Your parents’ plan for you vs your passion

I watched the series finale of Switched At Birth and it was amazing. One thing in particular stuck with me. Bay’s dad didn’t approve of her career as a tattoo artist, or so it seemed.

What parents want and how they behave

Most of us have experience this: we are passionate about something, but it doesn’tWhat parents want and how they behave follow the path our parents panned out for us. Mostly, our parents mean well, but we just see it as them blocking us from our destiny. For both parties, this is almost impossible to comprehend.

The thing is children grow up. No one can do anything to stop this from happening. Not even parents. Yet, parents will keep trying to protect their children by whatever means they deem necessary. If the child is, as the parents call it “stubborn”, this will result in many fights between the child and the parent. Some young adults may then start to rebel, which only results in more fights.

How to change this vicious cycle

It will not be easy, but there is a way to change the vicious cycle. By doing so you can achieve a healthier relationship with each other.

  • Parents and children, the first thing to do is to try to understand each other.
    If you are a parent, try to put the protectiveness aside for a while and just listen to your child. Be respectful. If you are the child, talk calmly and be open with your parents. Explain what you want and be respectful towards your parents.

    Parents and children understand each other

  • Parents do not belittle your child’s dreams.
    If a young adult is passionate about something, they most likely have already figured it out (partially) because they know how you as a parent will react. Giving advice is not a bad thing, but don’t dismiss everything your child had already worked out in his or her head.

    Parents do not belittle your child_s dreams - children have a plan

  • Children have a plan.
    Mostly, when you are passionate about something, you aren’t open to reason. If you want something badly and it doesn’t align with what your parents had in mind for you, it usually means that what you want is “out of the box”. This isn’t a bad thing, but explain to your parents exactly what your plan is, so that they don’t have to worry about you as much.

Can Barbie have a bad influence on your daughter(s)?

The past few days the song “I’m a Barbie girl” sung by Aqua, has been stuck in my head. Usually when a song is stuck in my head, I just listen to it until it goes away again. However, this time is different, because there are certain parts of the lyrics in the song that are bothering my logic.

The small parts

The song starts with a conversation between Barbie and her Prince Ken. This prince asks her to go for a ride and she says sure. If Barbie and Ken are friends and they go for a ride, then I’m not judging this part of the song. On the other hand, if they just met, it means that Barbie, like an airhead, just goes for a drive with a stranger, who might be a serial killer or a rapist or whatever…the-small-parts-barbie-girl Moving on.

At the same time, we’re creating bimbo girls, because the song acknowledges that Barbie is a bimbo and hey, the bimbo gets the prince according to Barbie logic right? Which (young) girl wouldn’t want to be swept off her feet by prince charming? However this prince isn’t so charming if you listen to the rest of the song. After prince Ken takes advantage of Barbie, he says, “Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again, hit the town, fool around, let’s go party”. This means he loves the fact that she’s an easy idiot. If you look at it in this way, the song also has a bad influence on (young) boys. They will hear the song, think every girl is an idiot and try to take advantage of every girl they meet. Hence, players are created.

The parts of the “Barbie Girl” song that really bother me

So maybe because this song refers to an actual Barbie doll it shouldn’t bother me, but in the second verse Barbie sings “You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere”. How is this a positive thing to let young girls listen to? If they take it literally, we’ll have little submissive, “easy” girls in society in no time. Maybe I’m thinking too far, but this might be the reason why some girls will start behaving slutty. The forgotten argument: “Barbie said he/they could undress me everywhere”.

the-parts-of-the-im-a-barbie-girl-song-that-really-bother-me

The part that bothers me the most is the end of one of the verses: “You can touch, you can play, if you say, “I’m always yours.” This part really gives me goosebumps, in a bad way, because Barbie doesn’t even ask for any kind of commitment. You just have to say that she will always be yours. Don’t we all know that men lie to get what they want?

Side note: I did write “men lie” but this is a human thing. Everyone does it (so yes women too).

The other sexual references in “I’m a Barbie girl”

After Barbie admits to being a bimbo in a fantasy world – so logic says she’s definitely not a realist – she also says “Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly”. the-other-sexual-references-in-im-a-barbie-girlFrom the “make it tight” part I would like to conclude that they mean that she wears tight clothing. I hope they’re referring to that and not Barbie’s vagina…

After this part, Ken replies “You’re my doll, rock’n’roll, feel the glamour in pink, Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky…” As much as I would love to defend the song, I can’t on this part, because everyone knows what hanky panky refers to. This is an obvious sexual reference, especially in the context “kiss me here, touch me there”. The “feel the glamour in pink” part doesn’t make the song seem any less innocent either.

In short: Parents, be critical about what you let your children listen to/ watch. What seems innocent, might not be!

Is free will really an illusion?

A friend of mine suggested that I should watch the TV show Supernatural. For years I didn’t, because I don’t like the horror genre. Eventually I started watching it anyway. In season 5 episode 13 there was a quote: “free will is an illusion”. Technically that whole season points in the direction that there is really no such thing as free will, because eventually our “self-made choices” lead us to the path of fate/destiny.

