Below are random posts about things that have inspired me or just wouldn't get out of my head until I wrote about them.
I shared on Facebook yesterday a post from a woman who had PTSD who is against the use of trigger warnings. This has been a topic at the forefront of my mind so I wanted to write about why I think she is right. I did write a small comment that disappeared in a Facebook hiccup and planned to re-write it this morning, however, coincidentally or perhaps not so coincidentally, I was sent this morning a Reddit post highlighting the news that the University of Chicago is banning "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces". This news made me want to stand up and cheer but the comments made me nearly apoplectic.
Most of the comments were things like, "Trigger warnings are to help those with PTSD know when to bow out of a conversation. It only takes a moment, so what's the big deal if you are helping someone out?" and "Avoidance is part of PTSD treatment." The latter made me nearly beside myself. I had to pace the room over that one.
When I was first learning web programming, one of my instructors told a story about a wealthy man who had petitioned several web designers to make a website to advertise his ultra-expensive sports car. All but one of the designers immediately began going on about their great ideas for the site but a lone designer said he didn't think the man needed a site at all. The other designers were not happy to hear someone say that but the lone designer was not thwarted. He asked the customer about the target market for the car. Essentially, it came down to a very small number of fellow elites. The designer said that instead of paying for a website, the man should be targeting those few elites through direct contact. Instead of a website, the customer ended up with a brochure that was sent directly to these elites. The point of the story is that just because you can doesn't mean you need to or should when it comes to web design. That principal holds true in all areas of life but I hadn't made the connection until I was dealing with my blog the other night.
Apparently Stephen Fry has quit Twitter (again) over the fact he said something some took as offensive and he felt they were overreacting. I had no desire to get into that debate one way or the other. Was saying a designer looked like a bag lady a slight to homeless people? I've never been on-the-street-homeless but I would wager than some would say yes and others no. It did seem that a lot of people who have never been homeless had an opinion.
Discussions of what exactly constitutes bigotry have been rampant lately. As someone who has been discriminated against and also accused of exploiting my privilege, these discussions both give me heart palpitations and intrigue me.
The relief that spread through me was absolute. Months of successful planning and a very rough evening were finally off my plate. There was no more I could do and only hope for the joy morning would bring.
I had just gotten our daughter to sleep after a prolonged episode of panic attacks and relaxation breathing exercises. My daughter is the high-strung sort and almost every night manages to get herself worked up to near or full panic about something or other. Given that it was Christmas Eve, she had now gotten herself into a frenzy over the possibility of not falling asleep, which would, she reasoned, result in Santa skipping our house. This took creative explanations from me about how I was sure that, so long as she didn't go downstairs, even if she was awake, I bet Santa would come. After all, he only needs to avoid being seen. This helped but her generalized anxiety got to her and the concerns moved on to everything else imaginable. My daughter is the genetic descendant of a long line of ultra-perfectionists, Hungarian perfectionists in fact. Despite my and my husband's efforts to counteract the self-inflicted pressure that comes with that, it still expresses itself, especially at bedtime. It was after 10 when the deep breathing and affirmation exercises finally began to make a dent. With calm, sleep thankfully followed a short time later.
Bob Ros is one of those people who really helped make the world better by being in it. He wasn't involved in big issues or politics but by teaching painting he shared a skill and his own brand of zen with the world. Ross promoted the power of the mind. As he used to say, "In your world, you can move mountains." This philosophy can be applied to anything: art, spirituality, and even the mundane nuts and bolts of the world. Anywhere creativity applies, his wisdom applies. When people allow themselves to be creative, they really can move mountains in anything they do. So enjoy the wisdom of Bob Ross as shared with us by PBS:
In honour of the 10th anniversary of Avatar: the Last Airbender, I'm sharing my reasons why the show Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, Legend of Korra, is awesome. If you haven't watched it yet, get on it! Even if you are one of those close-minded people who thinks cartoons are for kids, watch it! (But not that horrid live-action version. That is trash.) Even at 10 years old ATLA and LOK are truly progressive shows that put even the most Oscar nominated dramas to shame. This is why you should be watching them:
Until a couple of years ago, I was like most people: I didn't likes clowns. I didn't have a fear of them or anything that extreme but pancake makeup and permasmiles were a little too negatively stereotyped for me to see it as anything other than weirdness. I will admit that I was 100% ignorant about clown as an art form and truly thought that clown came in only the Ronald McDonald or Bozo style.
Just over two years ago, I had the fortune of making friends with a wonderful woman and was surprised to learn she was passionately into clown. That is when my emergence from ignorance began. There is still much I don't know or understand about clown but I know enough now to take it seriously as an art form and even enjoy some of it.