In an interview, a renowned academic in my field once said that when he was young he was certain about two things: 1) he didn’t want to teach, and 2) he didn’t want to write too much. He went on to teach in several famous universities and ended up writing 20 books. I found this very funny because although I have always loved to write, I always knew I didn’t want to teach, but I have been doing it for several years now.
This is something that comes to mind when I try to respond to some questions my husband and I often ask ourselves, as I listed in Part I of this post. Are we still living according to the same principles we followed when we first met (especially in relation to the environment)? Or are we fleeing our responsibility of making a difference in the world? Have we left our ideals aside in exchange for modern, middle class comforts? Are we still being true to our dreams? Above all, how can we be true to our dreams and ideals while at the same time guaranteeing a decent life for our children? And what is a “decent life”? Can’t we live a simpler life? The list goes on.
In her post “My Frame World”, a fellow WorldMom asked: “How do you deal with the discrepancy between your own private life and the tragedies around it? Does your Frame World help keep you sane, or is it rather keeping you from acting?” And by Frame World she means the manageable reality that serves as her daily reference, in her words “a framework to enable me to keep functioning”.
Similarly to what is happening in South Africa, as written by another WorldMom who responded to the Frame World post (and inspired me to write this one), Brazil is facing a great political crisis, perhaps one of the greatest in the country’s history. Yet what worries me the most is not the crisis itself, but how the population of the country has become divided due to this crisis, aggressively taking sides instead of uniting to solve the many urgent issues that need to be dealt with. It is sad to see common citizens advocating others to delete their social media friends who have different opinions, or to hear politicians invocating known torturers from when Brazil was a dictatorship.
In a way my Frame World helps keep me sane enough to be a calm presence at work within an agitated mass of students, often young enough to be my children, trying to deal with this confusing and violent new scenario. In a way my Frame World helps me accept and learn to love a job that was not my first choice and not become a bitter person who hates her job.
In another way I feel afraid and want to protect my Frame World at all costs, to build a safe cocoon for my family within it. In that sense, perhaps it keeps me from doing everything I could, because fear is a paralyzing emotion, that can hinder proactivity and keep us from striding through the world with an open heart and hands wide open to help.
My husband and I have recently been rethinking our life and considering possibilities such as him returning to the non-profit sector, since my job is more stable. Ideally, I would fall in love with my job somewhat like the academic I mentioned above. In that way we would have the best of both worlds – someone guaranteeing that food gets to the table and someone saving the planet. Using the terminology of the fellow WorldMom I mentioned, someone in the FrameWorld and someone in the Dome World.
Or are the two worlds really that separate? Isn’t raising our kids well an investment for the future world? Don’t our actions in the Frame World also affect the larger world around us in ways we don’t see? Don’t small actions unite and form waves that eventually reach the whole world stopping things from becoming worse than they already are? I wish I knew the answer.
And you, have you been able to find equilibrium between the different “worlds” we live in (professional vs. personal, Frame World vs. Dome World, etc.)? Please comment below.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ecoziva in Brazil.
Photo credit to xxx.