This will be a post without pictures. There's a conflict about sharing pictures going on around here. I'm fine with it, he's not. Our conversations about it have got me thinking... and the topic for today is pictures, so here goes.
I'm trying to be open, to hear his fear and to find a compromise that feels safe for us both. His basic idea is: The internet is a place where creepy people go to look at pictures of kids; there are bad people out there and we don't want to get hurt. My basic idea is: I want to connect, to share my life; what is the risk, really?
For those of you who have decided for or against sharing pictures of loved ones (or yourself), tell me about how you decided this. What benefits/risks did you consider? Was there something that decided it for you? I really want to know.
This conversation has caused me to examine some of my long-held beliefs. I have led most of my life with a positive, open outlook. People are assumed good, kind, and well-intentioned unless they show me otherwise. I give second, third, and fourth chances. In chaplaincy we called this, "unconditional positive regard". This perspective has served me pretty well so far in this life. I admit there have been a few moments of being a doormat. I have been taken advantage of on occasion. Those occasions have been few, however, and looking back on them shows me that my openness was usually paired with naivete.
I believe in the inherent goodness of people and I want my kids to, too. But I also want to protect them from harm, to give them backbones to withstand the cruelty and ignorance that they may sometimes witness. The world is full of magic, love, questions, wonder, hope, and new life. Right now I am teaching them with my every action about this. Both girls watch me intently, gauging my reactions to new situations. They are hard-wired for this. As they take in information, I want them to be set on a path toward a life of happiness, open to the goodness of this world. This means that they must know about danger and be able to move through it. My prayer is that it all balances out towards the good.
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