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Bursting My Bubble

March 16, 2009

I recently became a father again.  This never ceases to amaze me.  Besides the pure magical aspect of growing another human being, I am constantly amazed at how much time, energy and stuff such a small being demands.  I am also amazed by the ability of these small, defenseless creatures to completely change how you view the world around you and how you prioritize how you want to spend your short time living within it.  

For instance, I have recently come to realize that I live in a bubble.  A bubble of my own making that defines my views, values and understanding of the world, and that insulates me from alternative bubbles of reality.  My bubble is decidedly left-wing, eco-conscious and middle class.  My bubble knows about the rest of the world, but no longer experiences the rest of the world so much.  My bubble keeps me safe and comfortable, if a little less interesting.  

Having a new baby hasn’t changed my bubble so much (that happened with the first baby), but it has made me notice the other bubbles around me.  The bubbles of other parents.  The bubbles of relatives.  And the fascinating proto-bubbles of small children.  

In thinking about Canada’s World, I realize that we are trying to break through people’s bubbles in an attempt to stretch them a little further afield.  As I realize how entrenched I am in my own version of reality, I am beginning to understand just how difficult it is to break free from our comfort zones.  If I can’t relate to the worlds of the suburban moms or urban upper class that I occasionally bump into, I should be more understanding when they can’t grasp my perspective on reality.  The moments of clarity will come, but patience and energy is required to sustain them.  

Alas, when you have small children both of these commodities are at a premium.  This will therefore be my last post for Canada’s World as I focus on helping my children build their own bubbles.  I will continue to connect with the world through the choices I make whenever I buy, read, listen, watch, promote, or vote for something, but I will leave the blogging to others.  

Thanks to all of you who have read and commented on my posts!

Adam

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. nmboudin permalink*
    March 31, 2009 8:10 pm

    Adam,
    I have enjoyed reading your imaginative and nuanced ideas, which, much like bubbles, float by, give one an alternate view of the world if you chance to look through them. Ephemerally, they float away or pop, but might leave you with the memory of seeing something differently. It’s been a privilege to be on here with you, mate. Congratulations on you new little one and best of luck.

  2. adamfritz permalink*
    March 28, 2009 7:36 am

    Thanks for all your kind words! It has been an honour and a pleasure to be a part of Canada’s World.

  3. March 20, 2009 10:25 am

    Adam,

    One of my favourite pass times in the early years of parenting was to sit in a park and blow bubbles with my daughter. She loved chasing them and popping them. Your metaphor is a good one, but after spending three days with my 14 year old daughter, my 16 and 18 year old nieces, I realize that they are still popping bubbles. They think so differently than I do. They challenge me to think differently and they embrace diversity – the conservatives, the left-wing radicals, the want-to-be soldiers, the fashionistas (just to name a few). As we enter our third and final year of Canada’s World, I realize how much my bubble has changed. It’s so much bigger and fluid and seems to change colours each time it comes in contact with other bubbles.

    It’s been the greatest gift of Canada’s World – to see the world though the eyes of other people, to learn from bloggers like you and to be open to the voices of people far younger and far wiser than I am. I’ve got so much still to learn about creating spaces which allow us to step out of our bubbles – or at least to agree to alter them.

    Thanks for being a part of this experiment in democratic development.

    And good luck with the expanded parenting role.

    Best wishes,
    Shauna

  4. marakardasnelson permalink*
    March 18, 2009 3:34 am

    This is a beautiful post–wonderfully written. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and best of luck with you and your little bubbles.

  5. March 17, 2009 4:12 pm

    Adam,

    We’re so sad to see you go, though I completely understand. Your posts have been excellent and I’ve really appreciated your insights and your style.

    I completely know what you mean about bubbles. My personal strategy is to expand mine as much as I can, while also knowing when it’s about to burst and I need to reign it in. I can’t even imagine how much harder it is to strike that balance once you have children.

    Thank you again – you’ll be missed.

  6. reneethewriter permalink
    March 17, 2009 3:14 pm

    Congrats on being a new Dad and what a wonderful post.
    Here’s to more, um, bubble-pokers. R

  7. March 17, 2009 9:43 am

    Congratulations on becoming a new dad!
    I fully understand what you mean by living in bubbles, I have had that feeling for quite a while now, living in a very comfortable bubble myself. It seems like it gets harder and harder to stretch that bubble, despite our constant efforts. I also notices that as i grow older myself, I feel less the need to go and poke about about other people’s bubbles to convince them to stretch them. I am embarrassed to admit that I have given up on some of my relatives, given up on opening them to other perspectives as I am myself sometimes giving up on opening myself to new perspectives. Let us hope we are still able to burst the bubbles from time to time 🙂

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