedy was shot and killed. I was at the door of my office for some reason when I saw several people head for Wally Giard’s radio. I went along to see what was going on and heard the news that the President had been shot. I don’t know why the radio was on—I have never seen it on except for the World Series—perhaps someone’s wife telephoned in the news. Work continued more or less as usual during the afternoon, although most everyone had an ear glued to the radio, too. My own reaction was one of shocked disbelief—the same reaction I had 18 years ago one afternoon at work when word came that President Roosevelt had died.

Of course the entire evening was spent keeping up to date on the latest news and the radio and television stations kept up a continuous coverage, cancelling all their regular programs until at least after the funeral. I did manage to get quite a bit of studying done tonight as well.

Sunday, November 24, 1963

The church was somewhat more crowded than usual—attributable directly to the President’s death, I believe—but by no means overflowing. The minister made moderate reference to the President’s death and I felt very much in agreement with him when he said that at this time when we look for signs as to whether this is a time for sorrow or supplication, for fear or hope, for a feeling of loss or a feeling of opportunity, the one sign that is clear is that God is not dead. I think this is a better way of putting my feeling that tomorrow will still come, our objectives have not changed, and our number one job is to work toward tomorrow and those objectives.

And that's what keeps the world going. We go on, putting one foot in front of the other, doing our best at whatever we have been called to do.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, August 18, 2023 at 11:58 am | Edit
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Category Hurricanes and Such: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Politics: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Inspiration: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Here's an excerpt that I found interesting from an exchange between DarkHorse host Brett Weinstein and philosopher Steve Patterson. Caveat: I know nothing about Patterson, good or bad. But what he has to say here about complexity, information loss, and the plateauing of progress strikes a chord. (14 minutes, works well at higher speed)

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at 5:04 am | Edit
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Category Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Insist on answers to your letters in writing. "Come in and we'll talk" is never an acceptable answer.

I'm still cleaning out files, and finding gems. This one came from an article by Dale Berlin, "Tips for Parents from a Parent Who's Been There," published in NETWORK for Public Schools, Winter 1988 Vol. 13. No. 4. The author presents several tools of basic parental advocacy for ensuring that a child is not being treated unfairly in school.

Why did I choose this one to highlight? Because the "let's talk" tactic is on the rise, not only by schools but also by employers, businesses, government officials, and other authority figures. More and more people seem to be allergic to putting their words in writing. I'm dealing right now with a local government official who refuses to answer by e-mail some straightforward questions about our city's recycling practices. She'll be happy to discuss it on the phone, she says. Maybe that just means she thinks it will take less time than typing out a few sentences, or maybe she thinks she can explain the situation better orally, or maybe she wants to give an intentionally fuzzy answer (I've gotten a lot of that recently). Whatever the reason, what I want is facts, serious facts about a serious situation, and I find answers to be a lot less slippery when they're pinned down in written form.

I obviously trust our financial advisor, or we'd find another one. But he does have a significant strike against him: he doesn't like to communicate by e-mail. If we send him a question over e-mail, he will call us on the phone to answer, or if the question is complicated enough, schedule an in-person meeting. I suspect he's just more comfortable speaking than writing. I'm the opposite; f you want clarity and truth from me, ask me to write; my verbal answers are much less likely to be accurate. But I understand that some people are different.

However, in some situations it's not just a matter of preferred communication style. Words written down have been purveyors of serious meaning for millennia. Written words may no longer be literally etched in stone, but they're still more permanent than what is spoken. More importantly, you can go back and refer to the text if there is a question about what was said.  There's a reason secretaries take minutes during meetings, and the court reporter's job is critical.

Printed-on-paper communications have the advantage of being on a material medium. On the other hand, e-mails have the advantage of being easily searchable, so sometimes I prefer one, sometimes the other. Texts, social media messages, WhatsApp, and the like are also text-based, and useful in their own sphere, but much more ephemeral and difficult to search, especially since there are so many platforms. Video and audio formats are orders of magnitude less searchable; how much time is wasted going back over a recording trying to find out where in the two-hour presentation the speaker mentioned something you later want to refer to? Much too much, in my case.

And often, as in the above-mentioned situations of what someone is doing with our children, or our money, oral communication doesn't leave a record at all. Long ago I read the advice that every phone call and in-person meeting should be followed up by an e-mail to the effect of, "This is what I remember of our conversation; if you don't respond to this e-mail and correct me, I will assume you agree with my summary." Great advice, but also a time-consuming pain, and I'm not good at remembering to do it.

