My friend Alex sent me a link to a Coca Cola commercial aired in Brazil this year. At first I didn’t think much of it and felt a little apprehensive since I am not a fan of soda (Coca Cola especially). But I figured to check it out of curiosity. Was I surprised! Had it not been for the very end, I wouldn’t have never known it was a Coca Cola commercial. Brand name aside, the message was what captured my attention. It was remarkably beautiful and deeply profound. It brought an important memory from last year, which I would like to share with you here (please watch the commercial first and then read the rest of my blog).
In the summer of 2008, shortly after I got pregnant with Denzin, I was at Whole Foods looking to purchase my first prenatal vitamins. As I was carefully reading the labels a man walked by me and engaged in a friendly conversation. After he learned that I was pregnant he made an unexpected comment. Appearing in his 40s, he said that he doesn’t have any children but considering the present economy, he would never want to have children. Shocked by his reaction, I asked why. He explained that the whole world is getting worse by the day and it’s depressing to live, let alone bring a child into this mess. Then he wished me good luck and we separated.
That encounter remained dormant in my mind until I saw the Coca Cola commercial today, coincidentally titled “Encounter.” Based on a true story, the commercial features an old man at the age of 102 on his way to meet his soon-to-be-born great grandchild. As we follow his trip from the country to the city, he narrates what he’s learned about life. Right before his great grandson is about to enter this world he says the following:
“You will ask what is the reason I’ve come to visit you today. It’s because most people will say, what a bad moment you’ve chosen to come into the world. We are in crisis, that’s not a good thing. Well, it will make you stronger. I’ve lived worse moments than this one, but in the end, you’ll remember only good things. Don’t waste time in nonsense, there is plenty of it. And go find what makes you happy while you can since time slips away very quickly.”
I admit I shed a tear at that revelation. It brought out that memory about the mystery man in Whole Foods last summer. I felt sadness for him, for his lack of perspective on life, for his inability to see the beauty of new life in spite of turmoil and uncertainty. I wonder how many other people, overtaken by fear, decide not to have children today because they observe the world only through a negative lens.
Then I hear the news of yet another parent who dropped into a deep depression and decided to take the lives of his/her children and then end theirs. All because they lost their job and suddenly don’t have money to provide any food and shelter to their families. How did those parents get into such a deep emotional abyss where they chose death over life? It’s heartbreaking.
My boyfriend Mark and I are both unemployed at the moment due to reasons that were beyond our control. It’s a challenging period as I’m sure many families and individuals find themselves to be in the same situation. We look for jobs every day and keep optimistic that our current situation is only temporary. After the storm there is always sunshine and occasionally, a beautiful rainbow.
As for having a child in the midst of a global financial crisis and skyrocketing unemployment rate, well, as the grandfather on the commercial said, one day we will only remember the good moments. There isn’t a day that I don’t enjoy being a mom to my precious son. He’s brought so much happiness and joy not only to Mark and I, but also to our families. We all have changed and become much closer because of this new addition. We cannot imagine our lives any other way.
If one needs hope, he only needs to look into the eyes of a child. Seldom do we find such innocence and purity in any other place. No matter how bad life may get, when you are with your child(ren) you realize what truly matters. They are not just another expense that you have to deal with, as I observe some parents say. On the contrary, they are those who will carry the flame of hope into the new world. They are the ones who will change it. If you ask me, there has never been a better time to have a child than now.
© 2009 Zoe Vaklinova – All Rights Reserved