Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Food and other important grub....

Last night I had dinner with the Observer and his family. It was a very nice visit. The Observer has a six-month-old niece, Diya who came to visit with her parents. She's VERY cute and has grown from an infant to a smiling, laughing, happy, little baby. Just to look at her makes life sweeter. Now she totally recognizes her family. There's something about Diya. She's wonderful and innocent. All babies are like that. I just automatically love and feel protective of them. I can apereciate how parents love their children so intensely. Babies pull at the heartstrings. Though I don't want a baby now, just being around them brings on an urge. It must be hormones.

We had sausage rolls and homemade pizza for dinner. I know I've mentioned this before, but I really feel as though the Observer's mother sprinkles her food with dust from heaven. It's AMAZING! I love everything I've ever eaten there. All the food is from scratch and I know it takes a long time to make, but all the work pays off. It's so much healthier than the artificial, preservative-laden meals we can find in a pinch. I was joking that I was going to be dreaming about sausage rolls and pizza. I have a left-over sausage roll in my fridge and I can't stop thinking about eating it.

I was on the bus with an older lady on the way back to the city. She was blind and had a classy, wise manner about her. We got to talking about family, beliefs, religion, and the way of the world today. She told me about her grand-daughter who suffered from depression. The lady couldn't understand her grand-daughter's struggles. She came from a good family, was getting an education, had an active social life, so the grand-mother didn't know what her reasons for having depression were. As we talked, it came out that, at 15, the grand-daughter had a boyfriend who committed suicide. The grandmother suspected that perhaps her grand-daughter never got over his death. She went on to say that suicide and depression didn't exist as it does today.

"What do you think is different about being young today as opposed to forty years ago?," she asked me.

Well, I wasn't young forty years ago, so it's hard for me to say, but I do have ideas.

  • I think young people have access to more money, and as soon as we have more, we want more. Few people are satisfied with having just enough to get by.

  • Divorce rates have risen leading to broken families, single parents and high stress environments.

  • Sacred institutions like marriage are not as compulsory anymore, so people enter into more open relationships, that often end in heartache and confusion.

  • Values and traditional beliefs are being swapped for the notion of freedom of choice/expression. This can again create regret, pain, and a poor self-image.

  • Open communication between parents and youth is encouraged, but doesn't always happen. Parents often don't know how to handle the intense feelings of their teenagers, so they don't respond, or do so inappropriately, causing youth to withdrawal.

How do we best support young people? I think much of the job goes to parents to show their children that they are loved unconditionally. We can have everything we've ever wanted, but if we don't feel worthy or loved, it all seems empty. It won't solve everything, but it's a start. We are complicated people living in a complicated world.

After such evolution and change around us, I'm glad a few traditions have stuck - like home-made sausage rolls.


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