Thursday, March 6th, 2014
3 years, 3 months.
Last week at work, I had a conversation with a co-worker named Matt, who has two small kids.
I was telling him how, the longer I’m a parent, the mellower of a person I am becoming. In other words, stuff is just bothering me less compared to the way it used to.
To my surprise, he agreed- he can also personally relate. We acknowledged that whether it’s gaining more patience, or a greater ability to not allow annoying things to bother us, the journey of being parents has broken us in, for the better.
Over three years ago, when I become a parent, I was a much more out-spoken, polarizing person; especially in regards to the world of social media… especially in relation to politics and religion.
Well, that has definitely gradually changed over the past couple of years.
For example, I no longer care to publically share my political affiliation (or disassociation). I feel that public political conversations divide people; causing them to believe that by putting blind faith into a certain political party, that there’s hope that “the other side” will be converted into an opposing belief system; therefore “getting America back on track.”
I’m so over that. I can’t change people’s political beliefs. Plus, I don’t want to be labeled (and limited) to just one side.
All I can do is hope to change the world through my behavior, which (hopefully) proves the validity of my beliefs in the first place.
Having learned that, I’ve realized that same concept applies to parenting issues which I had previously debated with other parents about.
Like the “cry it out” method, attachment parenting, and circumcision…
I used to be so quick to allow myself to get involved in public online debates over those issues. These days, I strive to not take, or present, the bait.
And really, I haven’t said anything controversial in a while…
Granted, I’m still constantly thinking out of the box, and open-minded to concepts that many people might question.
But now, I’m handling these situations differently than I would have six months or even a year ago:
Has anyone else seen the documentary “911: In Plane Site” on Netflix (will be removed on March 15) or on YouTube in its entirety? If so, will you send me a private message including your thoughts on it? I am asking for a private message response (not a comment) because I am attempting to avoid starting a comments war on my wall, in which I appear as a divisive host or commentator, or am labelled as a conspiracy theorist. I am not seeking controversy; only private answers to help sort out some confusion I’m having. Thanks.
I still like to engage people, and learn from others, but not at the risk of being polarizing. So I’m more discreet and more private about my questions and concerns regarding the world and the people who live in it.
It’s my opinion that the chaotic process of parenthood has forced me to focus on what really matters.
I have gotten to the point where I don’t feel the need to have to explain myself to other people if they find out my point of view and disagree with it. What’s the point in defending your beliefs to someone who is not open-minded to hearing them anyway?
Instead of controversy, I’m seeking the collaboration of ideas with other people.
I seek truth, not simply believing I’m right.
Being a parent has peripherally taught me to focus more on how I can become a better person withthe help of other people; not how I can try to make other people better against their will or conviction.
It’s trained me to not let things bother me like they used to. I don’t know if this necessarily makes sense to other parents, but it’s definitely how I feel.
Parenthood is a humbling process.
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Sunday, March 25th, 2012
In this anticipated sequel to “Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?” my goal is to answer whether or not it’s necessary to circumcise your son, and more importantly, whether it is morally wrong to do so.
Interestingly, I never would have been asking myself these questions today if it weren’t for the overwhelming number of comments I received in such a short amount of time regarding my personal view on circumcision.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing I learned through this process is that there exists a passionate, underground movement known as “Intactivists” who strongly oppose circumcision and references to Wikipedia.
I didn’t realize I was participating in a debate with them nor was I aware of their existence until I wrote about the hot topic last week.
The way I see it, I’m nothing more than the blog version of a talk show host whose job it it is to initiative engaging conversations. I simply pitch the issue to the crowd, accented in my personal angle, then I step back and see if anyone joins in the from there.
So while Wikpedia is obviously not the most professional, legitimate source for the medical aspect of circumcision, I do find it to be the best source to catch a glimpse of what main social perception of it is.
Because after all, this isn’t simply a medical issue. That’s not why people are fired up about it. Instead, it’s incredibly personal and social.
Normally, I always credit the winner of a debate to the side that refrains from getting overly emotional, shouting (ALL CAPS is the blog equivalent), speaking in a condescending tone, and attempting to prove that the opponent’s moral character is flawed.
And while many of the Intactivists did those exact things, I still think they won the debate. Yes, that’s right, Intactivists. I think you won.
By “won,” I mean that you made my reasoning of pro-circumcision seem to be about as legitimate as the illegalization of marijuana.
The way you to got to me was by showing me that circumcision is not necessary, despite it being “normal” here in the United States. I now agree that there is a lack of overwhelming evidence that circumcision prevents a plethora of health concerns.
Something my previous Dadvise post exemplified was that A) my suspicion of possible health concerns along with B) a peculiar fascination for the commandment for circumcision from God to Abraham (regarding Jews, not Christians) both seem to represent a lot of Americans and why they un-passionately (and maybe even carelessly) say yes to circumcising their sons.
But wait, there’s more…
As I’ve talked to friends and coworkers about why they chose to circumcise their sons, I got the same answer every time: ”I was circumcised and I’m fine, so I didn’t really think about it. I just had my son circumcised too.”
I asked one of my doctor friends in Houston for his take on if circumcision is necessary and I think he summed up it up perfectly: “There are medical benefits but I think it’s still more personal preference and psychosocial than medical.”
Because honestly, why else is circumcision the norm here in America?
He’s right: the psychosocial factor possibly has everything to do with it. I suspect I will be mauled in the comments section for being this honest, but here it is:
I don’t want my son to be the only one who is uncircumcised in the locker room.
And while stones are being thrown at me, here’s another thing:
Even if I ever decided that circumcision is totally pointless (not just unnecessary), if I ever had another son I would have him circumcised too because I wouldn’t either son to have to feel so confused about himself compared to his brother.
My stance: I don’t believe circumcision is necessary, nor do I believe it is morally wrong. (I can’t believe it is morally wrong because God Himself commanded it; even though only for the Hebrew people.)
That’s right; I stand by my decision to circumcise my son (16 months ago, as if I could change that now) yet I recognize that circumcision is not necessary. And I don’t feel guilty about it.
Here’s what I’m really curious about, though. I wonder if there are any readers out there who oppose circumcision but are pro-choice regarding abortion?
I would love to hear that reasoning. Welcome to the Debate Club.
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