Two things I generally disapprove of: censorship, and keeping a man from his steak. Also, this analogy is on point. Speaking in broad cultural strokes, we are imbued with censorship in various levels of today’s shared society. Our government heavily censors what information it releases to its people, in order to better “protect” them (as it always has); our biased and skewed mass media outlets censor their stories to more conveniently fit their desired narrative; our discussions on hotly-debated controversial topics such as race and religion are censored (and therefore stunted), as to not draw unwanted criticism for “political incorrectness” – for example, broadcasting any likeness of the Muslim prophet Muhammad on television.
South Park nailing the social commentary yet again; this clip is actually an excerpt from an O’Reilly Factor bit, no less. Not posting the full bit because O’Reilly is a total jabroni.
So there’s all that, about which we can do very little…unless we possess the inordinate amount of capital required to buy and sell those censorships. Which we don’t. On a more personal level, however, we do have the power to censor or not censor the messages we deliver to the world around us. I’ve stated previously on eloquentzen that I don’t believe in censoring myself, and I’ll further explain why.
As I’ve come to receive feedback on my writings over time, the emergent theme has been that where I am most candid in sharing, the more valuable and powerful the message is. This makes sense to me; a common A.A. adage regarding sharing is that “we’re only as sick as our secrets.” It would be very easy for me to censor any given detail in the content I post. Since I personally know most of my readership, I could be overly meta about writing and not get after the full disclosure.
Playing the literally figurative ace of hearts in my writing game.
But I don’t, because that would feel like “cheating” to me. Recovery is a raw process, and I would be doing a disservice to myself and other readers if I weren’t an open book about it. There are almost stages to the depth of sharing writing allows for: to simply journal and spell out your thoughts for your own reflection is at about 33%; to write and post through a public forum is around 66%; and then explicit verbal disclosure is at 100%.
So, what do babies have to do with any of this? Well, there are a lot of connections, really. For one, babies have no concept of censorship – how would they? Their experiences and relative knowledge are too limited for their fragile eggshell minds to grasp it. No, instead it is us, as adults, who must provide appropriate censorship for the eyes and ears of young babes. If you think about it, babies are inherently brilliant jerks – they let us manage all the worry and responsibility of what they ought or ought not to be learning, while they themselves run around spewing nonsense with no filter whatsoever.
Plus, babies are essentially miniature drunk dudes anyway:
“C’mon man, you’re a mess and you’re slurring your speech”
“No, no, put that down, that’s not yours”
“Why is his shirt off?”
“What? Oh, you want your bottle? And a nipple too?”
“Great, he’s throwing up on himself”
“…aaand now he’s crapped his pants”
Further proof that behind the giggles and naps, babies are kind of inconsiderate jerks.
This does give pause to consider how I will approach discussing alcoholism and my struggles with it, if/when I have my own wee babies. As there is nothing (at this point in time) that can counteract genetic passage of the disease, it may be an inevitability that one or more of my children are at high risk for it. Poise and tact will be key players in how I educate my offspring about this potentially fatal affliction.
Fortunately, I plan to have many years between this moment and that one.