My so-called “radical” life

Here’s the deal.

Maya was born in a birthing center and Ben was born at home.  No drugs, no stirrups.

I nursed them both past the age of three.

The doctor we see practices natural medicine and neither of my kids have been vaccinated.    They are almost never sick.

My kids don’t go to school and don’t learn on anyone’s schedule but their own.   This is by choice.

I believe love is love no matter if it is between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman.   Abiding love is a gift. We should honor it as such and stop worrying about the details.

For the most part, I am a pacifist.  (I say for the most part because if someone was attacking one of my kids, all bets might be off…)

As to that, this is shaping up to be a violent summer.   Shootings in NYC are up, and of course you all know about the mass murders in Colorado and Wisconsin.  Despite this, any call for a tightening of gun laws; even something as rational as banning assault weapons or having a 90 day waiting period for the purchase of a gun is met with a kind of vitriol I would not dare to believe, if I had not witnessed it hurled at others and been on the receiving end of it myself.

The same people dishing out the vitriol are often pro-death penalty, anti-abortion and wear bracelets that ask, “What Would Jesus Do?”

I’m pretty sure he would not tell Deepak Chopra to “go f*%k himself” as someone on Twitter did last night.  (Chopra had made the statement that guns have no place in a civil society.)

All of these things, from home birth to preventative medicine to unschooling to an earth-loving, spiritual type of pacifism means I’m a radical in the eyes of many, many people.

If a radical is “departing markedly from the usual or customary” as the Free Dictionary tells us, then I suppose I am.

Which is kind of sad, if you ask me.

Why, for example, is it radical to question our society’s devotion to weapons whose only real purpose is killing?  Why is it radical to suggest that the world would be a better place if we could get past our need for such weapons?   Why is that such a threat to so many people?

Why do so many people find it horrible to allow two people to commit themselves to each other?  What happened to “Love thy neighbor?”

Why does our society cling to old ideas about education and learning even in the face of growing and consistent evidence that those ideas are wrong?   Why is it radical to do what works instead of what doesn’t?

Why is it radical to eschew drugs (medicine) that only disguise the symptoms of a problem and instead treat the underlying problem or condition naturally and effectively?

Why is it radical to nurse my kids into toddler-hood, the way women have done for centuries until recently?   Or to birth my kids at home and/or with a midwife instead of in a hospital on my back for the convenience of the doctor?

The Free Dictionary also tells us that a synonym for radical is “extreme”.   In that, as regards my life,  I would disagree.  I think those that are practicing the extremes are those who want more guns so they can shoot the people with guns, more hours of school even though more school does not equal more learning, more drugs to mask the symptoms of the real problems,  and on and on.

But that’s just me.

Me, in my so-called radical life.

About Amy

Amy Milstein was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, but after 20+ years considers herself a full-fledged New Yorker. She is married with two kids, who do not go to school but are instead life learners. This means they learn by living in the world (real life ) instead of hearing about it and simulating it in a classroom. With her family, Amy loves to travel, read, watch movies, write, sew, knit - the list is endless.
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