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You Decide for Yourself and Get Your Own Questions

I’m not going to tell people what to believe. Who am I to do that? But I am going to tell you to ask questions and seek answers. One thing I have learned in life is that if you have two greatly differing opinions, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

I don’t know if I believe the numbers we’re being spoon fed by the media on Coronavirus are accurate. Where are they all really coming from? Are they being altered or skewed? Are doctors being encouraged to attribute more deaths to COVID-19 than there really are? Without enough proper testing, how can we rely on any of the numbers anyway? Where have all the other illnesses gone? Are people miraculously cured of all of them in the midst of this virus? I still have allergies, so I imagine people are still suffering from other health issues as well, yet people are dying more of COVID-19 than any of these now. This seems curious to me.

If we go out in public without a mask are we all indeed murderers, as I keep seeing/hearing being said? I don’t go out much, but I have been complying with the mask suggestion, not because I think it does a bit of good, but because I know it eases the fears of others. I try to be courteous. Will I continue to do so when it reaches July and August in Florida and the real feel outside is over 100 degrees? Honestly, probably not. But I’m hoping by then this mask thing will have eased up.

You see, I am ok with erring on the side of caution with the unknown, but I refuse to live and make decisions out of fear. That’s why at the start of all this, I didn’t have a problem with a few weeks of social distancing. It seemed like we could all make a little sacrifice and then go back to normal. Now people are talking about “the new normal” and I’m getting pretty sick of hearing it. I am not ok with this if it isn’t temporary.

Yes, I do believe we have a real illness out there. I do believe people are dying. I know some say it’s all made up, but I believe it. I worry about my elderly parents (whom I also miss because I don’t know when it will ever be deemed safe to see them again) and my dear friend who has MS. I love them very much. I would never want to contribute to making anyone else deathly ill or to see my loved ones contract this virus. I know that would be irresponsible. But the converse to that is that keeping everyone caged up also feels irresponsible. Is it fair that healthy people are being forced to go hungry or lose their shelter because they cannot work (government aid is not working for all of us)? Or that some of those who are sinking into depression because of loneliness and the constant barrage of bad news are considering taking their lives? Or to those who are suffering immune-system-deteriorating-anxiety because of all of the above? What is the right answer? I wish I knew, but I don’t.

When I taught high school English, one skill I tried to teach my students was to think for themselves and to always check the validity of their sources. Sometimes we have to dig past the first things that pop up on a Google search. Just because it’s on the internet does not make it true. Who is saying it? Why are they saying it? Is there bias? Are there facts to back up what is being said? Where are those “facts” coming from (and there is also a difference between FACTS and TRUTH). If there is evidence for only one side of an issue, has information from the other side been sought out and considered?

And that is where my distrust comes in. I am not necessarily siding with the conspiracy theorists (I’m not sure I believe the government has much to gain by controlling us if our economy has also collapsed and it’s not just our government going through this- just to touch on a couple points I’ve seen). I do, however, find it interesting that any views contrary to what the media has been beating us over the heads and dragging us out to the curb with seems to disappear once it gets attention. That’s censorship. What needs to be hidden? Are we not meant to analyze the information in order to think for ourselves? Historically, before censorship, commoners, slaves, and women, to name a few categories, were kept from learning how to read? Why? Was it because it was seen as a waste of time for them to learn or because knowledge was gained by reading, and the less they knew, the more they could be controlled? So the censorship that I’ve seen going on is not sitting well with me.

I feel a bit like now that time has gone on and more is being learned, perhaps if it is seen that the frenzy was unnecessary, people who made these decisions will look bad for their early decisions. So maybe it’s just about about saving face. Maybe Bill Gates really is the anti-Christ. Maybe it is actually a nefarious plan to turn our country to Socialism. Who knows? I don’t. I will likely continue to use caution and care with others (If they are living in the fear this disease has caused they’re already suffering so why make it worse?). I really do not wish to contribute towards the suffering or illness of others. But I will also continue to ask questions, to seek answers, and to give both sides of the argument consideration. Never just take in the information that is freely given. Truth takes work. Scully and Mulder searched for eleven seasons and a movie.


Hitting the Glass Ceiling While Wearing Glass Slippers

I was coloring with my favorite little girl one afternoon when she suddenly started asking me the origin stories of some of the better known superheroes. Personally, I love Batman and told her about Bruce Wayne’s tragic loss of his parents and his way cool butler.

She really wanted to know about Wonder Woman.  I only knew a little, but we happened to be going to a friend’s for dinner that night who is a big Wonder Woman fan, so I told her to ask that evening.

That night, she learned about Wonder Woman and watched the pilot episode of the Linda Carter show from the 70’s. By the end of the night she was wearing a replica tiara, bullet proof bracelets, and holding a golden lasso while spinning.


And she hasn’t stopped since. My little girl IS Wonder Woman, and I’ve become a big fan too. A beautiful, smart, strong, courageous princess who fights for truth, justice, and love. What’s not to love? Or encourage? I could not ask for a better role model in a world saturated with everything I never want my princess to become.

She is a little girl who always favors the female characters, but in her eyes, even Leia couldn’t compete with her curious love of Darth Vader (though Leia has always been a hero to me), and she was still looking for the perfect hero.

But of course, she doesn’t just want to be strong; she wants to be pretty…and a princess. Naturally, she also still loves the Disney Princesses.  We very recently watched the 2015 live-action version of Cinderella, who happens to be one of her beloved princesses.

Now, I know there are arguments out there that these old fairy tale princesses teach young women to be weak and to depend on being saved by their “prince charming,” but I think that just shows a lack of responsibility in teaching our young girls the values and virtues of each of those princesses.  Is Cinderella weak because she has to be whisked away to the castle by her prince? I don’t think so. She was good, kind, and beautiful, and was in the end rewarded for it.

The historic context is the key to making excellent lessons out of these “helpless” princesses.  Our young ladies today need to understand what life was like for women once upon a time, that they were seen as unintelligent property good only for cleaning and having babies. But in these situations, these princesses were strong in the ways they were able to be strong. They were dignified in spite of it, and though women have not quite broken through that glass ceilings around the world, and not even always in the Land of the Free, they gave little girls hope. We cannot discount that today as weak. We should be proud of how far we’ve come. (and let’s not forget the B.A. Mulan, who is based off a Chinese legend)

Princess Diana lived in a land without men, and beyond learning to be strong and to defend herself and what is right physically, her virtues are the same as many of those fairy tale princesses. Many of those values of her femininity are what makes her such an amazing character.

Our little one is not quite old enough that we feel she should see the new Wonder Woman movie yet, but she will one day, and I wonder if she will get goosebumps and tear-filled eyes when Diana climbs up a ladder and rushes through No Man’s Land the way I did. Will she also get goosebumps and tear-filled eyes when Belle (Emma Watson) dances with the Beast in the grand ballroom brought to life…the way I did? I really hope she does.

Heroes don’t have to only be physically strong. A real hero is also emotionally strong, unafraid to show a tender side, and does right, even when it is hard. Mostly, heroes need to stand for something and reflect something we want in ourselves.