to read or not to read

I probably shouldn’t write about something I haven’t read, but I am going to anyway. It’s a choice. I have to make the choice to read or not to read, to be informed or not be informed. The issue can set people off faster than a conversation about politics, but then, the subject matter includes politics, sex, God/religion, choice, information, and if money is involved, well, that would be enough to call me crazy. Nothing like starting your day off a little different.

I believe people should be informed. I believe people have free will and choice and can do what it is they wish as long as it doesn’t impact someone else. We all have our personal choices and for some of our choices society has decided need a few parameters. Being part of something bigger is not always easy. I’m not always sure what it is exactly that I am part of but I know no man or woman is an island, they at least need a bird, frog, dog, tree or something to talk to/with or to relate to/with. It grounds you to be part of “something.” I am part of many things.

I need to read the book before I can comment on it but the premise of the title I understand. Real sex ed saves lives. It would be nice if it started at home, and the world respected whatever education and choices came from that. But once we step out the door, everything changes. I never really set my kids down for the “talk” as it were. I had assistance. I allowed the schools to give a basic health education standpoint, and filled in a few blanks here and there along the way. Because of that, my kids waited, but of course now I wonder if I will ever be a grandma.

I tried to respect my children as individuals, not beating them over the head with my personal choices necessarily, but they do know I made a conscious choice to have children when I had them, even when the timing wasn’t perfect…I had to make the choice to keep them. I was also over the age of “reason” and married when I had children. Not so when I first had sex.

I was lucky I didn’t get pregnant when I was a teen, had no STD’s, which are now called something else. I didn’t get AIDs or have to make a choice about abortion at an age when I was still a child myself, though I have had friends who did. I have friends who are gay, too, and though not my choice personally, I support them as individuals because my love for them cannot be conditional on what they do in their bedrooms. I have friends who have made other choices that I may not necessarily agree with, but those are their choices. In the past, I have had friends whose lifestyle was so foreign to me that I couldn’t be around them without it depressing me or otherwise impacted me so negatively that I had to disconnect myself from the situation.  It isn’t always easy to be strong, sometimes it is hard to be human. I am not perfect, but know in that recognition there is some perfection.

That being said, I need to read the book before I can really comment on the content. For now, I can only speculate on the content. My dealings with Planned Parenthood in the past was that it was a wonderful place to research information. Years ago I ran a home-garage shelter program for abused children. I collected new and gently-used books and toys (and some clothing items) for area shelters burgeoning with women and children. Kids need pleasant distractions when life deals them such terrible blows. It was what I could do at the time, and apparently was a necessity because the shelters were always grateful and clamored for more. I did what I could to help educate the public, and the best place to go for that information was Planned Parenthood.

I know some people may find this hard to swallow that someone such as myself would enter such a facility and use the information therein. They may point to the fact that I wasn’t the same person then that I am now. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I had to walk through those enlarged photos and hands-held and have the conversations too, but my personal choice was just that, to cross the line. The public still needed facts. The statistics, as alarming as they are on either side of that line, still do not stop parents from beating, maiming  and killing their offspring. If you are going to have them, they certainly shouldn’t wind up in a shelter or on a slab someplace. Real life skews real life.

People need real information, and sometimes, just as in life, it entails something you like and something you don’t. I don’t like that abortions stop a beating heart (to use one catch-phrase) any more than I like that babies, toddlers or teens wind up in the real or imagined dumpster, by their parents’ or society’s own hand, so it’s a real toss up for me sometimes. I can’t change the world, but if I could I would start with trying to give facts that could make a difference. I would have to include the good, the bad and the ugly. Fact is, no matter how many children are taken to church or shown how meaningful it is to wait until married for sex, more than I can count are having sex, and more than I ever imagined now have a sexually transmitted disease that they will carry the rest of their lives. They can’t be put in a cocoon with the expectation that suddenly it will open up one day beautiful and perfect.

Fault, fiction, and fear don’t make things right. Facts do. Take this however you want, but I think I will read the book, and if I change my mind, and think the information therein will make a child run out and have sex, I’ll let you know. As a parent who wants the best for a child you can only do so much. I can “want” all day that my child not be engaging in risky sexual behavior, and no amount of talking and church-going can assure that the child will make it past the temptations that come their way, and you can include adults in that as well. It only takes one unprotected act to change life forever. 

Responsibility and education comes in many forms. Read up and let me know what you think of the read. I could go on for days on this. You’re lucky I’ve kept it to 1,125 words.

OOthetalk.jpgPS>>>After writing the post I looked at comics and as life has it, there was one to fit the morning’s topic, so I added it on.  the full toon here.

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