'just' a half crazy homeschooling crunchy mama raising a gaggle of awesome kids in the beautiful Blaeberry Valley ...

Monday, 27 January 2014

Then they fight you

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" ~Gandhi

The vaccination "debate" has really taken on an interesting flare in the last little while. The 'pro-vax' side has really come back swinging at those of us who have chosen a different path (I prefer the term pro-vax choice). Unfortunately (for them), they haven't gone about it in a way that lends any credibility for their stance in the eye and ears of the millions of parents who are in the middle or on the fence. I would speculate if this rhetoric spinning continues that Gandhi's cycle will indeed lead to a complete collapse of the current vaccination schedule in North America. It isn't hard to fathom, as vaccination rates have already fallen substantially in the last couple years.

The links I have seen come up on Facebook border on offensive, but they also can be so easily picked apart by anyone who has done ANY research at all, that they are almost laughable. Let's start examining the three most popular ones:)

First, this one was posted by a few people on my time line: titled, "Growing up Unvaccinated". If you have been near social media in the last month you have likely seen it. What you likely have not seen is the alumni page for the author of the article....I will post both here and you can make your own conclusions.


http://www.luther.edu/alumni/spotlight-archives/?story_id=302763 (recognize anyone? I think 'piano teacher might just be a hobby...."

This doesn't even touch on the fact the article is Full of HOLES! Not to mention the fact that the pro-vax camp is always chirping "anecdotal cases are not science backed evidence"...and yet here they go with their own anecdotal rhetoric!

Then came THIS LOVELY ARTICLE blaming Jenny McCarthy for falling vaccine rates and whooping cough outbreaks. This kind of thinking really irritates me, because it is NOT the non-vaccinated children spreading whooping cough, it is the carriers of the disease who don't exhibit the more characteristic symptoms (ie. the vaccinated children and adults, and all the millions of people whose vaccination immunity has waned). Don't believe me? Look at studies....it is very accepted true that the epidemiology of Pertussis is not easily targeted by vaccination. The vaccine is notoriously faulty with an extremely low efficacy (hence why two doses have been added to schedule and now adult and adolescent vaccination is pondered). Many children will just seemingly have a cold and cough even though what the cough could be is pertussis. It is a bacteria and is present regardless of certain individuals being vaccinated. Searching for someone/thing to blame for Pertussis outbreaks???   http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/982.short.

The LAST ARTICLE posted is so full of misinformation that I almost spit my coffee on my monitor while reading it. I was thinking "Are people really buying this????" My husband summed it up pretty well when he said it employed the most basic school yard tactics in order to try and make some kind of a point. If using slurs like "stupid", "shitty-ass parent", "lousy human being", and making up stats is the direction the pro-vaccine movement wants to head in, then all the more power to them. I think most parents with any sense of reason and logic will see it for what it is: propaganda infused rhetoric. Measles death rates 1/500??? not even close! Try closer to 1/1000 even when hygiene and nutrition were very poor. Parents who don't vaccinate are "stupid"??? not likely, seeing as every study that has been done on this shows that it is highly educated, middle to upper class people are choosing to forgo vaccinations. It is people who are very accustomed to making large informed decisions about their life, work, and education that choose to forgo vaccinations.

So what does this all mean??? It means we have shifted paradigms. The pro-vax choice crowd (aka. 'anti-vaxxers') are not being ignored, nor is it funny, despite how some journalists would like it to seem. Parents are starting to listen to both sides, and this scares the heck out of the CDC (who funds 'voices for vaccines', in case you were wondering who paid for that first article written by a CDC intelligence officer). Instead of responding with legitimate debate and concern, they have decided to employ 'hate filled' propaganda pieces. I think it is a poor choice for them. The positive in this is I think it is a huge victory for those of us who want to make sure we maintain the CHOICE to keep our families vaccine-free. In the age of mass information, posting lies and propaganda won't get you anywhere for long.

Some articles/links that I have seen posted lately supporting choice (THANKS to those who support choice, even if your choice is different than mine is :-)



http://www.liveto110.com/vaccinations-cause-chronic-immune-system-dysregulation/ (this one has GREAT links to scientific journals at the end: check them out!)




