Are We Still Civil?

I have seen a few things recently on the news and on talk shows that stunned me and made me wonder if we are still a civil society.  Or if we have become so indifferent to each other and just don’t care.  I am curious what you my readers, friends, families, and people I don’t know think about this issue..

On one talk show, a video was shown of four teenagers watching another person struggle in a lake and eventually drown.  They did absolutely nothing but film what was happening and make fun of this person.  So a person died who didn’t need to.  Shocking and very troubling.

A young women texted her guy friend and talked him into killing himself after he reached out to her that he wasn’t sure about doing so. She was found guilty for this and has been sentenced to prison.  In addition to her punishment, I hope she will receive some counseling.  To me, it seems she does need it.

A young women was driving her car and texting, had an accident where her sister flew out of the car and was killed, and she did nothing but record it on her phone. This driver was very distracted and this tragedy was the result.  I was stunned at this as well.

I am not blaming social media, texting, or our obsession with selfies, but we have to remember there are times when we should put down the phone and help others.  There are times and places for our phones, our texts, our pictures, and our videos.  And then there are times when people in the real world need us and I for one think, we need to pay attention.

I grew up at a time when pictures were taken on film in actual cameras.  We had to wait until 24 or 36 photos were taken before we could take the film to the store to be developed.  So, my time as a teenager didn’t include recording each and every thing I did all day and night.  Yes, I am that old.  LOL!

The idea of having a way to stream and record everything in my day is foreign to me.  However, I know it is a way of life for many young people and adults as well.  I just hope that we can be smart about it, be kind about it, and be willing to put it down if our loved ones or others need our help.

Another thing that bothers me about our civility is all of the foul language and behavior that many adults and our leaders are displaying these days. Threatening others is not the way to solve problems, cussing at each other doesn’t seem to help anything, bullying others, and continuing to be rude and not consider each other are also wrong.

You see, I have a son who is almost 10 years old. He listens to and learns from adults.  He models the adults’ behaviors and sometimes attitudes. Thankfully he has learned to be kind and caring.  But he still has many years until he becomes an adult.  I want him to continue to grow into a loving adult.  Let’s face it, some of us are not to be learned from.  Instead we are to be labeled what not to do and how not to act.

I want those of us who have children to teach them that each and every life matters, whether it is someone who you know and like or not.  People are not to be bullied, threatened, hated, or ridiculed.  People have value and are important and are to be treated with dignity and kindness.  We should encourage each other, not tear each other down.

It truly takes a village of families, friends, churches, youth groups, schools and teachers, coaches, band and chorus teachers, pack leaders, and others to teach our children.   My family is blessed to have a community, teachers, and a village of people who care for Ian, who want the best for him, and are teaching him good values and life skills.

Among them is his school where each morning the kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  After that they recite a school pledge, which is amazing and teaches the students to decide to behave, and to be kind and considerate of each other.  I like it so much that I have memorized it.

It is, “We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively. Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and everyday.”  Isn’t that great?  I think we as adults could benefit by reciting that each day and deciding to be a good and kind person.

I am heart-broken that those young people who I mentioned at the beginning of the blog may not understand that they did anything wrong.  They may not get that someone else was suffering while they were making fun of, threatening, or being indifferent to others.  Isn’t that sad and something we should change?

We cannot be there every time someone else needs us, but perhaps we could watch out for each other, lend a hand, and call 911 when someone is in peril.  Civility is still alive and well in many places and with many people.  I am just sad that I keep seeing and hearing so much negative, so much abuse, hatred, and violence.

My hope and prayer is that we can teach children, teens, and adults to be kind, to be compassionate, to be considerate of others, to not judge others, to be helpful, to be willing to stand up for each other, and to always, always love.

Prayers For Our Country

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday.  I don’t know about you but I was bit stunned with the results of Super Tuesday.  A person who has been acting like a bully keeps winning.  And he keeps developing a larger and larger following.  His competition has now sunk to his level and that to me is also stunning.  I just don’t like what I am seeing.

Why are we a nation that seems to like insults and waits for more?  Why is it okay to ridicule those who are different from ourselves?  Why do we seem to be meaner and meaner to one another?  Why do we listen to words from those who want to lead us that we wouldn’t let our kids say? When did nastiness and hate take over? And why can’t these people discuss actual issues and stop insulting each other?

