Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another point of view?

It's been a difficult couple of weeks.  Waiting with a person very dear to me, who was having a mental health crisis, I clearly heard two hospital nursing staff commenting..."laughing and dancing like crazy people in their own little world".  When the nursing staff came in, and I confronted her, it became very clear that she didn't see the discrimination in the comment she made because she suggested that if the person with me was not in the hospital for mental health reasons, the comment might actually make sense under some circumstances.
Does it make sense to you?  Do some people live in a world all to themselves because they are oblivious of people around them?  If so, does this make the world a happier place?
Is the world a happy place if you have Alzhiemers?  Can you be drunk (literally) with happiness?  Can you laugh so much that the act of laughing can cause you to have a mental health crisis?  Perhaps this was not meant to be a discriminatory statement? 
What do you think? 
I'd really like to know because for my family and myself, it's been a tough week in our own little world.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How was your week?

At work this week, we had a meeting on the phone with a group of eight people.  It began with some casual conversation….how are things going and so forth.  The organizer mentioned that his work week was, well….could he use the word: “crazy” he asked?  Everyone laughed and chimed in that he most definitely could.  Why did he ask then?  My “no” was drowned out and it made me think….am I overly sensitive? 
So what is “crazy”?  Apparently in the 15th century, the brain was being referenced as a pot (the kind you cook with) and persons whose mental health was suffering were “cracked pots”.  A “crack pot” takes on a different meaning these days.   The verb “craze” came into use in the 17th century, again meaning “cracked” or “insane”.  It was not until 1927, when the word “crazy”was first used in jazz music as a slang for “cool, exciting”.
Is “crazy” cool and exciting….has the meaning of the word “crazy” moved to something positive?  How do you use the word?  Is it ever appropriate to use?
I am of the zero-tolerance opinion.   If a word is offensive, I would rather take it out of my vocabulary completely rather than risk offending someone. 
Can we substitute another word for “crazy?”  So how about an unbelievable, inconceivable, incredible, unthinkable, unimaginable, outlandish, nightmarish, strange, screwy, nonsensical, unreasonable, unbalanced, senseless, unworkable week?  And then I also came across the words: kafkaesque or quixotic…they might be impressive? Would that describe it:  or was it just plain crazy?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dying of heat

The summer heat is upon us….some of us hide from it, some of us bathe in it and horrifically, some of us bake in it.
In the first week of July, one child in Edmonton died in a car parked outside a townhouse complex and in Milton, Ontario a child died in a car parked outside of the home.  A child in Markham survived as someone spotted her alone in a hot car in a mall parking lot.   Cars heat up to oven temperatures in minutes, even with a window left open a bit.
It is impossible to comprehend why children would be left in cars, let alone cars in sizzling summer temperatures.  The public has been outraged through Facebook and radio shows, such as in Calgary, suggesting that these parents should be shot.
That’s a natural reaction, according to psychologists such as Melvin Lerner (University of Waterloo).  It is human instinct to want to live in a just world where horrific things should not happen, particularly to these innocent children.  On top of that, we blame, because we want to believe that situations such as these would not happen to us.
Who could “forget” their child in a car?  United States research reveals that over 50% of parents simply forget.  Parents are over tired, over stressed, over worked.  For example, one father picked his child up at day care after he worked a night shift and went in to bed…forgetting his young son was in the back seat.  Can you imagine waking up to such a horrific crime? Or is it a crime?
If we are to get beyond the ugliness of these deaths, we need to be vigilant.  We also need to be aware that it could happen in our own community.  In the United States, an official campaign began last summer called:  “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” with government dollars dedicated to advertising and awareness.  Here’s a couple of tips from them:
·         Keep something in the back seat (where children are supposed to be buckled in) such as a your wallet or cell phone which you will need for the day or
·         Placed a stuffed toy or something your child needs for the day in a spot you will see it before leaving your vehicle.
·         Don’t “run in to do an errand” such as at the post office or mall for a few minutes….ever…with your child in the car.  If you see a child alone in a car, call police.
We can think judgmentally about these parents and blame, or we can help.  As a caring community we can all take some responsibility to prevent this type of tragedy.
What do you think?