Sunday, 9 March 2008

Big Problems; Small Worries

My daughter told me on Friday that there is a mean girl in Year 2 who is upsetting her by staring and whispering in the playground.

But ... before I go into that ... I want to confess my enormous ignorance of scientific facts. I have only just learned that there have been 5 mass extinctions in the earth's history:

(1) 439 million years ago: The 'Ordovician-Silurian Extinction', a drop in sea levels as glaciers formed then a rise as glaciers melted. Death to 60% of marine species types.

(2) 364 million years ago: The 'Late Devonian Extinction' was when another 57% of marine species types snuffed it, for reasons unknown.

(3) 251 million years ago: The 'Permian-Triassic Extinction' was the mother of all of catastrophes, wiping out 95% of all species including plants, insects and vertebrates. Some reckon a comet or asteroid hitting the earth caused it. Ouch.

(4) 199-214 million years ago: The 'End Triassic Extinction' happened when rivers of lava erupted and led to all sorts of land mass re-arrangements, including the formation of the Atlantic ocean. Global warming may have resulted, umpteen creatures perished.

(5) 65 million years ago: Quite recently as it turns out, the 'Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction' killed off the dinosaurs and a whole slew of marine and land vertebrate species.

We are - today - currently - at this minute - right now - in the throes of Number (6): The 'Holocene Extinction'. Yep, mankind's use and abuse of our wondrous planet will result in the death of over half the planet's species within the next century. Heck, even dodos were still around until the 18th century.

So ... I'll get to the point ... I know we are witnessing a global catastrophe. And I also know the poverty and hardship that most of the world endures every agonising day makes my blessed life look like heaven with a cherry on top. So why do people like me still weep and worry over tiny problems like the mean whispering girl in Year 2? Why?????

I suspect it's for the same reason that telling a child "there are people starving in Africa, you know" isn't going to make him want to eat his peas.


  1. True. I remember being told that when I was a little girl by someone. I said, "Well then send them this," referring to the food I couldn't bring myself to swallow.

  2. A pity that school bullies didn't vanish with the dodos and tyhe dinosaurs.

  3. Why? Why?
    Because you are a thinking, feeling human being who although is acutely aware of how the world and it's occupants fail eachother, is also a mother. And being a mother it is to our children we turn to protect first, then other people's children, then the world.

    It's natural. And you do your bit as everyone does. As I tell my children - be responsible for your own actions, no one else's. You and I alone are not responsible for the world's demise and you and I alone cannot stop it.

    That is why (amongst other things) I believe in my Creator. He is, to me our only hope.

    Thanks for stopping by mine. Always welcome. :0)

  4. Our lives are short and small in the face of these enormously large events and we can only see these "little" things as big occurrences in our relatively short life span. That is all the outlook we have and it is hard to get our minds around the rest of it.

  5. When the mean girls are whispering about YOUR child, it's the biggest problem in the world.

  6. Well, because she's upsetting your baby, that's why. My son is only 5, and it raises my hackles to hear another boy call him names on the playground. And if you told me at that moment that the ice caps are melting and the hole in the Ozone layer is expanding, I'm not sure I'd care nearly as much as I would AFTER I put that little punk in his place.

    (FYI: No five-year-olds were harmed in this hypothetical example of motherly smothering--er, love.)

  7. Scary big stuff, but we have to be preoccupied with the immediate, otherwise we'd jump off the edge of the earth. Anyway, what could be more important than making sure your child is OK? M xx.