What’s our major malfunction??

Okay, I’ve been down this path before but sometimes, the subject needs to be revisited. This is one of those times.

As I was sitting here Tuesday night, watching the trifecta of wholesome television programming (The Waltons, Little House: New Beginnings and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) I reflected on a news story about how HSBC’s U.S. division provided money and banking services to banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, who in turn, may have helped fund al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Uhhh…wha? I also thought about the segment regarding the millionaire who took Provigil to help  him multi-task his many duties, not because he suffered from narcolepsy or some other sleep disorder (which is what it’s usually prescribed for). Well then that made me think of all the other news stories you hear about kids being violent to kids, parents acting like idiots at their child’s sports game and all the other things I see that make me want to smack these folks and ask them where their head is. (no, I won’t insert the cartoon but you know which one I mean)

Yeah, that is a bit extreme but think about it: we have internet, mobile phones, HD television indoor plumbing, hot water, pre-packaged food and all those other goodies that they either didn’t have, hadn’t invented yet or they hadn’t been  “fine tuned”, as it were. Yet day after day, I see evidence that we may be technologically advanced but sadly, we seem to have regressed. Take the millionaire who swears he can’t get by without his Provigil. Yes, it helps but does he know what the long term effects are? No, he doesn’t. Whatever happened to getting enough sleep? We always want that magic pill to help us sleep/stay awake, lose weight, relieve our anxiety, etc.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t take any sort of medication, far from it. My mother had numerous meds that kept her alive so at times, it’s very necessary. I’m talking about finding other ways to deal with the issues in our lives instead of always turning to pharmaceuticals. We should care more about ourselves. I mean, lookit…other countries place emphasis where it should be: living one’s life and spending time with family. Let me amend that last statement. They’ve found a way to provide the much needed time off for new mothers/fathers with pay (http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/blog/the-10-best-countries-for-maternity-care/),

Will this become my diatribe? Of sorts, yes. The whole purpose of me wanting to write is not only to tell people’s stories (the positive ones, not the negative) but to make people think. And even that has gone to the wayside, now that we have Google. I admit that I use it quite a bit too but for cryin’ out loud in a bucket, does anyone read anymore? I’m not talking about taking one’s child to the local library for the picture books. I’m talking about every man, woman and child actually picking up a book (not just downloading to their Kindle) and flipping the pages. Yes, I download to my Android phone and it is quite handy. However, at this very moment, I have 3 books I checked out from my local library. LOVE the smell of books in a library or bookstore! If I could bottle three scents, it would be these: fresh cut grass, leather and new book smell. How’s that for nerdy?

Folks, it’s more than just reading an actual book or shopping carts not taken to the cart return and discourteous drivers who cut you off or don’t use their turn signal. Just this morning, I was lying in bed with the TV on, still sleepy but trying to come around, when I heard Ron Corning (WFAA Channel 8 Dallas) read the story about the shooting at Century 16 cinema in Aurora, Colorado. I have friends in Colorado and sent a text to one, messaged the other. I have no idea if they live close to that theatre or have friends or family who were there but I need to know that they’re okay. I’m not sure why the young man felt he had to do this or what brought him to this point but he’s caused chaos for so many lives, the survivors as well as  the victims. And I guess that’s kind of my whole issue. I mean, what’s our major malfunction anyway? How did we get to this point?

You have no idea how many nights I lay my head on the pillow and think to myself: Why are our children so disrespectful? WHY can’t we say “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Is it so wrong to spank our children so they understand boundaries? What possesses a person to torture an animal that can’t defend itself? Why is our history being changed in school textbooks ? Wouldn’t we live longer and have less health issues without all the preservatives in our food? The list goes on and on and it befuddles the heck out of me why/how this could be.

Consider this: our nation really came together 11 years ago when 9/11 happened. We became acutely aware of what complacency can do and it spurred us on to be more vigilant with our parenting, more active in our communities and more faithful in our spirituality. Yet here we are, a decade later, still mindful of the lives lost that day but we’ve moved on. True, we have to walk forward because though it was a very rough period, we still have lives to lead. But wouldn’t that make us want to do better all the time? Shouldn’t that be our red flag that life is precious and short so we had better make the most of it? One would think, yes. Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I understand that not everyone is complacent or indifferent. Not at all. What I’m saying is we can and should do better…but how?

