This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills asks “Who gives a crap?” and about what. She declares some things that are important to her, things she gives a crap about, including, but not limited to:
- the environment
- jobs for all
- literature and it’s role in society, and
- conflict resolution.
She says that
“Conflict resolution is finding a peaceful solution to a disagreement. It’s drawing back my hand from the urge to smack. It’s letting go of a need to punish. It’s hearing both sides of the concerns and working toward a way to save our environment and jobs. It means acknowledging the rights or privileges of all. It means agreeing to disagree with compassion for the other. It means uplifting the lowest in our midst instead of only seeking to better our own. It also means checking our words and behavior.”
I give a crap about education. I care about the education of our children. It is through education that we can make a difference in the world; but we can only do that if we educate our children to be thinking, caring, responsible, contributing participants in society and inhabitants of the planet.
We need to teach children about their relationship with the environment, and the impact of their individual, and our collective, actions.
We need to give children time to experience nature and the outdoors; to marvel at its beauty, to appreciate its diversity, and to wonder …
We need to model for children a principled life, in which truth, equality, and diversity are valued, and in which the collective good is more important than an individual’s need for fame or fortune.
We acknowledge that making mistakes is integral to an individual’s learning and tell children it is okay to make, and learn from, mistakes. We encourage them to think for themselves and to be innovative, to see alternative solutions to problems.
If we were to teach them to just accept things as they are because that’s the way they’ve always been (and I query that statement!) how can we expect them to come up with solutions to issues that confront us?
Some of the conflicts mentioned by Charli; for example, providing jobs and preserving the environment, have resulted from our learning, our development, our education.
Maybe we should consider that making mistakes is also integral to our collective learning and development; and be prepared to accept them as such, learn from them, and devise alternative solutions.
For example: We learned about fossil fuels. We saw how they would enhance our lifestyle, and we implemented that learning, creating many new jobs as a consequence.
Now we see that some of those advancements are not as beneficial overall as was initially thought. We made a mistake. It is time for reassessment, for learning, and for thinking of new strategies. We need to leave behind what does not work, and embrace the next step in our development.
Charli asks, “When did we start thinking that only our crap matters and stop giving a crap about others?”
For a while the focus moved away from the importance of community to the importance of the individual and individual rights. Maybe now it’s time to put the focus on community and the role of the individual in it. Let’s not ask what the community/humanity/the world can do for me, but what I can do for the community/humanity/the world.
This brings me back to Charli’s flash fiction prompt to: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that expresses a strong concern, something to give a crap about. Something that brings out the feeling to stand up. How can you use it to show tension or reveal attitudes?”
This is my response. I hope you enjoy it.
“It’s mine!” they spat at each other. With faces red and contorted, they pulled in opposite directions.
The object finally stretched to its limit and ripped apart, catapulting the opponents backwards to land on their derrieres.
“Now look what you’ve done!” they accused each other, and scrambled to retrieve what was salvageable.
They contemplated the useless fragments. There were no winners, only losers. Their eyes, previously filled with hate, now brimmed with sorrow.
“What have we done?”
Moving together, each comforted the other, feeling as much for the other’s loss as for their own.
“Let’s start anew,” they said.
I’d love to know what situation you think my story might be about. I’d also love to know what it is that you give a crap about.
Oh, and thanks to Bec’s reminder, I will mention the Who gives a crap toilet paper (that is far from crappy and great for the environment) that Charli mentioned in her post, and I previously mentioned in Around the Campfire.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.