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How & Why Cartoon Pics on Facebook are Making a Difference

I’m thirty-something, but I can still remember all the words to the Jem and the Holograms opening sequence.  There is the sparkle of earrings, the teased blonde hair, and this:

“JEM! Jem is excitement (ooo-ooo-oooh) JEM!. Jem is adventure (ooo-ooo-oooh!) Glamour and glitter. Fashion and fame.  JEM!  Jem is truly outrageous, truly, truly, truly outrageous…”

Even as I type the lyrics, I’m humming along.  Transported to the time when my hips weren’t quite so round, my shoulders not quite so square.  When I was young and innocent and believed that I would one day grow to become a truly, truly, truly outrageous rock star myself.  Those years are marked clearly with memories of Saturday mornings.  Me and my sisters laying on the floor, TV blaring, pajamas on, mom making pancakes in the kitchen.  There is an innocence to childhood that is made all the sweeter by lazy days such as these — Saturday mornings with nothing to do but indulge in the fantasy lives of animated characters.

These characters, be they musicians, superheroes, little blue creatures, or conniving cats and witty yellow birds kiss childhood with their warm and whimsical ways.  They overcome obstacles, bounce back from disaster, escape the bad guys.

Sadly, the very abilities that so many of our most favorite retro cartoon characters from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today exhibit, are missing in the lives of too many children.  Too many children are living in fear.  Too many children are prisoners in homes filled with violence and neglect.  Too many children are unable to escape the harsh hand, pummeling insults, sexual abuse of parents, family members, friends.  Even one child facing such circumstances is too many.  And there are so many more than that.

For four days, Google has seen a massive influx of Facebook users seeking to stand against such sorrowful truth.  The igniting plea began on December 1st, when users were encouraged to: “Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (December 6) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is for violence against children.”

I know why this cause matters to me.  It matters because I was one of the lucky ones.  I was one of the kids who grew up in a home with Saturday morning cartoons and pancakes, and a mother who would kiss us on the forehead as we came in for breakfast.  This cause matters to me because I believe every child should be safe.  This cause matters to be because I believe every child should be able to fight the bad guys.  I believe every child should know how truly, truly, truly special they are.

Why does this fight matter to you? I’d love to hear.  Leave me a comment.  Tell me your best Saturday morning cartoon memories.  What lyrics still ring in your head?  Share your favorite Saturday morning cartoon breakfast recipe.  Tell why this fight matters to you.  What are you doing to stand and support it? Why should others?

Saturday Morning Pancakes
Our family recipe, offered in honor of children everywhere who should be safe and secure
1 banana
1 T. butter, softened
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. whole, soy or almond milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, mash banana well with fork. Mix in remaining ingredients with an electric mixer until well incorporated. Spoon onto hot griddle.

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