Sunday, 8 December 2013


A few weeks ago a friend of mine lost a baby through miscarriage. It was a devastating event because she had tried for a long while to even get pregnant and wanted this child very bad. While driving home from work the week after her loss she saw a huge banner hanging from a walking overpass and a bunch of pro life people having a rally. There, right in front of her, was a picture of what her baby would have looked like: and she got to face this while driving her vehicle 100 mph down the freeway. That is so unfair (not to mention unsafe!). It really unset her...RIGHTFULLY SO!

I don't understand pro-life rallies....or pro-life movements...or pro-life rhetoric at all. I am not pro-choice or pro-abortion. I just don't feel the need or right to judge anyone else's choices. I wish we lived in a world where women didn't have to make that choice: where every pregnancy could be looked at with bliss because the mother knew she would be supported and wouldn't be alone raising that child.

I think pro lifers should spend less time and resources talking about their beliefs and what is 'right' and spend more time helping others. What would Jesus do? Jesus wouldn't be holding a banner...he would be helping the mothers!

Perhaps if motherhood was not such a drowning burden these days, so many women wouldn't feel the absolute need to have an abortion. I know women who have had abortions: I know quite a few of them actually and for NONE of them was it an easy choice. For some of them it is a choice they are haunted by still to this day, one that brings them to tears many years later. To have that pushed back in their face is just cruel in my opinion. They felt like they had no choice because NO ONE was giving them alternative and viable options. Adoption is not a choice for everyone when you need to continue to work a job to put food on your table to feed yourself or other children you may have. For the 'average' person with higher income, bigger homes, two involved parent family arrangements, and daycare options, to turn around and judge someone who isn't in that position and doesn't have those options is not right.

No one is really supporting motherhood anymore: not the government (maternity leave has requirements and is no where close to full pay so if a women didn't have a great full time job, supporting her baby and possible other children she has while on mat leave would be impossible), not society (help is certainly not abundant and there is no village stepping in to help...), and not the pro life movement. What if all the money spent on 'campaigns and posters, and blaring judgment was spent instead helping mothers out so they wouldn't HAVE to make the choice to not bring a child into this world? What if motherhood was a time where women could feel they were truly held up and supported.

I read this article this week and at first if sounded like whining a bit...but then I really thought about it and totally knew....This was EXACTLY how I was feeling! Lonely and overstretched to my core. It isn't that people don't want to help: it is that people are too consumed by their own lives, and jobs, and volunteer activities to understand that mothers who are raising their children at home really need support.  So many of the comments on this article links were "why did you have these children if you cannot look after the...blah blah..." MORE JUDGEMENT. A women faces judgement from every side and every angle. Motherhood has become shrouded in judgement instead of support. It is all so incredibly sad:(

Abortion is going to continue to happen. Whether people want to admit it or not, a child is not always a 'gift', sometimes it is an unmanageable burden for a women in our world today. Sometimes one more child doesn't add to the joy, it creates a situation of absolute misery and hardship. Abortion has been happening for eons (there are many herbs and traditional medicine that have been used in the past to induce abortion). There are many women who simply cannot go through with a pregnancy for many many reasons. I am not going to judge them for that. I refuse to judge them.

I know where my heart stands regarding abortion. I know what is right for me. What I also know is that God doesn't want me to judge my fellows. He wants us to help and I can say for certain that the pro-life posters and rants, and movements are not helping anyone and that is a tragedy.

What the world needs is more hands reaching out to help, not more hands holding banners of judgement.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

F*&k You Weight Watchers

A person's body weight is a combination of calories in/calories out. That is what we are told constantly. If a person is overweight then they must be a 'pig' or 'lazy'. Right? I mean that is exactly what our society implies any time somebody is 'FAT'.

I have heard people say to me things like "well she didn't get THAT way eating salads" or "It's not like she is at the gym every morning working that ass off". These statements carry the implication that one should be eating salads all the time and it is their fault they are overweight: that if they would just work harder and spend 10% of their life everyday working out they could be thin like they 'should' be. For the most part I have agreed with these types of sentiments and nodded in agreement whenever this topic of weight would rise. I mean really...is it not just a calories in/calories out equation???

Except it is not that way at all. I am fucking furious right now at society and the shallow fucking people who live this lie and perpetuate body hate and ridiculous standards of perfection that are unhealthy.

