14 May 2012

Media Reformation

In the article, How Luther Went Viral, The Economist shows us that what we today view as the grand experiment of social media is actually nothing new. In fact, Martin Luther's Reformation couldn't have happened without the social media mechanisms we currently take for granted (take a second to imagine Martin Luther and the Pope engaged in Twitter beef). But while we acknowledge how today's social media is just another link in the chain, we also have to take into account how the increased accessibility of today's social media makes it unique and also dangerous.

09 May 2012

The Need to Justify

What is it that compels us to justify our choices in life? On the internet it can become a blackhole of back and forth but in real life, it seems to all boil down to some intrinsic need to prove our worth; to have other people understand our intent. But at it's core, it's impossible and most of all, it's tiring. After reading, Dodai's incredibly personal article, When Motherhood Never Happens, I scrolled through the comments and I realized that what was driving points on either side of the comments was the need to justify our life choices. 

Those that were for motherhood felt the need to explain why they had kids and let everyone know that "I still have fun!" and "My life hasn't ended!". At the other end of the spectrum were the cries of, "I can travel and drink and I'm happy!" and "At least I'm not overpopulating the planet!" You know who I respect? The people in the middle. The people who don't judge and don't justify. 

I'm going to turn 29 this summer. When I pictured my life, I always thought I'd have a family, a partner, and own my own home (typical, but true). But I never gave myself a time limit. I never set myself in a particular place. I just always thought that when I had acquired the resources to have those things (the right mindset, some accomplishments, financial stability) those things would materialize. I grew up having my mom drill into me that I wasn't supposed to get pregnant at a young age, I was supposed to finish college and get a well-paying job, I wasn't supposed to depend on a man and I followed that plan. Now as I head towards twenty-nine, my mom's story has changed drastically. "So when are you going to settle down?" is a question that comes up in our conversations. And you know what? I don't answer it. I'm not going to justify to anyone why I'm not living my life on their timetable or their terms or based on their morals. 

I recognize that there is a finite time period in order for me to have my own biological children but guess what? I can't force the pieces into place. And I don't want to. So we have to stop forcing everyone to prove their happiness. To justify their worth. Because that is what divides us. The minute you justify your childlessness by downing motherhood, you've lost the argument. And when you equate your worth to your choice to pop out a kid, you've put someone else on the defense (or honestly in the case of women who can't conceive potentially called someone else worthless because of something they can't help). So stop, just stop. Do you, be you, and justify it to no one.