Free will vs God’s will

In life, we are taught to think before we act, because we are all given free will, but if not used wisely, we will cause ourselves and/or others pain with our actions.

bible verse Free will vs God’s willAt the same time, if you’re a Christian, you may come across bible verses such as:

The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble – Proverbs 16:4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope – Jeremiah 29:11

In my opinion these versus hint towards free will being an illusion, because if even the wicked are made by the Lord, does that mean they can’t become good? We’re taught that people choose to do bad things right? But if there’s a purpose for people who are created “wicked”, is it really their choice to be bad?

The good that can come from “our” bad decisions

He that handles a matter wisely shall find good: and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he – Proverbs 16:20

In other words, God wants us to be happy and He will make us happy if we trust in him. This verse also brings up another thought: “everything happens for a reason”.

Let’s say out of your own free will you decide to get drunk. Afterwards you get into your car and get into an accident. Obviously, getting hurt is your own fault, because we all know we shouldn’t drink and drive. domino effectNow your leg is broken and you have a dislocated shoulder so you have to miss work. Your boss says it’s a difficult time at work and he needs all hands on deck so if you can’t make it, you get fired. Now you’re mentally kicking yourself in the head because none of this domino effect would have happened if you just hadn’t gotten drunk that night. Yet, through all the bad, God wants us to be happy. So when you’re healed you start looking for a new job and you find one. Within a few years, you’re a manager at that company. This would never have happened if you hadn’t gotten fired from your previous job. So maybe getting drunk that night was all a part of God’s plan for you and not at all “free will”.

Conclusion: free will – illusion or reality?

free will - illusion or reality
I don’t have all the answers for I am only human. But in life we often see that our choices – be it good or bad – lead us to a final destination. And if we believe that God really wants what’s best for us, this final destination is often a good, happy one. In my opinion, fate and destiny weigh heavier in the grand scheme than free will. So partially, free will is an illusion.

 

Disney lyrics that teach us how to deal with stress

As I mentioned in my previous post, song lyrics often contain (hidden) messages we can learn from. This is also the case in Disney lyrics. In this post, I will name some Disney songs that teach us not to stress and about how to focus on what’s important in life. There are a bunch of Disney songs that teach us other valuable lessons too, but today we’re just focusing on the ones that teach us how to deal with stress.

Disney lyrics that teach us not to stress

Stressing is bad for us; we all know that. Yet, we let influences that we have no control over stress us. I found a few Disney songs that teach us not to stress.

Have you ever listened closely to the song “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book?
This song starts out with the following lyrics:

Bare necessitiesLook for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That bring the bare necessities of life

The beginning of the song says enough, in my opinion. Just look for the things that you need most in life. Get those and for the rest, don’t worry. If you listen to the rest of the song about the “prickly pear”, the song also teaches you to learn from your mistakes.

Another phrase in the song is “The bare necessities of life will come to you”. This can be linked to a bible verse:

Luke 12:24 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest, they don’t have storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than birds.

Luke 12:24

In other words, you have nothing to worry about, because you will always get what you need in life. It doesn’t say that you won’t have to work for it, but if you do what needs to be done, you will get the “bare necessities”.

Another Disney song that says pretty much the same thing is “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King. A reoccurring sentence in this song is “It means no worries for the rest of your days”. So hey, we have no control over certain things so we shouldn’t worry about them. We should just live a stress free life.

How Disney teaches us how to deal with stress and make the best of what we’re given

Yet another Disney song teaches us to live stress free lives. I’m referring to “Why should I worry” from Oliver and Company:

Why should I worry - Oliver and companyI’m streetwise
I can improvise
Why should I worry?
Why should I care?
But once you get it down
Then you can own this town
You can wear the crown

Granted, in the lyrics above, I cut out some pieces to prove the not-worrying-point. Yet, if you look at these words and you really think about it, this song goes even further than just telling us not to worry. It even tells us why we shouldn’t worry or stress. We’ve all got some “street smarts” in us and we all got some creativity so we can improvise. Once we’ve found the way to use our skills, we can “own this town and wear the crown”.

ConclusionAs you can see, the Disney movies are not just for entertainment; they teach us valuable life lessons too. So keep watching Disney movies and learn from them!

The accuracy of the lyrics from the Friends theme song

I recently started watching the TV show Friends (again). While listening to the soundtrack I realized that it’s actually quite depressing.

So no one told you life was going to be this way.
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, you’re love life’s DOA.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

Although in a way, many of us feel this way at some point in our lives. I mean if you look at it rationally:

  • “Your job is a joke”
    Many of us don’t find our dream job and if we do, usually the pay is bad or the coworkers/bosses are horrible. So you could say that at least one job in our life will be or has been a joke.
  • “You’re broke”
    I don’t think I need to elaborate on this. If you weren’t born rich, you have at some point in your life probably been broke.
  • friends scene“You love life’s DOA”
    For those of you who don’t know what “DOA” means: Dead On Arrival
    Although this may seem grim, many of us don’t (easily) find the love of our lives early on. When we keep trying, sometimes our relationships are dead even before they can properly start…

I actually find it ironic how accurate these lyrics are, even now after the show has ended for about 12 years. There’s a lot we can learn from TV shows. Sadly, usually we only realize this after something we’ve been warned about in the form of a TV show or song has already happened to us.

Maybe it’s something to think about to pay more attention when watching TV or listening to music. Because even though the songs/ films are made as entertainment, they usually contain a valuable lesson that we can all learn from.

In my next blog, I will elaborate on some Disney lyrics that we can all learn from…