I am really 'overweight' right now. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life (aside from when I was pregnant with my first and second). I have actually GAINED 20 lbs since I had Georgette 10 months ago. It is the most frustrating thing. People who have not had this experience will never understand how depressing this is for me.

I don't eat crap. I don't sit on my couch at night eating chips and donuts. I very rarely drink soda or juice. I am very conscious of the things I put in my body and eat relatively clean 95% of the time. I am not a carbaholic and would never choose white bread/pasta. I choose fruit or a handful of nuts for a snack most often. I am not perfect and sometimes when the family goes out for ice cream I indulge in a small scoop of my favourite. Once in a moon I do eat 'fast food' or pizza. It is about once a month.  I certainly know that the way I eat is NOT reflective of my size according to the normal ideas.

I am also breastfeeding not one, but two children (if you don't think a 2 year old should be nursing you should go do some research and come argue that point with me...I know I have science and nature on my side). Whenever someone says "Oh breastfeeding is a great way to loose weight!" I want to punch them in the face. Seriously. FUCK OFF.

So three weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers. In my head I really thought it must be my fault, that I was eating too much. I don't exercise a lot. I do try and do yoga a couple times a week and am moderately active with my kids on a daily basis. Surely if I just dieted and exercised more the weight would pour off....right?

So I did. I biked, I did ab routines, I did Pilates. I followed my weight watchers exactly. In fact, I only used half of my weekly 'points plus' the second week and came under on daily points by a couple almost every single day. I even invested in a nice digital food scale and in my second week. I started weighting all my food down to the gram. Because I had guests for a great deal of this time, it meant I definitely missed out on a LOT of treats others were having. I made this new recipe up for Butter Pecan Crunch bars and everyone raved about how good they were. I never even tasted them. We went out for Ice Cream once and I got nothing other than a lick of Jaxen's cone. I limited myself on alcohol intake and was conscious of my pours (5 oz of wine in a glass).

Guess how much weight I lost?????

None. In fact, I actually gained a pound. No, it is not muscle. My pants don't fit better and I don't feel any different. I fucking gained a pound. This is so ridiculous.

Weight Watchers Online is time consuming (about 25 minutes a day tracking and figuring out exactly how many points). It also doesn't have a lot of food I eat even in the system (Spirulina powder for instance is not on there and when you input the values it doesn't at all make sense). Still, I did it. I am still doing it. I feel like if I give up then people will just further blame me for my weight. So for the next 6 months as long as I am enrolled in this program I will record every single thing I put in my mouth.

After all, shouldn't I just be able to eat a fucking salad every day and go to the gym and then I could be skinny like all the people who are full of all this great advice???

 "You should get a personal trainer"

- Yeah...because I have time and money for that...I have four kids and we are on one income..

"You cannot possible fail with Weight Watchers. If you follow the program, you will loose the weight"

- Um....wrong. I did follow the program for three weeks and I gained a lb.

"well, you were really thin before so I am sure you can loose the weight again"

- Oh, do you mean when I lived on coffee and cigarettes and purged my guts out anytime I ate something 'bad' for me because my ex husband had told me I was fat and disgusting and I believed him???? because you are sooooo right! That was much healthier for me *eye roll*. Perhaps I can pick up a coke habit or start smoking again because I bet that would work for sure!

Then there is the impact this is having on my daughter. I hate it. Body hate is passed down and I can already see the impact my diet is having on her own self image. It makes me cry to type this because I know I am furthering the cycle of body hate I have that was instilled in me by watching my own mother constantly diet and 'watch' her weight. When my daughter saw the weight watchers page on the computer one day (I had forgotten to close out the window) her faced dropped. She was not happy or encouraging at all. She felt this was a betrayal of everything I had taught her about just loving yourself for who you are. She is right. What a fraud.

If you think this blog sounds angry, you are right. I am angry. I am angry I live in a society that makes me feel like a piece of shit everyday because I am curvy. I am fucking annoyed as hell that some idiots actually think giving up breastfeeding my children so I can starve myself and get my 'body' back is the best thing to do. I am angry that I am made to feel like I am a lazy pig and that is why I am heavy, as opposed to perhaps I am just naturally a more voluptuous person (The new trend in this new body hate movement is to tell us bigger ladies that being 'big boned, or 'curvy' isn't a natural thing: it is just an excuse for us to not be 'better').

You think I should try harder???? You think I should eat less and exercise more???