It's true that there are benefits to spoken communication that one doesn't get when the words are in writing, especially since the time-honored art of conveying and interpreting emotional content with letters has all but died out. Emojis just don't cut it. I love a good chat among friends. Bring back campfires, family meals, and tea parties!

But if you're my child's teacher, or my financial advisor, or my employer, or my government, nothing says "I will stand by what I say" better than putting it in writing. That won't stop you from going back on your word, or being wrong, or just changing your mind, but at least it will be clear that you did.

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 8:07 am | Edit
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Here's a fun RobWords episode (17.5 minutes) on what makes languages sound beautiful or ugly to our ears. And why German is given such a hard time. (Rob obviously loves the language and tries to figure out why others don't.)

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 6:16 am | Edit
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Awesome news.

I just learned that one of the young doctors in our family is going into the field of pediatric allergies, and I can't be happier. Brilliant as she is, I don't expect her to find all the answers to some very complex questions, but I'm thrilled that she thinks the problem worth working on.

For decades I have been wondering: What is causing the great increase over my lifetime in allergies, autism, and autoimmune disorders? Growing up, I'd never even heard of someone allergic to peanuts, and now I'll bet everyone knows at least one person who is. In my day (by which I mean not only my childhood and earlier but my children's childhood as well), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were even more of a childhood staple than chicken nuggets later became. I suspect everyone today also knows someone on the autism spectrum—a lot more than one that if you live in Silicon Valley or the Seattle area. I hear the location association often blamed on "nerds marrying nerds," and I'm sure that's a factor, but hardly the only, or even the biggest one.

Throwing the net wider now than the three A's I mentioned above, it's my impression that, despite decades of medical advances, children are in general significantly less healthy than they were when I was a child. We were, in some ways, a lucky generation. Antibiotics were new and therefore very powerful. Vaccines were vanquishing dangerous diseases like smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, and polio; tetanus was no longer routinely killing infants. (I'm one of the few people remaining who may still have a residual advantage over the general population if we ever get an outbreak of smallpox.) Improved sanitation had largely freed us from other dread ills, although in the case of polio it was a mixed blessing.

We also mostly had mothers who both were there for us day and night, and yet encouraged us to spend most of our free time playing outdoors, roaming the neighborhood, exploring the nearby woods, until dark and without sunscreen. (Yes, we did have and use sunscreen on the beach when visiting Florida, but never, as happens these days, for the hours and hours we spent outside at home.) We didn't have "devices" that encouraged us to live indoors, except for books and games, and even so we were frequently admonished to "go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine."

We had school, which was bad enough for our health, but it rarely intruded on our after-school lives. We did not have social media, and our parents were married (to each other). I didn't meet someone whose parents were divorced until I was a sophomore in high school. Our parents had a different approach to cleanliness, too. Environmental dirt was mostly considered "clean dirt"—there were no antibiotic soaps or cleaners, and if we washed our hands after using the bathroom and before meals, we were good to go. Hand sanitizer was non-existent in our lives. Face masks? They were for surgeons, not children. Catching measles, mumps, German measles (now generally known as rubella), and chicken pox was about as routine as catching a cold, except that we didn't have to stay out of school for a cold. And most of us caught them all in kindergarten despite the mild quarantine. Best "vaccination" I ever had: my rubella titre was still extremely strong after I graduated from college; for all I know, it still is.

"Artificial foods" were on the rise, but for the most part we knew where our food came from; not all, but most of our milk, fruit, and vegetables were local, fresh, and more nutritious than what our children are eating today. Sadly, I didn't grow up with access to raw milk, but our home-delivered milk was at least not homogenized. We had local stands that sold their own fresh-from-the-field fruits and vegetables, quite a contrast to the "farmers' markets" that I can shop at today, which are likely to have more craft booths and out-of-state (or country!) produce than local food. This was changing rapidly, but our food was still much more likely to have natural, beneficial microorganisms than artificial chemical preservatives. "Convenience food" was virtually non-existent, and any kind of restaurant meal very rare.

Then again, we also had very unnatural childbirthing, and doctors who actively encouraged mothers not to breastfeed, and clouds of radioactivity passing overhead, and margarine. No generation has all the advantages. The point is not so much that our childhoods were idyllic as that they were very different, and sorting out what factors might contribute to the rise in allergies, autism, and autoimmune disorders cannot be easy. "Welcome to complex systems."

