Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not a favorite, but an opinion

Today as I was driving back from Costco there were a bunch of people with their Prop 8 signs near the entrance to the freeway. They were just out there supporting their view when a car of about 5 people drove by putting their hands out giving them the thumbs down and flicking them off while screaming whatevers out of their mouth. Seriously, why? You don't have to agree with them but to have a total lack of respect, I mean come on. When did this country get like this? 

I remember when I was in high school and college my peers would say, "I'm never having kids because I don't want to bring them into a world like this." I scoffed at their remarks knowing that I would one day bring children into this world. But lately with the hatred in the media and the total lack of respect people have for one another, I feel so sad for my children because I am afraid of the world they are growing up in, a world that has so much good but the bad is so bad. I don't know about you but I feel like it has all happened in recent years. The media picks apart anyone famous in the most cruel and demoralizing ways. When was it ever okay to demean a 16 year old? Or when was it ever anyone's business what kind of marriage or addiction celebrities had? It's mind boggling to me why we care so much about the personal habits, sorrows, or lives of so-called celebrities. Shouldn't we only care about their acting or singing? Why do we allow the media to report on aspects of famous peoples' lives that are totally private? I don't get it.

One thing that bothers me a lot is that it is okay for people to bash the President of the United States (any president). I definitely understand if you do not like him or do not agree with him. But to bash him at awards shows, through skits on tv and in written media. I'm not talking about plain disagreement, I'm talking about using defamatory words. I think that as Americans we should be respectful, even if we disagree. Key word=respect. Our children will grown up believing that no one is off limits to bash. I mean if they watch celebrities saying horrific things about the President, who is off limits? No one. It's okay in today's culture to belittle anyone in public. Freedom of speech has gone too far and I am afraid we cannot go back. I am afraid that my children will never understand the true definitions of respect and tolerance because they never see them practiced. I am afraid for my children to ever be in the spotlight because I know that no one is protected anymore and it would break my heart to see them ripped to shreds. I feel sorry for whomever wins the Presidential race, they have no chance. A President will never get the respect they deserve anymore.

It all makes me sad. Sad that people treat each other the way they do. Sad that children watch adults scream at people who accidently bumped into them or watch their parents treat other people like dirt. And I guess my question is, how do I protect my children and teach them to be good people and good citizens when I feel like all their other influences will teach them the opposite? How do I not only teach them, but protect them? How do I make sure it's not my child flicking off people of an opposing view? And, how do I stop myself from crying every time I think about how inhumane people can be?

7 comments:

Vanessa said...

I couldn't have said it better, myself! It always amazes me that amount of dis-respect that is seeming to become increasingly acceptable. It is always my prayer for Hailey to grow up with high respect for others, as well as herself! Great post. :)

eva said...

I agree, especially on the political side of things, since that such a hot topic right now. It seems that more and more we're against someone or something rather than championing for the person and issues we support. I know I am not innocent, but I try to focus on the things that can make me better and therefore make Maya's environment more positive. I think about this a lot and have the same fears about her growing up surrounded by a general lack of respect for people, animals and the planet. But then when I look at my family and friends, I am really encouraged and I know our kids will be able to not just overcome these things, but make a positive difference.

mary said...

Amanda, I totally agree with everything you've written. This bothers me to no end. I'm disgusted by how vicious people can be -- especially people who preach "tolerance" and the like. I've learned the hard way not to even engage people like this in any sort of political conversation because it all goes downhill...fast. (And, gee, how fun is that...having to HIDE your opinions on something because you don't want to be attacked?)

Whatever happened to accepting that we all have different viewpoints and that that's what makes the world go round?

Leslie said...

OMG, Amanda! I have to show your post to my husband. On Friday night, I was driving home from work, and saw the SAME thing at the SAME location. I was so fired up, I wanted to cry. I went home & complained to my husband how ignorant people are. A car passed mine & stuck his hand out the window and did a "lazy wrist gay person" gesture and I wanted to throw up. Despite what that person believed, they should have enough intelligence and bravery to stand-up for something they believe in - at least these four guys did! It angered me that this idiot was attacking the person, and not the true issue at hand. If he doesn't believe in what someone is lobbying for, pickup a damn sign & stand out there yourself. That's the way to champion for your cause intelligently. F'ing idiots with no class and guts to be political in a tasteful way.

Leslie H. said...

Yes, it is very scary the way people treat eachother sometimes! I am always floored by the lack of simple common courtesy these days. No one set a better example for me than my parents, and I think there in lies your answer... We can't control what happens in the world, but we can raise our kids to have courtesy, compassion, tolerance and respect for others by setting a good example. It's basically the Golden Rule.

Shaft Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaft Family said...

Eva said it best, focus on positivity and even if it is hard to imagine, know love for the people who are acting in a disgraceful way.

Being overseas has opened my eyes to how Americans are being perceived. It is not always pleasant. We have allowed too much lack of respect for fellow man that we created a society that thrives on chaos, disrespect, lies and the biggest one, SELFISHNESS! We are an unfiltered society and someone needs to turn our filter back on.

It is interesting here in Japan because they have the right to refuse anyone and they do ("NO AMERICAN SIGNS") and you just deal with it and move on. You can not sue anyone here for that.

The best thing for people with kids? Lead by example, your kids are always listening and watching. Take a look at your grandparents generation, I think they were the last wholesome, traditional, respectful era, let's hope we can get back there.