Trigger Warning

There’s been a backlash against the move to include trigger warnings in syllabi for college classes.

As with so many things, I can see both sides.

It can be jarring to an eighteen year old to be reading an assigned book only to find the protagonist suffers through something that was traumatic when it happened to them.

On the other hand, when studying issues of real life, these things are going to arise. The author included these incidents in the book precisely to jar and have impact on the reader.

I have a friend who says something like, “when we were kids we rode in the back of a station wagon with no seat belts wearing asbestos pajamas and we grew up ok.”

Probably while our parents smoked cigarettes with the windows up.

We’re currently in a time when so many regulations that were meant to protect us are being rolled back. I’m surprised that no-one’s thought to reverse the bans on cigarette advertising or smoking in restaurants.

But I digress.

Trigger warnings.

This morning I saw something on Facebook that reminded me of why I see both sides.

Someone I follow posted something nice about how important her sister is to her.

That’s a sweet sentiment.

The actual wording threw me.

The thing she posted was, “How do people make it through life without a sister?”

I still understand that the intention is sweet. She appreciates her sister so much and wants to express it.

But it changed my whole mood.

Maggie has had to make it through life without her sister Elena since she was ten years old.

Carolyn will have to live the rest of her life without her sister Kim. Kim called her all the time to check on her.

Even Jill, to whom Kim was a sister-in-law not a sister, has talked about all the times in the last six months that she really wanted to talk to Kim to get her advice.

How do people make it through life without a sister.

I imagine people will post things appreciative of their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives for Valentines Day.

Someone will post “How do people make it through life without their one true love?”

How, indeed.


Published in: on February 11, 2017 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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