Tonight the boys and I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Stuck”.
We knew it would be sad and probably tough to sit through.
The thumbnail showed pictures of tiny, adorable little humans (children) from around the globe, and the short description warned us that the movie would be about the complex dynamics of adoption and the lives that the majority of orphans face.
(Oh’ and the f’d up system that makes it all too difficult and lengthy)
We decided to watch it anyway.
I really think that for our family,
watching documentaries with substance have really served as an aid;
a convenient first world tool….
Which brings a nice balance to our home.
(There is only so much ‘Suite Life on Deck’ & ‘Good Luck Charlie’
one can allow a small brain to absorb)
There is that bitter irony… I can flip on Netflix to teach our boys about poverty, social issues, persecution, injustice, and all other violations of human rights…… because we live in a country with the option to do so.
So. We do.
I want them to see these things.
Not so that they feel sad, but so that they are aware.
Not to callously make them feel guilty (about being wrapped up in fuzzy blankets with bowls full of Cheez-its while they watch these types of movies), but to help them to learn to be content and grateful with what they do have.
I talk with them throughout and most of the time I will pause the movie
(which I hear is annoying) a dozen times to explain how this connects with their lives and their mindsets and what is going through their mind.
(and I am well aware of the problems that we face in our own country. However, tonight I am talking about problems like children having to dig through trash for food, live in dirt huts or share rice out of 5 gallon drums with 75 other orphans under the age of 12)
The tone of our discussions provide a platform for us, as parents.
We answer questions. We do feel good that our little people are inquiring about other little people on the other side of the planet.
They have questions. They want to know. They want to know how people are helping. What they can do to help. Can they pray. Is it really real.
We also bond as a family. We even selfishly utilize this time to let our kiddos know how much they are so loved and valued.
We want them to grow up thinking that they CAN change the world.
I live by this crazy philosophy that we all have some type of gift or talent that we can use for good.
So some will say that us watching about this problem on our flat screen tv in our free country really isn’t helping anyone….
But we feel that if these random family movie nights don’t do anything else,
we can hope that we are challenging our children to think outside of the box,
to think bigger, and are developing a greater awareness of the world that we live in.
(We also like to cultivate strengths here too and in our house, that would be creativity, humanitarian interest, video games and video games.)
On a serious note, the only thing that we have control over is how we react to things that we don’t have control over.
We can’t control world poverty, or any of the other many global crisis’ that we are all well aware of. There is no magic cure.
There are only people who can love and invest in other people in the name of love. That’s it.
And we can do our best to teach our young people that they can’t do everything but everyone can do something. (Hellen Keller Quote)
(Sidenote: I am an imperfect parent who has no idea what they’re doing. I really just talk way too much to my children, and if you asked them- they’d tell you that. I am just a hard-core believer in doing better than yesterday and utilizing available tools and education. Frankly, without tools and education, I would still be a high-school drop out/’drug addict.’ So, there’s that.)