 I think you are a shallow idiot....F*&k You.

Saturday, 13 July 2013


It has been awhile. I said I would only write here when the need arises. This is my venting place and I need to vent.

For many years I have focused on being a peaceful person and letting go of anger. Up until last week I can say I have been doing well at living peacefully. I try to cultivate patience and compassion.  I occasionally raise my voice at my kids but a full on scream has not escaped my lips for quite many years. I just don't allow myself to get that angry...until last week that is.

My husband and I have been together for over 6 years and he said this was the first time he ever saw me really 'ANGRY'. He didn't even know it was possible. It even surprised myself. My adrenaline was so pushed up I shook and smoked three cigarettes in a matter of an hour (I have not smoked for years...and I did not even feel a buzz)

I told someone last week that I hoped she would F*&k off and die. I told her she was a lying bitch. I completely blew my lid. Truth is, underneath that lid there was a big ol' pot brewing of a lot of hurt, disappointment, and resentment. I was doing well to let it simmer down in the last 3 years and I know with time it would have evaporated to nothing but a damp spot, but someone threw some vinegar in the pot and the whole thing blew in one moment.

I can't take it back. Truthfully, I am not even sure I would. Since my mom died I have felt like an orphan and it has not been fair at all. I am not an orphan: I still 'have' a father. The thing is that my father has not been there for me at all. A big reason for that is that he has been consumed with his new girlfriend who he moved on with mere weeks after my mom's passing. For the most part, I have actually been rather OK with this and have always tried to be civil and conciliatory with this women. I was really genuinely trying to be happy for my Dad. It was a struggle at times, but I was TRYING.

Until last week I was doing a good job (at least I thought!). Last week I was openly accused by this women of NOT being gracious enough. That was like vinegar in my face. I cannot even begin to explain how much that hurt.

Three months after mom died, my family went out for dinner with my Dad, his new girlfriend, my brother and his wife. We had just driven from Thunder Bay Ontario to Saskatoon in one 'day' with two young kids, two dogs, and a cat. I was pregnant and we drove through a winter storm. We were moving to BC from Quebec in December. I was stressed and still grieving. This was the first time I had been home since I buried my mother.

I smiled. I introduced myself and my children. I was 'friendly'. I guess that was not good enough.

Last week she accused me of not being gracious enough the first time we met. That was enough. It was explosive. I blew my lid. I actually don't care to see her again after this, which also means I won't be seeing my father likely either. That hurts me but it is what it is. In order to be the peaceful person I seek to be, I need to withdraw from situations and people who lack peace in their own hearts and who thrive on drama and hurting others.

It is just another series of hurts that have stung in the last couple years. A father who sends back all the picture frames full of pictures of myself and my little ones. A father who buys and redesigns a new house that couldn't possible accommodate a visit from my family (a pull out couch might have been an idea). A father who seeks to erase the history of my youth. He who sends back art work I created for him a couple years ago celebrating his fatherhood. A father who couldn't even bother to call after the birth of my child, let alone come to see her. A father who forgets most birthdays, even after my sister gave him a reminder calender. A grandfather who knows what a struggle it is for his daughter to buy a cello for his granddaughter and could easily afford to help out and doesn't even offer (I forwent having a cell phone and desperately needed new clothes so I could afford to give her that because I would sacrifice anything for her) . A father who I have only seen a handful of times in three years (always on my effort and initiative). A father who spends more time on the golf course when he came to Golden then he did with me or my children. It seems his life with us is just a series of photo ops and faux effort in order to conciliate his own guilt at being an absent father and husband for so long.

I have to let this go now. I have to accept my orphan status and move forward. Being the person I seek to be requires letting this anger and resentment go. I can grow through this but only if I accept it and truly let it go. The blessing in all of this is that through his parenting and grandparenting I see clearly what kind of parent and grandparent I want to be now and in the future.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Right Dimensional Pull

Evolution is the most important part of the human spirit.  Without it we are static and stuck, unable to see beyond what is presented directly in front of us.

I have a new BLOG. I know I am headed fully in the right direction for my evolution. I feel the universe pull me that way and as I lean in I can feel my heart and soul be carried towards the warmer light.

