As a society, we are captivated by captivity. We pay money to see animals in zoos and aquariums, we used to pay to hold slaves captive to do the work for us that we deemed as beneath us, we think it an honorable and noble gesture to adopt a child and hold them captive and away from their own heritage. These are but a few examples of how captivating we find captivity.
After watching the documentary movie “Blackfish” about Tillicum the Orca from Sea World, I will never again be able to view the commonplace establishments of zoos and aquariums in the same light. If you have never seen this documentary, I highly recommend it, but I also highly caution you to be prepared for the desire to never step foot in another zoo or aquarium again. Animals are living creatures and have feelings and emotions just as we humans do. And holding them captive just to use them as a spectacle for our entertainment, especially with the way they are treated, is cruel and unusual punishment. Even if they are “technically” treated well and not abused, just the fact that they are confined to such a small area when they are animals that are supposed to be in an open environment would be akin to forcing a human being in to one small room for a lifetime. And, as we know, humans always speak of the proverbial “cabin fever” when they have been house bound for any length of time.
Slavery was abolished for a reason. Enough said on that front.
Adoption. Well, here’s a topic near and dear to me. Most people will disagree with me by using the term captive synonymously with adoption. But as an Adoptee, this is precisely how I felt growing up, and I still feel that way to this day. Even after deciding to find my birth parents at age 35, I still did this secretively, because my adoptive parents would feel betrayed if they ever found out. Although many adoptees who search do tell their adoptive parents, and many can often be supportive, there are many more adoptees than you can fathom that have wrestled with feelings of abandonment, feelings of being in the wrong family (being held captive), identity crisis etc…Many may never even attribute many of the issues that encounter in life to their adoptive status, because society has glorified it to be this wonderful, altruistic engagement for all parties involved. But that is just not the case. There is a much higher percentage of drug and alcohol use, suicide rate and criminal percentage within the adoption population. And there is a reason for that.
I was reminded, yet again, of the adoption dynamic when I saw the movie “A Wrinkle in Time” yesterday with my daughter’s Language Arts class. It is briefly mentioned that the younger brother is adopted (but I believe the older sister is biological to the parents). They speak of how brilliant he is. Often, adopters can be destined for great things in life as well in contrast to my earlier point…more on this in a minute. But one of the more prominent things that stood out to me in the story is that when they finally locate their dad, who got lost in a wrinkle of time through the creation of a tesseract, he was being held captive by “The It”. “The It” was the source of all things evil and could easily manipulate someone to come over to the dark side and then control them. When they were searching for their dad, the adopted brother fell prey to the evil control of “The It”. When they were about to tesser back to earth, the adopted brother was not going to go/”The It” wouldn’t let go. In that moment, the dad, who had been gone for 4 years, wanted to leave him behind because he was “already lost” and he didn’t want to lose both of them again. His sister refused to leave him, so she stayed and sent her father and friend back while she stayed to work on releasing her brother.
This situation is a situation that is very realistic in life. Many adoptees are easily drawn to the dark side, unfortunately, because they don’t know what to do with the pain they experienced at a pre-verbal level. Many don’t even recognize where the pain comes from or why they are experiencing such conflict if they have not attributed it to their adoption scenario. Many also have adoptive parents that all too easily give up on them when they fall to the dark side. And as much as adoptive parents say they treat and feel like the adopted child is theirs, many give up much easier on adopted children than they do on biological children.
Conversely, many of the adoptees who are able to rise above their tragedy, are destined for greatness. Many have postulated the theory that the reason children end up as adoptees is all by design. There is a theory that pir so
souls decide exactly when we will be born and to whom, that we choose our own destiny before our life begins on earth. If that is the case, then our souls need a specific set of DANA in order to become who we need to be genetically, but those parents that make us become who we need to be genetically may not be able to provide us with what we need on the financial and earthly needs level, and that is where the need to be raised by other parents comes in. This theory is one that I personally prefer to subscribe to because it helps me to make sense of my life’s path and the “why” behind it all. It is hard to swallow that I would have chosen some of this turmoil for myself, but each of these hardknocks that life has thrown my way have all contributed to making me become who I am, and I think I can be proud of who I am.
Both words, captive and captivating have a similar root meaning.
Captive: from the Latin root “captivus”, meaning caught, take prisoner.
Captivating: from the late Latin root “captivatus”, meaning to take or capture. To enthrall with charm.
But I feel we, as a society, need to examine the things we are captivated by, to ensure that they are not things that are held captive in any way.