I remember telling someone, back when I was just a teenager in the 80s, that I didn’t want to bring children into this crazy world where a nuclear bomb could be dropped on us at any time. It was the era of the cold war and kids did nuclear bomb drills in the schools instead of tornado drills; we all thought that Russia was going to start a war with us if not the other way around. Russia was the bad guy at the time.
To think that I thought that the world was about as bad as it could get back then. Mothering in the age of Trump has taken a turn that makes it even harder to imagine what we have set our children up for in their futures. And will they think the same thing I thought when I was a teenager about not wanting to bring children into this world?
Will they feel like their lives are threatened or at risk on a daily basis by foreign countries that we picked fights with? Because let’s be honest, our fight against communism was somewhat manufactured. Our fear of communism’s spread was widely based on fear mongering and this idea that somehow it was a Bad Thing. Now yes, people did suffer under communism but arguably not much more then people suffer today under capitalism if they’re not one of the upper echelon. Communists really weren’t much worse than our government when arguing that there was an upper class that need to run the world and the lower-class the need to do all the work.
So I wonder if my children will sit and talk to their friends and say they don’t want to be parents because who would want to bring children into a world that seems eminently doomed? And will it get worse than that? Will their children have an even worse situation to bring a family into? Is this just a cyclical pattern of feeling like we are doomed?
Is it human nature to go through cycles of feeling safe and then feeling unsafe? Is it human nature to get too uncomfortable with being comfortable and stir up some sort of drama that we then have to react to? Because there’s no question that people were galvanized by this political drama. Women everywhere are standing up and fighting. And we know that in the animal kingdom they pick fights over who to mate with and territory in which to hunt. Maybe we are no better than them but instead it’s more of an intellectual battle of wills than a physical battle. Maybe there has to be some sort of animal tension to give us a reason to stand up every day and take steps forward? Are we just following our basest animal instincts?
To a certain extent I hope that that is what is happening, because I truly like to believe that people are good at heart but make bad decisions. And if those bad decisions are just part of being human, that means I can continue to believe that their intentions are good even when they do something egregious like defend a police officer who has beaten a black person to death. I will probably choose to believe that; it keeps me from losing faith in humanity. There are lots of things that humans do that are very upsetting but maybe there’s no way to avoid it? Now that doesn’t mean that we just sit down and accept it, although you could argue what is the point of fighting human nature. No I still think you have to fight your base human urges and limit other people from being able to carry through their base human urges. There does need to be a certain amount of law, be I t the 10 Commandments or a constitution, humans need limits. Just like our children do.
And so the current administration has us contemplating what new limits need to happen and what limits will be broken down that can remain that way. And the reevaluation of our political system is probably necessary. It is just terrible that there are people suffering during this process have no crime other than the color of their skin or the country of their origin. It’s terrible that people we love are dying due to lack of medical care and hiding in fear of physical attacks on their person simply because of who they love. The ugly side of the animal called human can be enraging and heartbreaking. Sometimes humans are hard to love.