I may occasionally still write here when I need to, but I no longer want to kick and scream. I see how fruitless it has been as no matter how much I try to promote the lighter path, it has not been successful. When I do it by speaking against all that is wrong in this world it will never have the desired effect as negativity breeds negativity. Plus, it leaves me angry and disempowered, instead of weightless as I intend to be.

Those who want to open their eyes will see everything as clear as day. Those who wish to live blind cannot have their eyes opened by soap box rantings. It is impossible. Seems the more I try to force eyes open, the quicker they are sewn shut by individuals who cannot be pained to see the truth.

'Promote what you love, not what you hate'....from now on that is what I intend to do.

I hope you will follow me over to our new place. It is a airier space to share our incredible life with others. The sun will not always shine, but with a open outlook and a joyful heart, only beautiful things can grow.

Thursday, 2 May 2013


The garment factory in Bangladesh that collapsed killing hundreds last week has me thinking again about our purchasing power. This post is related to my last post in a lot of ways. The two are linked via considerations of influence and what we can do as individuals to make a difference in this world.

It all goes back to "Be The Change You Want to See In the World". That is perhaps the difference between socialists and libertarians. Libertarians don't want to force anyone or anything to work in a certain way, but they take full responsibility for their own choices and behavior  You will never hear a libertarian say "If only the government..."

I use to think the biggest way to make a change in the world was through politics. Then I went to school and studied political 'science' and economics. I don't believe that politics to be gear for real change anymore. A big reason is the disjuncture between our global reality and the state run political systems  There really is no government with any concrete power at the global level (yet...and hopefully never), and yet a vast majority of our daily lives are lived at the global level. The internet and our global markets have changed the face of the world and opened it up. This can be lovely when it connects people but absolutely horrifying when it magnifies exploitation between classes.

The incident in Bangladesh should have more people thinking about their own actions and practices, but it doesn't. People instead will point to the governments and corporations involved and shake their fingers. I think we all need to go to the mirror and start shaking our fingers because we all have allowed these working conditions to persist via our purchasing power.

We have choices. Our choices matter more than who we vote for. Trust me. Others will tell you different but they are lying or misguided. If you want to truly make a difference, quit buying cheap stuff that was made in foreign countries in sweat shops. Buy local first and Canadian second (or whatever your country may be...I realize I have a lot of readers all over the world now. Who knew I would be so 'popular' in Germany? lol).

When you take care to know where your stuff is made and how, you are part of the solution. When you buy whatever is cheapest and easiest, the blood of the workers in the sweat shops is on your hands. It is NOT the responsibility of the government to tell you where to buy stuff from, it is your responsibility to know where your stuff comes from and feel good that your purchase helped provide in a meaningful way for another human being's liberty and happiness.

People will now say they cannot afford to buy responsibly  My answer to that is I would rather have one pair of clothes made by a company who cares about the environment and treats workers with respect, then would I have 7 outfits all made in sweatshops with chemically laden cocktails and materials that are unsustainable.

At first I thought the Ten Tree company was pure gimmick, but I looked into it and have found out that this company makes their clothes in Portland (super cool!) and are run by a couple young guys from Regina, Saskatchewan!  Awesome. Check them out!

Best place to buy yourself some new clothes? The thrift store or your local market. The Thrift store is the option for everyone. We boy 95% of our clothes used and I feel great about that. Lots of stuff is barely used and there is always something cool to find at the thrift store!

I love buying local designers stuff when I can afford it, it is usually so interesting and each piece unique. Sure, it can be expensive, but it costs more because it is made with quality and pride. There is a cost to quality and pride: it means it wasn't made in a sweat shop by someone making pennies a day in subhuman conditions. To me, it is worth it. Is it to you? where do you shop?

Friday, 26 April 2013

I am NOT the state.

Last week I had someone tell me I was a slave to my ideology....lol....this came from someone who is very obviously a socialist (she actually told me that "We are the state"...yikes!). Lately I feel like there is an attack on those of us who are refusing to participate in the current political and social system. Socialists seem to be the most aggressive in their attacks. It is funny how they claim to be above political name calling and yet they have no problem attacking Steven Harper and calling him 'evil' and focus so much hate on one man you would think he is the devil himself. He is not. He is just a man who has different ideas than they do. I don't agree with his ideas but I don't agree with theirs either. Does that make me a devil, evil, or 'less than human' because I don't buy their rhetoric?

