Much has happened in the world of toys this week, namely with the retail store Toys R Us. They released a toy, dealt with a firestorm and pulled the toy off the shelves. That’s fast action, perhaps because the firestorm was over an action figure.
Toys R Us began selling a male action figure doll from the Emmy award winning TV show “Breaking Bad,” which is the story of a high school chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime in order to provide for his family. It’s not unusual for successful shows or movies to create and distribute action figure dolls that represent their popular characters. I think the controversy and firestorm began because one of the versions of this figure is carrying a package of (albeit fake) Meth, a deadly drug properly termed Methamphetamine.
One of the more popular outcries came from a Mom in Florida who told The Today Show, “anything to do with drugs is not doing the right thing, I just think they need to look at their visions and values as they call them.”
During the controversy, Toys R Us released a statement to NBC, which stated, “ the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up and are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.”
On October 22nd, the dolls were removed from the shelves at Toys R Us. They are quoted as saying, “let’s just say the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical.”
I noticed there was an array of different reactions throughout the country to this situation. Some were appalled at the dolls; some were appalled at the negative reactions from people. Who is right, is anyone? Who gets to choose?
Right and wrong will always be subjective and be determined by each individual perception to any given scenario. This perception originates from our belief system.
One belief system will dictate being offended and horrified that an action figure is being sold to kids and seems to be supporting some form of drug use.
Another belief system will laugh at the absurdity of such a toy, not take it seriously and go on with their day.
Yet another belief system and perspective will have no reaction whatsoever. So on and so forth depending on infinite perspectives.
The situation this week made me think of so many questions.
Do we have a collective belief system for our country, society and our world? Do we hold any vision of how we want to evolve and what we want to teach our children? As our TV shows, video games, toys and movies become more violent every day, are our children becoming numb to it all? Are they really succumbing to the rampant drug use?
I wonder how productive it really is to push against everything that offends us. Are we making progress?
It feels more productive (in my perspective) to create and promote a vision of how we want to move forward and hold this vision for our kids. Moving away from so much focus on the negative and deliberately creating a new story of how we want to live our lives. Whatever it is we are focusing on either as individuals or a society is what we will perpetuate. Fostering change in any direction means putting our attention and precious energy toward that change.
I want a world where all things are possible and everyone gets to express their own perspective. I can choose not to participate in any perspective that doesn’t please me, without trying to kill it, judge it and make it wrong.
Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.