Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I sometimes help my son kill Legos.

My son is a big fan of violence.

I'm told this is an inherent part of his make-up. That because he is male, he will want to kill and to hurt things. I'm told that if I were to remove all weapons from his life (check: sort of), he would fashion bread crusts into guns, and carrots into knives. I'm told it's inevitable.

I call male-bovine-excrement.

I think the people who say these things are perhaps uncomfortable with the reality that ours is a culture steeped in violence, and that it is pretty much impossible to completely shield a child from this drug. Because yes, violence is a drug. It is a drug to which boys (on average) seem to be more attuned, and it is a drug that acts directly on the same dopamine-reward system as every other drug. It is connected to a very primal, very human desire for power and control in a world in which we are in reality highly vulnerable and weak.

This desire masquerades as the lie that the use of the evil of violence to do good things (as I think may sometimes be necessary) somehow transmogrifies that evil into good. This is not true. This is, as I have said, excrement.

Nonetheless, the world is the way it is, and my son lives in it.

So despite the fact that I will continue to consistently share with him my feelings about violence, and despite the fact that I have done what I can to mostly remove toy guns from his life... I will not be foolishly attempting to force him to change. If I take away his Lego guns, after all, he just uses other Lego pieces to make more.

I don't want him to feel he has to hide that from me, or to lie about it.

I trust, instead, in the slow work of Truth. I believe--almost half the time--that my steady affirmation of a life of peace will one day win out. One day he, too, will put down his Lego guns and begin to tell Lego stories that focus on creating, rather than destroying.

For now, though, I will meet him where he is. I will follow what I believe (hope) is the path of Love, and I will set aside the puffed-up satisfaction of Being Right, in exchange for the joy of Being Present. I will help him do his thing, make his videos, and kill Legos.


Cop Robber Plane from josh barkey on Vimeo.

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