This election year is like nothing I have ever seen.  My grandfather who passed away in 1996 loved his Republican Party. He really liked President Reagan.  I think this year he would be shocked at the candidates who call themselves Republicans.  I have wondered who he would choose to vote for and I am truly at a loss.

During Reagan’s presidency he worked with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill on programs that would benefit our country.  One was a Republican and one a Democrat.  Not perfect but they managed to work together and to compromise.  With President Obama, the Congress has been blocking everything he tries to do.  From day one, a few of them have purposely set out to have him fail.

I ask you, what good has that done for our country?  Why do we keep blaming Obama when Congress, in my opinion, is as much to blame since they aren’t doing the jobs they were elected to do?  Why can’t we realize that both sides are to blame?  Then we can start making real improvements and figure out a way to have both sides benefit.

Why can’t these officials who we elect have healthy debates and compromise?  When did those words become bad words and something we won’t tolerate?  When did it become wrong and awful to be friends with those who have different points of view than we do?  When did we stop being willing to listen to another side of the argument?  When did we decide that disrespecting others was okay?  I just don’t understand and it worries and saddens me.

I want to see leaders who my son can admire and respect.  I don’t want to have to keep telling him that he cannot act as these adults act.  I don’t want to have him and his generation grow up with believing that hate, intolerance, bullying, and put downs are okay.  Here is something that the elected officials or those running could and should take to heart.  It is something that Ian’s entire school says together each morning, right after the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively.  Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and every day.”  These students are learning respect, responsibility, patriotism, teamwork, trust, and being kind to each other.  Isn’t that great?  I only hope and pray that we as adults can learn the same.

My hope and prayer for us as a nation is:

  • May we find a way to be kind again.
  • May we give no put downs and respect others.
  • May we listen to others and have healthy debates.
  • May we realize that compromise is a good thing.
  • May we all do our personal best and not work to sabotage others.
  • May we learn each day.
  • May we do no harm.
  • May we not bully, but instead be loving.
  • May we defend what we believe without tearing others down.
  • May we be examples for our children and not warnings of how not to act.
  • May we love others, even those we disagree with.
  • May we remember the golden rule.
  • And may we remember that we are all in this together.

Try a Little Kindness

Playground.4When I was growing up, I was taught to be kind to others and to be loving and respectful.  I was taught that differences are okay and that all people have value. My husband and I are now teaching that to our son.  It truly concerns me how far away from that we now are.  Nowadays, so many people seem to think it’s okay to be mean to others and treat them badly.

We have a person running for president of our country who in my opinion is a bully.  He has insulted people of a different race, religion, sex, and views than his own.  Rather than building up others, he tears them down every chance he gets.  He treats others with disdain or worse, outright insults and hateful rhetoric.  The scary thing is that he has quite a few followers who seem to be going along with him.

Is that really what we have become — a nation of hate, skepticism, doubt, racism, sexism, and intolerance?  I sure hope not.  And, I pray not with every fiber of my being. I know we have always had all of these things and probably always will.  But with many civil rights movements over the years, it seemed things had been changing.

I hope we aren’t going backwards.  And, I hope and pray that we have learned from mistakes and travesties that have happened.  There is always more work to be done and I hope that we will continue to do this work.  After all, we do have much in common, despite the differences.

America is an amazing melting pot and my prayer is that it will continue to be just that.

Here are some things I want us to remember:

  • May we continue to teach others how to love.
  • May we forgive and learn from others.
  • May we try a little kindness.
  • May we be helpful to others.
  • May we remember to build one another up, rather than tearing each other down.
  • May we not have a leader who will teach our children that it is okay to be rude and belittle those who you don’t agree with.
  • May we not let hate take over.
  • May we remember that we are more alike than we are different.
  • May we never repeat certain things in our history and truly learn from those who have gone before us.
  • May we have hearts of love and forgiveness.
  • May we have healthy and civil debates.
  • May we stand up for what we believe without insult and harm to others.
  • May we think before we speak.
  • May we teach our children love and kindness, not hate and rudeness.

May we also remember the words from the Love Chapter from the Bible (1st Corinthians 13:4-8).  This is how we should love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

I wonder if we as a people can love like this?  My prayer is that we can and will.