I know we are all sick of hearing about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his ridiculous candour (or lack thereof) in the past few months, but I wanted to sound off as a parent who continues to hammer home the message “don’t do drugs.”
And so, I say thank you to Mayor Ford for making my job that much easier. Yes, easier.
The elected buffoon has made such a mockery of his own life that instead of promoting drug culture, he has helped me teach the all important lesson to skip the donuts and cocaine and, for the love of Pete, make sure your friends don’t video tape you being an idiot. These are valuable lessons for the generations to come.
It’s not such a hard sell for my kids now. If Ford is the poster child for success, I am pretty sure the image of his obese stature holding back crocodile tears, interspersed with video footage of him cursing in his now infamous drunken stupor are images that my children will long hold with the same disdain that their parents do. Now I can offer a visual for the definition of vulgar. The man is, simply put: gross.
Our kids are growing up amidst the train wreck of fame, addiction and greed every day. It’s not news any more, it’s fact, and our culture seems to be immune to it so much so that by the end of a news cycle, we are on to new tales that seem to wash, rinse and repeat the same mundane plot.
The mighty have fallen – hard. Again. Shocker.
For years, I have tried to protect my children from certain realities about the world, but they aren’t babies any more and shielding them isn’t actually saving them from harm. It’s only recently that I’ve come to terms with this fact. With the internet and things like social media and YouTube, the blinders are off. And maybe that’s a good thing (sort of).
We want to raise survivors in this chaos and that takes an awareness of the truth so they can learn, as we all did, how to navigate the sharks, lest they be eaten by them.
The world is a scary place. Bad people exist. Bullies prosper. Parents break promises. Teachers make mistakes. Athletes cheat. The wrong people for the job often get the job. It’s who you know more often than what you know; you are the company you keep. Always being a team player doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the team. Good doesn’t always win. Justice is not the same as fair. Love conquers all in movies, but leaves serious wounds in real life. Handshakes without honour should be followed with hand sanitizer.
Geez, it’s hard to be an optimist when you’re a former Leafs fan. Sigh.
It has been a stellar year for goof ups in Canadian politics and frankly, I’ve enjoyed the spectacle. In our effort to be unique from Americans, we’ve made our scandals distinctly Canadian and we’ll handle them the same way. Nicely. We’re funny like that.
In the end, I hope Toronto’s mayor gets the help he needs and someone kicks his enablers to the curb. Kids, here’s the thing: politics are as much a part of life as family drama, cold sores and late night trips to the emergency room. We’ve all been there. But karma is real.
So is integrity. It’s a choice.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.