Remember this scene in the movie Erin Brockovich? It’s a beautiful sunny day, and children are gaily splashing in the pool in the background. Julia Roberts, playing the title role, has just explained to the mother suffering from cancer that the water is tainted with toxic, cancer-causing chemicals from the local plant.
I first watched the movie as a single person, and I could feel the palpable terror in the mother’s heart as she digested the information…she suddenly screams at her children to get out of the pool immediately and nearly has a breakdown. Nothing had changed about her world except the information she had just been given. The water had always been harmful, even though it looked crystal clear and good for drinking. This mother can do nothing about the water her children had played in for the past hour, nor about the water they’d consumed in all their years in that home.
When I watched the movie after becoming a mother, this scene became wholly terrifying in the depths of my soul. My mouth went dry, my heart palpitated, my hands were chilled, and I emphasized with that mother to the nth degree.
If you read the last installment of my journey (which was last summer – I’ve been distracted!), you know that I became a bit overwhelmed when confronted with a wealth of new information about hazards in our world. This scene depicts exactly how I felt as I gazed around my house at that time (and still do sometimes).
What toxins are in my water? What pesticides might be on that lettuce? If I push the “start” button on my microwave, how does it affect my food? My children’s brains? It takes all my willpower not to run outside screaming, “Get out of the pool, NOW!!!!”
If I did that in my situation, we’d have nothing to eat, so it wouldn’t be very practical. You can’t just “get out of the pool” of the world of food: purchasing, preparation and storage. You can’t just quit taking showers and drinking the water.
When confronted with conflicting information, there’s nothing to do but make a choice, even when all you want to do is…nothing. Ignorance isn’t bliss, unfortunately, and once you have the knowledge you can only pray and do what you can. It’s a frustrating venture and tempting to fall into paranoia and paralysis. I’m hoping that writing this blog will both help me navigate the perilous waters of nutrition information, and give others an easy source of information with which to make their own good decisions, learning from my mistakes (but not taking everything I say as gospel).
Do you ever feel like crying, “Get out of the pool!”? Next week I’ll get to the part where I started coming out of the paralysis and making small, simple changes, baby step style to ease my stress and improve my family’s health.
You can see the rest of My Story starting here.
Don’t forget to try your chances at winning a super cool stainless steel lunchbox through next Friday!
Want to hear my voice? I’m doing a blog talk radio show with the author of Making the Best of Basics, James Talmage Stevens. You can find him at Family Preparedness Guide. I think it’s on Monday, January 11th at 8:00 P.M. CST. I just have to confirm that “next Monday” means “this Monday”! Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it’s happening when I know for sure!