Thoughts for January 2017

I’m watching in horror as people destroy property, disrupt livelihoods, and set back our race relations hundreds of years. They are doing this all in the name of peaceful protest. What I’m seeing is destruction, hate, violence, and greed covering up those that have valid issues that they are trying to support. How can someone who is claiming to protect the environment and make the world a better place burn, smash, and spew hatred? It’s discouraging to hear someone claim to passionately stand for something while watching them defile what is not theirs. All on a large scale. These have been no small fires. This is more than a gum wrapper thrown on the ground. Terrorizing businesses across the county as you have a childish meltdown for not getting your way.

We all have days that we would like to sit back and pout, throw some rocks, and smash a few plates to take out our frustration. Everyone is not going to agree on everything, all the time. Most of us are able to realize this and continue with our lives or we try to find a constructive solution to the problem. Some, like the man/child in one video, fell to his knees crying and screaming like a baby in the middle of a street, while others took hammers to store fronts. What is this? Does that help your cause? Does this make you feel better about yourself? Is this a solution to your problems? Will you be able to show this to you children and grandchildren with pride?

I’d like to place some blame here. Squarely on the shoulders of parents with a bit of runoff for the legal adult children. I’m afraid and ashamed of the products of recent parenthood and I’ll take some of that blame for myself. Entitlement is a slippery slope that is greased by our want to make our children’s lives better and easier than our own. We want to compensate for all the times our parents were horrible to us and withheld those things that we longed for. We give and give without giving what is needed the most, morals and values. Instead of teaching about cost and work ethic we are teaching that puppy eyes and enough whining will get you anything. Why work when there is someone somewhere willing to throw the cash at you if you make a compelling story?

I’m holding out hope that there is still time to change this. This change needs to start in the home, not in our schools and governments. Parents and guardians need to step up and hold themselves and their children accountable. Childhood is not and should not be all fun and games. We are not raising children, we are raising future adults and leaders. A child not expected to work and later not trusted to do things on their own will have one heck of a time when you’re finally bled dry financially and emotionally and expect them to take care of themselves. How will that adult-child ever take care of a family, property, or community when they have a hard time leaving home without their pacifiers?

Let children know that it is okay to not like everyone. It is okay to not get along with and hang out with everyone. Children need to know that even when you don’t get along, you still need to be courteous. There will be situations where you have to work closely with those that you disagree with. Teach them to be respectful. A wise woman once said, “There will always be someone that is better than you and there will always be someone worse than you at whatever you are doing. Remember that before beating yourself up for not being the best and also before you gloat about an accomplishment.” You do not need a participation ribbon or pat on the back for every little thing you do and even “gasp” most of the big things you do.

Be willing to help people, starting in your own community and possibly never reaching beyond that. Open a door, make a donation, pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, or just smile. It’s counterproductive to adopt a starving oil covered giraffe in Antarctica while a park just a block from your house if covered in graffiti and trash or worse yet your front lawn.

Most importantly take care of yourself and your family first. Don’t worry about which neighbor has a new boat. Forget about the fancy vacation you saw a classmate post about on social media. Do what is right for your family and be damned the haters. Don’t forget to let you children know why you are doing the things you do. They won’t know how to deal with hardships if we don’t share ours with them. Let them have and help them to deal with their own struggles while they are still young.

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic but I think that our future generations still have a chance. There is a possibility that we can stop public adult temper tantrums. We can teach our children to become successful, hardworking, and honest adults. By “we” I am talking about parents. Hold your children accountable starting at a young age. The parent is not responsible for homework and all household chores. Children need to contribute and take responsibility or they turn into Eco-terroristic fools, suckling from the tit of unsuspecting but equally foolish bleeding hearts, while rioting their way across the county claiming just causes as their own, in order to further their social media status.

Thoughts for January 2017