For starters, our children should have a belief in something greater than the next version of the iPhone or the latest update of their Instagram app. (I have that app & I love it, btw) My son attended church with my neighbor and I thought he was paying attention. He wasn’t. It was something for him to do on Sunday. *sigh* I regret not finding a church when he was little so he could follow in my earlier footsteps. My mother took us every Sunday and it’s made a difference in my life. I only recently began attending services again, albeit on a Saturday evening and I haven’t attended in months, but still. And most of you already know that because I blogged about it.  Proverbs 22:6- “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” KJV. Not trying to be too preachy but it’s true. This is why good Christian people tend to cope with adverstiy a little better: faith. Hey, it’s worked for me and I can’t begin to tell you how many rough patches I’ve been through. Am I a Jesus freak? No, but I have an enormous amount of faith because it works for me. I’m not even the good Christian my friend Kathie is (far from it), nor as classy as she is. But that doesn’t mean I’m not worth saving. Here’s something else :

When I was in 3rd grade, I got paddled for signing the k-i-ss-i-n-g song about a couple of my classmates. Harsh? Back then, I thought it was. Now? Not so much. See, back in the day (as we say now), teachers held our feet to the fire, so to speak and you were accountable for your actions, even if you were a 3rd grader. Nowadays, you’re accountable but only to a certain point. Everything requires the teacher to make a phone call or send home a dreaded pink discipline referral for the student’s misconduct. With my son, he kept the forms in his backpack and I never saw them until after they had accumulated. While I admit that I was not a strict parent, neither was I lax about things. However, after many calls to my office and impeding my productivity,  (for which I could have been fired) enough was enough.  One particular day, I asked if there was a guidance counselor on campus. I was told yes, there was. So I quite angrily told them to have the guidance counselor do their job and consult with my son regarding his actions, that the counselor wasn’t there to promote a college my son wasn’t even old enough to attend. Right or wrong, it’s my job as a parent to make sure that my son has the resources he needs while on campus at a school I’m paying taxes to. Aside from the tax thing (everyone falls back on that old chestnut, don’t they?) I meant what I said. If the school counselor couldn’t help my son or find a resolution, that’s when they needed to call Mom & Dad. Paddling in school and spankings by my parents obviously hasn’t turned me into a vicious beast. The Menopause Fairy did that. (kidding) But we have to have a better way to get through to these kids because the referral forms and phone calls ain’t cuttin’ it.

It isn’t just the children either. If you Google ‘father fights at soccer game’, the return comes back with about 191,000,000 results. (in .31 seconds, I might add) That’s just ri-DONK-ulous! Fights between fathers at their child’s soccer game, fights between the parents and the official and even fathers who join their son on the field to help them fight! Did y’all eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast that day?? Sure, we want to protect our kids but when you go and do a foolhardy thing like that, all you’re doing is teaching your child that throwing a fit and being a poor sport is how to get things done. I tried to get my son into a sport but it wasn’t his bag so he never played any sport,  in school or through the local city team. The actions of parents isn’t limited to the playing field either. I have a friend who works at a child care facility and she told me that when one of her students (they do teach at this facility) misbehaves and it isn’t resolved before the parentals come to pick up Junior, more often than not, the reaction of the parent is: “Well, my child wouldn’t do that!” Uh-huh…that’s what you say now. For the record, when the Fruit of my Looms was acting like a complete fool, I always asked what he did, who saw it, where was the other child, etc. I didn’t always assume he was innocent. He is my son, after all and I’m pretty sure I passed on my mischief gene to him when he acquired the mitochondrial DNA. If I find out he lied, I’d make him go back and apologize because THAT’S what you’re SUPPOSED to do. Sure I’m odd, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take parenting seriously. I found a way to throw in some humour as well so I wouldn’t have an aneurysm while trying to suss out the details of my son’s latest misadventure. So far, it’s worked pretty well and I think I raised a darn good kid. However, I won’t hold his hand through life. He’s gonna have to fall on his face a few times if he’s ever going to learn what not to do.

There are so many more topics and I honestly do not relish making a list. Firstly, that would be an uber long post and secondly, it’s not my intention to proselytize from my soap box. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I claim to. I’m simply trying to present another point of view and hopefully, a change in the way we behave where our kids, ourselves and the entire world is concerned.  Gandhi said ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world’ and he’s right. I have a ways to go yet but I’m on the right path. We should bring God to the forefront again, say Merry Christmas, discipline our children when they need it but praise them for what they do right as well, not be afraid to say ‘I love you’, never go to bed angry (at your spouse or anyone) and dadgummit, be courteous to others. Google the Golden Rule, if you can’t remember it but please, be aware that your actions speak volumes to your children and those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. We’re human and we can’t do everything. We weren’t meant to. You only get this one chance at life…no do-overs. So be the absolute best person you can while you’re on this Earthly plane and leave that as a legacy to your family when you move on to the spiritual plane. That’s worth more than anything money can buy and maybe, just maybe, it will have a domino effect and start healing the world, one person at a time. Peace…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret Garcia
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 22:28:21

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