There are children dying - a bit of perspective please
I was recently asked for my thoughts on fellow expectant mother Chrissie Swan’s mea culpa. Star of reality television, Logie darling, she that doles out down homey advice in the kind of warm, engaging tone all wannabe gal pals should study as the gold standard.
The weekly, suburban meditation of her fears, failings and foibles attracts equal parts praise and scorn. From daring to raise fat kids to the pitfalls of the inner city hipster. All manner of tidbits she coughs up apparently warrant further discussion.
Well, unfortunately for the mother of two and to the delight of the gossip mags and the Twittersphere, Chrissie was papped doing two things at once - smoking and being pregnant.
A couple of things struck me about this whole saga.
The first is just how dangerously additive nicotine is.
No right minded mother wants to put her child in harm’s way. Chrissie herself has told us that. To have that pure, unadulterated motherly instinct ruled null and void by a pinky sized cylinder of shrivelled up leaves and chemicals is distressing.
Losing control of your will, discipline and to knowingly jeopardise the health of yourself, your baby and others is reason enough to never inhale tobacco.
Mother knows best… most of the time. Unfortunately the wonder of nurturing and supporting new life doesn’t magically make mums immune from doing dumb stuff.
There’s perhaps no greater insult than being labelled, “a bad mother”. It paints a person as selfish, uncaring and toxic. Traits that in any other person are generally tolerated in small doses but seem to defy the laws of nature when shown in a mum.
The other thing that struck me in this mini quagmire was that, well, I don’t really care what Chrissie Swan does. The torrent of vitriol and outrage directed at her unsettles me much more than any feelings of wrong she might be guilty of.
Maybe it’s the worthy SBS journalist in me, but every weeknight I present a dose of reality…and not the Chrissie Swan version of reality TV.
We’re not on a mission to brighten peoples’ day but we do offer a balanced insight into major events affecting real people.
Seeing innocent children orphaned, gruesomely maimed and mostly mourned for in the Syrian crisis, viewing Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafsai wounded after being shot point blank in the head by the Taliban for daring to campaign for equality, the ever present threat of war from long time, unyielding foes and observing the universal, vacant stare people get when they’ve seen too much, hurts.
It’s a look I see almost daily in our bulletins. It’s usually at the end of a story which has detailed some sort of atrocity or heinous malefaction. It’s often a kid who’s been too busy surviving to have showered or had a decent meal.
They just stare. The last flicker of life force snuffed out in a final act of whatever injustice they’ve borne witness to.
That’s what makes me indignant.
That’s what raises my ire.
And that’s what provides a startling counterpoint to Chrissie Swan and her bad habits.
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