Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Believe...

What you believe is important. What others believe is only important to them. Gisele Bundchen, the super model has recently come under fire for making a comment that it should be a law that all women breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months. While she has now released a statement of a kind of apology, people are all in an uproar about this comment. You can read an example of this "outrage" in the New York post at this link.

I think that when it comes to parenting, people tend to be very defensive of their choices and if you choose to raise your child differently than I do, that I might feel like this is some kind of slap in my face, that you are telling me that I raised my child "wrong". Also, I think that when people choose something they know in their hearts is not the best choice, they are often even more defensive of that choice.

Personally, I have a set of beliefs, be them about parenting, God, food, politics, whatever. Here is the thing, I am entitled to the way I believe, you don't have to follow my belief system or even believe the same things that I do, but I have the right to voice them and believe them. So does this model, Gisele, she was not saying that everyone had to do as she said, or feel the same way she does, she was just voicing her thoughts on a subject and she has every right to do so. So what if she thinks their should be a law? I don't see law makers running around trying to get this breastfeeding law on the books just because Gisele said it should be so!!

That being said, I think that I should put a few of my beliefs out there. They are mine and mine alone, you don't have to agree, you don't have to do what I say, I don't even have to do what I say, but I'm putting them out there anyway!

1) I Believe that breastfeeding is best. I believe that breastfeeding is undermined by powerful formula companies who make it seem OK if a person chooses not to feed their child the way God intended - and it is a choice. Almost everyone is able to breastfeed given correct information and quality support by an educated person (sorry, nurses and doctors and mothers who have breastfed in the past don't count). I believe it is a crying shame that so many women are made to feel badly for nursing and given all the reasons why they shouldn't do it, try or continue. Nursing is a gift that I personally would not trade for a million dollars and feel so sorry for those who don't get to share this amazing bond with their child.

2) I believe that vegan is the healthiest way to eat. Now, I'm a vegetarian but I am not always dairy free, I try but I am not always successful. I know that I feel better about myself and my stomach doesn't hurt and I feel healthy when I cut dairy from my diet, but it is hard to maintain a social life, eating out when both meat and dairy free, so this is a struggle for me. However, that struggle does not negate my belief that not eating animal products is best.

3) I believe that everyone has choices and as long as they make those choices consciously then I am fine with it. However, I hate when someone is a sheep, doing something without giving it any thought. Why does one choose public school for their child? Why did someone choose disposable diapers for their baby? Why did this person choose bottle-feeding? Why do people choose to eat meat? Why do some choose not to co-sleep with their child? Why do some people choose to use spanking as a form of discipline? Why did someone choose to circumcise? I don't mind that someone may have chosen something different from what I chose, but when I ask these questions, I don't want to see blank expressions on their faces, I want to hear about what led to this choice. Perhaps we can educate each other!

I believe that our beliefs are part of what makes us special and unique, and listening to why people believe one way or another can only help increase tolerance. What would happen if our world was a tolerant one? What if everyone believed that everyone else had the right to their own belief system - that might be the key to world peace right there!! But hey, that's just what I believe :)

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