Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Has Funny Left the Building?

Lately I find that I have little to say to others that I would consider funny (minus when I talk about my ever-so-hilarious little girl!). I never used to worry about things like I do today, and that made the world a much funnier place to live! Hell, I used to actually have fun every now and again (if memory serves), and I used to find others quite funny, as well! Ah, those were the days (or so they say). Lately, life has sort of become, well . . . unfunny.

I’m sick of reading about natural disasters, unemployment, political infighting, murderous rampages, and celebrities’ tweaked-out lives. I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing nothing but how this world in which I will someday have to leave my daughter is turning to shit. More and more I find myself deflated by the negative state of our world today. I try and stay positive, but with a young child to bring up in the ruin our world has become, sometimes it’s a struggle.

I miss the good ol’ days. No more are the days when a kid can get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and head outside for eight hours of exploring whatever it is he finds to explore. Today, he has to play in his fenced-in backyard with Mommy peering through the window every five minutes. No more are the days when parents could drop off their kids at the pool or golf club, and leave them there all day long without worry. I’m pretty sure that would be considered bad parenting now. You can’t even leave your kid strapped into the car seat for two minutes and run into the 7-Eleven to take a pee without fear of someone snatching your kid or being handcuffed upon return to the car!

The world we live in today is hurried, polluted, starved, frustrated, scared, abused, and strangled. Everything is crying out to be saved: the earth, its people, animals, and plants, our oceans, all the way down the tiniest forms of life. It seems that everything human beings touch is doomed!

I don’t mean to be overly dramatic. I really don’t think what I’m saying is anything that hasn’t been said hundreds of times before. What I want is to not be part of the problem but to help create a solution. Problem is: I don’t quite know where to begin. Recycling: obvious. Renewable energy: on the horizon. Volunteer to help clean up whatever mess we get into next: necessary. But then what?

My generation now bears a colossal burden, and we have a seemingly never-ending road ahead of us before even scratching the surface of the damage human beings have done to, well, everything. Our kids will learn from our mistakes and our example, and they will also inherit whatever we leave behind. Why not teach them now how to help heal our world so that someday they will be proud to pass on what we worked together to mend?

Note: If you want to know what your kids are thinking about our world today, check out this 2009 study by Habitat Heroes:

• 1 in 3 children (ages 6 through 11) fear that the planet won’t exist when they grow up.
• More than half (56 percent) believe the Earth will not be as good a place to live when they grow up.
• Girls worry more than boys, but overall, kids in metro areas worry more than those in rural settings.
• 28 percent say they fear the extinction of animals more than anything else.
• Nearly 25 percent worry about not having enough safe drinking water.

The good news:
• 95% of the children believe their parents are trying to help save the environment by recycling, using reusable batteries, and conserving electricity and water.