Here are a few possibilities that I, as an experienced layman, think might be contributing to our children's diminished physical, mental, and emotional health:

  • Nothing. The apparent increase in frequency of these afflictions is not actually real, but an artifact of the fact that we've started to pay attention to them, and perhaps changed a few definitions along the way. I used to accept that as an answer, but I'm no longer buying it. It's too much, too pervasive, and we don't dismiss other diseases just because we're paying more attention to them. There are more cancer cases showing up in part because more people are living to get cancer, instead of dying of something else earlier. And our new technologies are making us more aware of the disease at earlier stages. But that doesn't mean that there hasn't been a real increase in cancers, nor that cigarette smoking, chemical spills, bad diets, and radiation aren't significant factors in that rise.
  • Greatly increased quantity, frequency, and complexity of routine vaccines. (Have we saved them from traditionally rare and/or mild childhood diseases only to saddle them with life-long disabling conditions?)
  • Too little challenge to children's developing immune systems (variations on the "hygiene hypothesis").
  • Breastfeeding may have made somewhat of a comeback since I was a baby—at least it's no longer routinely discouraged by doctors—but for most nursing is vastly different from the experience of past generations, which were exclusively breastfed for many months and continued to enjoy this transfer of benefits from the mother's own immune system till age two or three.
  • Children are spending much less time outdoors, which by itself comprises many changes: less exercise; less exposure to sun, wind, rain, and other vagaries of nature; less interaction with wild animals and plants; less chance for independent action and exploration; less opportunity for social interaction in the form of pick-up games; less time for solitary walks and thought, for staring at the sky and watching the clouds—each of which is actually a broad spectrum of experiences which no amount of vitamin D supplement, Discovery Channel videos, organized sports, and zoo, garden, and museum visits can replicate.
  • Smaller families. It's a lot easier to say, "go out and play," when you several children, and your neighbors have several children each; not only are your children almost guaranteed to find playmates, but there's safety in numbers; if someone gets hurt there will most likely be people there to help, and to run for additional help if needed. Large families also have a built-in support system—ask anyone who found his family isolated under COVID restrictions.
  • Hidden environmental toxins. Certain kinds of pollution have been cleaned up beautifully since my earlier days—our air, rivers, and lakes look a lot cleaner, and we're much more careful now about heavy metals and radioactivity—but they're full of less obvious but perhaps more harmful junk, such as herbicides that have been shown to change male frogs into females. What could go wrong with that?
  • Changed eating habits. Unbalanced diets, artificial colors and flavors, lack of micronutrients, excessive processing, accumulated pesticides, unhygienic conditions along the food chain, allowing children to be picky eaters, Coke for breakfast, eating on the run instead of at the family table—any number of factors could be trivial, or highly significant.
  • Unstable family situations. A good family may be the best predictor of good health.
  • Repeated exposure, at earlier and earlier ages, through social media, movies, television, books, video games, school, peer conversation, and even personal experience, to levels of violence, sexual content, adult acrimony, and general divisiveness—once experienced only by children in truly appalling situations, such as war zones.
  • Stress levels for children at an all-time high, again excepting the rare appalling situations. What's more, many of their stressors are novel—our bodies have been training for eons to deal with periodic starvation, but being bombarded daily with tragic news from all over the world, not to mention having to decide whether one should be a boy or a girl, is not something we've been equipped to handle. This kind of stress has physical as well as mental and emotional effects.

I'm sure you can easily add to this list.

Of a few things I'm certain: (1) Our children's mental and physical health is in serious danger, (2) there is not one clear culprit in this tragic situation, but an interaction of many factors, and (3) as a society, our priorities are really screwed up.

While not denying climate change, nor the need for integrity in sports, nor our sins of the past, nor our inter-relatedness with other parts of the world, it's clear to me that we are spilling vast multitudes of ink, money, and angst on relatively distant and/or contested issues, while barely acknowledging the suffering and even death of children "right next door." There's been a remarkable improvement in prevention and treatment of adult cancers, but for decades almost none for children, probably because it isn't a research priority. We obsess over slavery from 200 years ago, but a film like Sound of Freedom, which brings to our attention the beyond-shocking world of modern-day slavery, not to mention pedophilia, child pornography, and the role of Americans in producing, facilitating, and consuming the evil, is mocked, derided, and trivialized by those with the most power and influence. (It's hard not to speculate that there might be some conflict of interest there.)

There's a place for training children to avoid the things they are dangerously allergic to, and for teaching compensatory strategies to those with autism spectrum disorders, and for developing new medications and strategies for dealing with autoimmune diseases. But it's high time we recognized that these are stopgap, third-best measures, far inferior to prevention and cure.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, August 4, 2023 at 3:19 pm | Edit
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