While I’m delighting myself by baking fresh gluten free dinner rolls, I begin to contemplate why the dilemma of the culture of ‘me’ seems to be infiltrating just about every aspect of my life right now.
From a group of second grade boys who struggle with the concept of teamwork on the soccer field because they are far more interested in the glory of scoring a goal than whether their team plays well or not, to the lady who was shouting at me for blocking her way while I was waiting in line in the school traffic queue last week, to the issue of bullying in schools, to the various debates that are being had across the food blogging sphere as to whether BlogHer Food laid too much emphasis on the stars of the food blogging world versus the benefit of the blogging community as a whole.
Making gluten free dinner rolls is a far more simple problem to solve than the question of why we seem to live in an increasingly selfish world.
I ask M whether he thinks that it’s a cultural thing. Are we, as Europeans, simply cultural misfits sitting in a heavily ‘type A’ populated part of sunny California? Is there something that we are missing? Is it a cultural thing at all? Would it be different if we loved anywhere else? Should our sons be more macho and less caring and compassionate? Should we obsess more about competitiveness in sports? Should we be driving the desire to win at all costs versus simply having fun into our children?
The answer to all of the above is quite equivocally NO. As I spend days talking amongst my friends, chewing over this issue again and again and reading more and more comments and blog posts out there on the subject of compassion in our children, the benefits of believing in the common good and the need for social change in a time where school bullying has been crassly highlighted by suicides that have rocked the nation, I realize that the lessons that we are giving to our children are good lessons. The right kind of lessons.
I observe my second grader at school, the way he cares for his school friends and takes the time and energy to ensure that all around him are happy. I watch him leaving himself wide open for the bullish kids to take advantage of his good nature, but I applaud him when he begins to stand up to them and ask them why it is that they feel the need to be bullies. I watch him grow in confidence on the soccer team, as he realizes that teamwork is a valuable skill that he brings to the table, even if he hasn’t scored a goal yet this season. And these things make me proud. So proud. He still torments his little brother daily and we’re working on that one, but that falls safely into the category of sibling rivalry – phew.
I take the bee in my bonnet and bang on about the importance of ‘team’ at soccer practice this week. I almost jump up and down with joy when one of C’s soccer team friends plays back the importance of teamwork to me at the end of an exhaustive hour of training in 95 degree heat. He has a wonderful aha moment when we talk about the fact that there is no way that any of the players could go out there and win a Saturday soccer match on their own. He glows with pride as he tells me that. A good moment! I love the fact that this scenario draws so many parallels with so many other walks of life.
Surely, if we all focused a little more on helping each other and benefiting our communities, a little more on accepting each others differences and applauding the diversity that ensues and a little less on having the most or being the best, or desperately being the same, then that would carry through to our children, to their friends, to our communities and to all that touch our lives and the bullies of this world would come to realize that they have no place.
It turns out that it was National Coming Out day yesterday. A day that challenges the abilities of many to be tolerant and to accept that there is a role to play for all of our differences in this world. I read a great blog post that is well worth checking out and reading from beginning to end. Check out wouldashoulda.com.
Meanwhile my gluten free dinner rolls turn out to be a dream. We eat them with delicious chévre and pomegranate. A combo that also turns out to make a great lunchbox for C. I make the dinner rolls using the Glutino, Gluten Free Pantry, all-purpose flour. The recipe is on the back. I can’t vouch for other all-purpose flours giving the same result and I concede to the fact that this flour is definitely errs on the starchy side, but for me to have a gluten free bread baking success in the space of 45 minutes from start of baking to finish, is so phenomenal that I feel it’s worthy of a recommendation.