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Monday, November 2, 2020

Pinocchio Land

A few years ago, my husband and I attended a really cool jam band festival. Those events are the epicenters for the hedonistic free for all child in all of us. Placed here and there around the event fields were beer tents with white picket fences in the front for seating. As we strolled around the thought occurred to us that this scene was equivalent to a "daycare for men". All these men were sitting around, drinking beer, watching TV while safely within the confines of their play yard until their wives came back for them. At the time it was hysterical.

So when in life is it ok to return to our inner child and let it start running our lives? When is it acceptable to take a break from responsibility to the very people to whom you made promises and vows to love, honor and protect? It's not.

Life shouldn't be Pinocchio Land.

If you recall the story line of Pinocchio, he befriends some boys who introduce him to the fun in the sun of Pleasure Island. A place of no responsibilities or consequences, or so they thought. Life doesn't work that way. What goes around comes around, be it the belief in God or simply karma giving you a kick in the behind. Pinocchio and his friends learned a bit too late that every action has a reaction. There are consequences and in real life people get hurt. 

Our society's sense of entitlement and thinking we "deserve" whatever it is we want when we want it is a recipe for a breakdown of not only the family unit but of what makes for a moral, ethical, mentally healthy functioning human being. 

In today's world we are connected to seemingly unlimited potential friends, when at the end of the day 99% of them are just acquaintances who make us feel less alone in the world. We can go through life flitting around social events, reveling in how everyone knows our name, but few of those people know your life outside of that social circle, nor do they really care. 

The majority don't think they have any business knowing your business. Few think they have the right to call out someone on behavior that is immoral or unethical. To do so is crossing the line of being in judgement. 

That is okay to a point.

There is a problem when innocent people pay the price.

Silence in the face of what is morally and ethically wrong may be minding your own business but your silence not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. Not exactly the message we want to send to our children.

When infidelity is accepted as yea well, the two of them look "so happy". I mean, don't we all deserve to be happy? We don't "deserve" anything. Attaining peace, joy and love are things we all want and to actually feel we've received those things is a blessing, but we don't actually deserve anything. Accept that fact and you will appreciate and be very grateful for all the gifts you have already been given. You should have enough life experience and the wisdom to know that and not to take anything for granted.

We make commitments, we make vows, and as adults we should be responsible and abide by those promises. No one held a gun to our heads to follow the paths in life we willingly chose. To want to veer off in a different direction should at the very least involve the decency and respect for a family discussion, to do right by each loved one, not to simply make a knee jerk decision as your right to search for the elusive idea of "happiness". 

Thinking the family is the reason for supposedly not being happy is a cop-out. Most likely these individuals are not happy with themselves, bored or overwhelmed with everyday responsibilities, dissatisfaction with what they've accomplished in their lives, fear of aging, whatever...thus they project that unrest onto others, usually those closest to them, those most vulnerable to their actions. Happiness and feelings are fleeting, fickle, and can be all over the place depending on what is going on in life at the time. True happiness should be synonymous with contentment. 

To believe that this life we've been given is all there is, to jump through hoops to fulfill that bucket list, may fill up your scrapbook of happy moments, but it won't make you content in the long run. In the end, all that really counts are treasured memories of all those little things that make up a family, to know in your heart that you were someone's "person", to know that you mattered.

To reach an age where you desire to seek the freedom and experience of Never Never Land and let out that inner child, it is only healthy when moderation and good judgement are still at play. Think about who was left behind when people take that walk. Who did they leave behind to deal with the path of destruction in their wake and shell shock devastation to the family. 

We all need to play. We all need to have balance between work and relaxation. But there is a line between letting loose and simply being immature.  We live in a civilized society and adults are expected to act like adults. There is no Never Never Land. Life isn't all rainbows and unicorns.

Decisions have consequences. Pinocchio learned a little too late he was making a donkey ass of himself with his behavior. 

Don't be a Pinocchio