I was up in the night with burning desire to write this today. In fact, I’ve been burning inside since I read the article circulating the internet: “Growing up Unvaccinated” (the link is to one blog, however it’s been published multiple places online…). I had to pause and think, why did this upset me so? I mean, I’m really, really secure in my choice not to vaccinate. So why is this so upsetting?
In the middle of the night it occurred to me. People are using it to Bully, guilt, and shame others into making decisions. Not by facts mind you, but by emotion. The vaccination debate is not unlike the ProChoice movement. People are strong and emotional in their decision, on both sides. The difference (in my humble opinion) is that the abortion/adoption/choice movement is largely a spiritual debate. It’s belief system. And no matter what we’d like, for the most part, no amount of bullying or shouting or picketing is going to change someone’s belief. However, I would hope that at this point in evolution we could teach our children to be accepting and understanding that there are many belief systems in this world. We could choose to honor each other, or better yet, LEARN from each other. Maybe if someone has a different belief, ask them why? Not to challenge or compete or belittle, but to honestly stop and listen and put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consider their point of view. We don’t have to change someone’s belief to match our own, but we could be understanding that everyone is entitled to their own experience on this planet.
Now I come back to vaccines. Vaccinating your child has spiritual, physical and chemical consequences. So there is plenty of room here for an educated and enlightening debate. Why can’t we do THAT? If you want to talk about why you think we should vaccinate, why not bring up statistics? Ingredients? Pros and Cons? Let’s be real folks, if you are at all educated on the debate you know that there ARE pros and cons. Your belief system helps you decide which are more important to you and your family. And that’s OK. Why not encourage other parents to research and have educated debates? Why are we trying to shame people (on both sides of the debate mind you) into siding with us?
That is what angered me about the article. Yes, the story is filled with ridiculous holes. Most people in the “crunchy” community are in uproar. But who cares, it’s her story. What bothers me is that others latch on and act as if this is the “absolute truth” about vaccines, and use that as a reason to shame those that have chosen not to vaccinate. That’s not playing fair or kind.
What happened to kindness folks? What about learning and growing together? What about acting as a community rather than a school yard filled with bullies trying to get the other kids to take our side of the battle. Isn’t there a more appropriate way to teach our children to deal with conflict?
I read this blog post today “Growing Up Unvaccinated: Scary Potential, or Healthy Reality?”. I loved it. But that’s just me.
There is a larger lesson here folks. It’s called Compromise. Understanding. Compassion. Let’s go back to real debating. The educated kind of debate where we listen to each other and volley facts back and forth and contemplate a new outcome. Now that’s a real solution. How about instead of beating each other up and letting the drug companies take the big win, we all sit down and actually discuss the pros and cons and come up with some alternatives to the vaccination system that could work for more people? Look at the big offenders, the ingredients, the schedules, the Pros, where vaccines are really effective, where they aren’t so effective. We could come up with something that created a better world for our children instead of just shouting and throwing sand back and forth on the playground. What does that teach our children about debating? Because I’m pretty sure they will face bigger conflicts than vaccines. They may deal with the health of our planet, with energy issues, with nuclear fall out, with a million more important and controversial things. Couldn’t we take them time to start working to teach how to deal with conflict and find where we can agree and come together to solve problems?
Imagine how things would change if we all took a moment to listen with compassion to all sides of the story. Every story. Contemplate the lessons that each side has to share.
Create your Sunshine Life, with compassion for the other side.