I have been many 'isms' in my life. I have sat on many sides of the political spectrum, from being a young Conservative at the age of 16th (mostly a byproduct of my parents' political affiliations), to being a member of the Green Party of Canada for 5 years. In the last couple of years I have walked away from any 'isms' as I have found all political parties to be full of folly and not at all applicable to my life and my needs. I think they are all old cronies out seeking election primarily, without any real regard for what is truly important for the people of this country.

Recently I have discovered an idea that fully fits in with the way I want to live my life. I have become truly libertarian. I just want the government to leave me alone and I don't wish to provide for anyone else through the mechanism of taxation. I believe volunteerism to be more appealing to me then the government deciding who and how my tax money should be spent on. I am not against charity, but against wasteful social programming that requires extensive bureaucratic networks.  I think that people would be more generous and would provide more for their neighbours in need if there was not a government forcing to do so through taxation all the time.

The government should serve some function, such as basic justice, infrastructure (roads for instance) and providing a VERY minimal safety net for those who absolutely need assistance at times. I am not an anarchist, though I would take anarchy over socialism any day. Not even joking. I think families and communities should look after one another, not the state.

I actually have grown to absolutely disdain socialism...I was never a fan of the ideology as it always raised so many questions for me. It is so patriarchal and assuming. It presumes that although the greed of the rich needs to be 'contained' and controlled' the greed of other social classes is absent. It doesn't make sense. Either we all have a tendency to want more than our fair share or we don't. To take excess from the rich, funnel it through mass bureaucratic agencies into the hands of the 'poor' (or less rich in a country like Canada...) leads to this far reaching hand that will in the end have an extraordinary amount of overreaching powers. It also assumes that one person knows the needs of another, and that is completely false. I do not know what someone else needs. I know most people don't know what I need. Socialism gives too much power to the government and as we all know: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" ~Lord Acton.

Socialists will make claims that we NEED the government to protect the weak and our environment which is laughable to me. Look around!!!! Look around right now at the state of our economy, our environment, our  fellow citizens (especially aboriginal groups), childhood poverty, and our education systems. Do you think our government has done a good job? Socialists will blame the current party, or past governments, and say it is their fault, but if the beloved NDP was in power these things would be different?  That is so ridiculous and absurd! Socialism is what we have been living since the end of the first world war, whether it be one party of the next. The grip of government on us and the branch of services has grown and grown but all the problems don't go away. The worst part in everything is that we can not even complain too loud because 'we are the state".

I don't need daycare and I don't want to pay for yours. Sorry. I don't need public education and I don't want to pay for others. Sorry. I would love to have medicare pay for things like osteopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic  holistics, etc etc, but since this will never happen I actually think it would be better if health care was private. I actually cannot stand the idea that we get double taxed here in BC for health care as we pay heavily for taxes AND pay a premium (we pay 130/month for our family). Then I also have to pay for my preferred method of 'wellness care' on top of that. It SUCKS! How much of that money is wasted in bureaucratic waste or with people who abuse the system because it is 'free'. LOTS. TOO MUCH. WAY TOO MUCH. Our healthcare is a joke. Animals get better care at the vet these days (no exaggeration at all!)

The way I see it, The NDP even knows they cannot deliver the utopian dream socialists have (It is NOT my dream...far from it). That is why they voted to move more centric at their convention. It is because they may actually be called upon to deliver on all the promises they have made over the eons and they know they can't. Socialists in North America will often point to the Nordic countries as examples of where it has worked, but when you actually look at the data and listen to people from those countries, it has not been the perfect harmonious life people here dream it to be. Cuba might be an example of a country where an aggressive socialism has worked, but it is a small country with a warm climate so to compare it to a country as vast and diverse as Canada is so simplistic and crude (and it has a dictatorship...so no thanks).

So, all this 'blah blah blah' of mine is actually just a response to that aggressive and overbearing girl who told me I was a slave to my ideology....no honey I am not. I am a slave to no one or nothing. I am not the state, as you say, but a person who has infinite possibility. All I want is the state to leave me alone. I will leave others alone to live their life, and help in any way I can, but I will not make choices or presume my elitist upbringing has any clue about how others would like to live their lives or force them to do so.

Live and Let LIVE. That is the only 'ideology' I need in my life. I choose happiness. I choose simplicity. I choose freedom.