Getting Out of Frenzytown

One time when my son was six he came in from playing outside and asked me a shocking question.

“Mama, what is mating?”

I raised my eyebrows and tilted my head, who wouldn’t.

Why—and what—did my six-year-old need to know about “mating”??

I decided to further question the bearer of this alarming inquiry and asked my son where on earth he’d heard about mating.

Enter the older kid from down the street.

He told me he’d heard it from this older kid down the street—we’ll call the kid Caleb. I sighed a big, frustrated sigh and thought to myself, I’m gonna give that Caleb’s parents a piece of my mind.

In the interest of finding out the whole terrible story I asked my son why Caleb was talking about mating.

So my son then tells me that he and Caleb were playing “boats” and “shipwreck” in the backyard canoe when Caleb said, “Mating, Mating, do you read me?”


That was close.

I was spared the phone call to Caleb’s parents—or worse: marching my raging-hot mom-head to their house.

All because I stumbled upon the bright idea of asking a few questions before commencing to mom-marching to the neighbor’s house. Not that I’m always reasonable and coolheaded by far, but it’s a nice reminder of a time I reflected and responded before reacting.

This is all to say that when I talk about “bucking the system“, I’m talking about bucking systems that don’t serve us—systems we’re part of or have bought into…

Not just any ol’ system for the sake of beligerence alone.

What bucking the system is… and isn’t.

It’s not talking about being complain-y or obstinate—this is about not falling asleep at the wheel of life. Being on the lookout for things that could use tweaking, improvement, and even upheaval.

One “system” to buck is something I often talk about: it’s that the media‘s sole raison d’être is not to inform us, but to get our emotions going, which is where their profits and power lie.

And we fall for their schtick time and time again.

It’s like we can’t control ourselves. We’re like Charlie Brown and that damned football—we walk right into it out of habit. Or maybe a zombie-like lack of awareness, I don’t even know.

The “system” to buck here is our habit of reacting rather than reflecting and responding to flammable objects disguised as information.

We could just as well step back instead of joining whatever fight, eyes closed, arms swinging, just like everyone else is doing.

I mean, look at everyone doing just that—reacting to the latest, eyes closed, arms swinging.

Go ahead—stand out

Once in a while be the person who says, “Hm… I’m gonna think about this.”

Because about 99.9% of what I call flaming beach balls that get thrown to us—and that we habitually try to catch—can wait a minute.

Or a weekend.

Or longer.

Frenzy-town is no place to find peace.

No harm will be done if you let flaming beach balls fizzle in the sand while you step away to think, listen, breathe a bunch, observe, consider.

Because unless your toilet’s running over, the frenzy can wait.


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