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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

EPISODE XXVI - WARRIORS WHO MUST NOW CHANGE DIAPERS

 EPISODE XXVI - WARRIORS WHO MUST NOW CHANGE DIAPERS

Over a period, I have been receiving email communication from adults, mostly parents, adding their thoughts to my work. Many have been offering subject matter that they would like me to comment. Others, want to share their experiences how my stories have helped them resolve current issues with their teenaged children. For this consideration and recognition, I am truly grateful. I have come to realise that my stories have as much a direction towards our youth as well as adults, parents, teachers or caregivers. With this in mind, I will expand my focus to include "adults" in my manner of speaking, in recognition of their needs to address issues they encounter with their children, especially their teens.

In my previous EPISODE XXIII, THE BUNNY, THE BEGGAR AND THE ISLANDOF SHAME, I talked about young girls becoming pregnant and having children. In the video that I presented, you witnessed young girls as young as twelve, wanting, "deliberately trying", to have children. Much like young children begging to have a pet dog, cat or hamster to play. Others, like our Bagged-Lady, are forced to give birth to children they had not planned for or wanted to have. In China, we witnessed how the government in order to control overpopulation, imposing very strict  birth restrictions. For each example I have sighted, I caution you from drawing conclusions about what is appropriate, right or wrong. Let me explain by using some examples:

In one country in Africa, it is the belief that twins born into a family, are bad luck. Thus, it has been the custom to kill such babies. At first glance, one would be shocked to have this take place in our Western societies. Furthermore, we would be quick to pass judgment and criticizing such actions in other communities as barbaric. However, there is an "anthropological" explanation how such beliefs came into existence.

In such barren lands, where food is difficult to obtain and feed one's family, the expectancy of two children at the same time is a deadly burden on the family. With the mother not having the capacity to breastfeed two children as well as meet her needs of nutrition, in most cases, both infants would die. Hence, over a period, years such observations, became tribe taboos and interpreted as "bad luck", discouraging the birth of twins. Many "foreign" cultural differences than ours, have very basic roots that we might not be able to explain or justify in our perception, but it does not mean that we can judge them as being wrong.

One such perception that is closer to home, is that of males and their relationship to their children; especially, those that father out of wedlock as in the case of young mothers. It is a fad to have babies, without thinking of the long-term consequences and the needs of children to have both parents participate in their growth and development.  Once again, one cannot sit in judgment of these young girls but look at these events as "cultural changes" in a society. One such explanation might have to do with the fact that in most Western societies, young teens have secured their basic needs because of affluent parents (their own parents) or social safety net.  This might be a new transition in human evolution in the care of children; much like the accepted norm, whereby most children today are not raised by a stay at home mothers but by institutions, such as daycare.


My good friend Ms. Asil invited me to sit in a session or two of programs called, "Being a Father," held by one of the Family Services. I arrived early and watched a number of nervous men, previously unknown to each other, gather for the first time in a conference room. The animator for this program was Gerg and his assistant Neeresh. As the program evolved, one of the tasks given to each at the oval table, was that they first name and describe in their words, their child(ren). What a moving experience:
























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As each of these men began to speak, I had these flashbacks to the writings of anthropologist Desmond Morris and his , "The Naked Ape". A book that has helped me explain much of my "human world" in terms of our evolution and our place in the animal kingdom.  In that context, I was now witnessing, "male Apes", some towering more than two meters high, with a massive muscular build, that would crush the smallest of us apes in the room with one blow, bow their heads in solace as they described their love for their child(ren). They did so in such tender terms, I was moved to tears. 

Others would drown themselves in self-criticism, recognizing their failures as a Dad, wishing that they had the know-how and the skills to do better as fathers. Still, others would drown their loss, in alcohol to numb the pain of not knowing "how". They were warriors who according to Dr. Desmond Morris, were genetically and evolutionary made to be risk takers, hunters, and protectors, now asked to gain skills in changing diapers.


Here is a true Warrior, in case you don't know what we look like (Please watch the video.)



Times are changing and our means and ways of survival are changing. Our behavioral needs to live in large urban centers, where conventional roles for both men and women are changing faster than our biology has time to adjust. I can only hope that what I am witnessing in these programs such as "Being a Dad", is a serious attempt by our species, to cope and adjust to these massive overnight changes in our anthropological makeup. We risk clashing with nature's evolutionary design, much like our issues created with climate change. In both cases, massive human intervention is needed to prevent the extinction of yet another species - The Naked Ape!


Fatherhood:

Warriors only, need apply ------------> DAD CENTRAL 



By Elias Leousis,
(Η αγάπη είναι το μελάνι, η σοφία είναι το μήνυμα.) 
Love is the ink; wisdom is the message! 




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