I'm not sure WHY, but people over the last decade have become comfortable with being yelled at and told what to think. THEN they yell at others and tell THEM what to think. It is maddening. Why is it considered LIBERAL to formulate your own opinions instead of following herds of sheep who are taking orders from a blowhard with no sense? And why is being LIBERAL an insult? Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Should we not ALL be liberals? Can we not dislike masked men who pillage and rape, yet take the time to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we do indeed have the right man behind the mask? Okay...so my analogy is lacking, but surely you see my point. In fact, I INSIST that you see my point, because these days, that's what people seem to want. They want to be TOLD how they are supposed to feel and want to move forward without researching anything on their own and without questioning their heroes--or anyone who confirms what they WANT to believe.
Years ago, I had a friend who was(is)a die-hard Republican. This "friend's" political party made up her entire BEING. Her small children claimed to be Republican as well. In fact, when Obama was elected, her young daughter cried and said, "Oh no, Mommy! What are we going to do now that a LIAR is running our country?!" Really? REALLY?! (I know what you are thinking...EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER RUN FOR OFFICE AND EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER BEEN IN OFFICE LIED--I know that and YOU know that, but that is not the point. For today at least...) I looked at the mother in disbelief. She REALLY finds it okay to put this burden on her child? REALLY? Not to mention, THIS is how we "train" our future leaders? By raising them as little sheep from the time they exit the womb? By teaching them that it isn't okay for them to think for themselves--EVER--and by TELLING them what THEY believe? Every time I think about this I feel sick. And sad.
During that time I taught high school English and I had a group of tenth graders who...let's just say they liked to fester in their negativity. The class was really diverse ethnically speaking and there were some STRONG opinions for fourteen-sixteen-year-olds and some conversations got a little...heated due to ignorance on the part of some--because of the way they were raised. Hate is taught. One day the anger and negativity was too much for me. I told them to write the three things that made them the happiest on a sheet of paper. When the majority of them did nothing, I told them that I was going to mail their responses home and that they would only get full credit if they had a proper heading (HEADING...you remember...your name, the date, the class, the period...HEADING...anyway...) and if they wrote THREE things that made them happy. I showed them on the board:
1. My marriage 2. My children 3. Chocolate
I am sure that I am totally lying right now. There is NO WAY that chocolate came third at that point in time and I am P-R-E-T-T-Y sure that my marriage didn't even make the list at that point (My children were three, two, and one. Wine was probably first and marriage probably never entered the equation. I told you I was angry. And tired. And thirsty.)
Anyway, they had to follow the model and pass up their papers. I know you think that I am being overly repetitive right now and that this is a bit too basic for a group of tenth graders. You would be wrong. Three people did not do it, five people forgot their names and seven people did not follow the model. When I told them I was going to mail it home, I cannot even DESCRIBE the level of disdain that was thrown at me. Here's me:
"Seriously?! It is THAT upsetting to you that I am going to show your parents THREE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY?!"
Here's them: "OHMYGODWHYWOULDYOEDOTHATYOUCAN'TDOTHATIT'SMYOWNPRIVATEWORKDON'TPLEASEMRS.CORWINYOUWOULDN'T...!" It was mayhem. When all was said and done (or whined and chicken-scratched out) what I found the most interesting was one paper that read: repulicans,guns,
Hmm. Well...I guess it's nice that he thought of his father. And God made a brief appearance, so there's THAT. I found it a bit...disheartening that a child who was not even old enough to vote wrote that the thing that made him the HAPPIEST was what I could only assume was supposed to read, "Republicans." Obviously SPELLING and PENMANSHIP weren't up on his list. Noted.
Don't get me wrong--political parties make me happy, too. Especially when they give me MATERIAL. I just don't understand how a boy--barely a teenager--could place his happiness in the hands of a political party--regardless of which one he chose.
Now, during that time I also taught classes full of--advanced isn't strong enough and genius sounds pretentious...gifted does not even begin to cover it--think Big Bang Theory--you know, Sheldon (which is what we call my son at times...)? No? Let's go with Future Cancer-curers of America. Many of these students, though I did NOT play the same game with them could have answered similarly and it would have caused me less concern (though still wouldn't be my FAVORITE answers). The difference being that THESE students (even if they didn't do it FOR an assignment) would research EVERYTHING they were passionate about and do whatever was in their power to PROVE that they were right. It happened, but RARELY would there be a blowhard yammering on about undocumented facts that they spewed after listening to talk radio or MSN. Like I said...it happened,I mean, they WERE high school students after all, but it was rare. My point? Do you really feel good about yourself as a parent if you are raising your children to follow along blindly? Are the more educated people (and by more educated I do NOT mean "most powerful" nor do I mean Democrat OR Republican) in our world "following blindly" or are they researching to find out for themselves? And if the answers are not found, do we really want our children to lead with hate and to follow those who are yelling the loudest? Is it THAT important to us to have our children grow up having the SAME EXACT views that WE have? Are we REALLY that confident in ourselves?! How are we raising people to cure disease and to take care of us if they are simply following along in our shadows? WE didn't cure cancer. WE'RE not even PLAYING someone who cured cancer on television. And following a political party does not a politician make. (You see what I did there? No? Yeah...I don't either...I just thought--I know--I shouldn't do that. Think, I mean...) Or maybe that IS what does make a politician and maybe THAT is what is wrong with politicians. They don't THINK...
I really try not to get political (OBVIOUSLY...)--I don't like what most
My children DO NOT live in a democracy. They live in...a kingdom. I am the queen and they MUST do as I say or suffer the consequences. I have run the kingdom into the ground a bit because I...listen to too many complaints from "the people" instead of continuing with my tyrannical lead with little to no thought of their opinions.I blame the blowhards for this. I am so afraid of pushing my beliefs onto my children instead of allowing them to learn and grow for fear of BECOMING a blowhard that I cave when I should be strong. I do not want my children to think that they need to follow blindly and that my way IN LIFE must be their way when they leave here. I want to teach them how to look for answers on their own and how to deduce fact from fiction and news from...whatever it is that WE get these days. I want them to form assertions based on proof and to CHANGE their opinions if the facts change (instead of standing up for something merely because they initially thought that they were right). I'm trying to find...the line...to have my tyrannical lead WHILST teaching them to question...just as long as they don't question ME...that can be done, right?! (Yes...I DID use "whilst..." it can be done...)
Why is it that changing one's mind has now been deemed flip-flopping and indecisive? When did we go from wanting to know the truth to having to firmly stand on a position that is no longer valid to give the APPEARANCE of strength? When did we lose humility? That same year of teaching was the first time I was given a hard time (by parents AND students)for admitting to not knowing things (imagine how hard THAT year was, considering how LITTLE I really know...!). We are now a world where everyone must give the illusion of knowing everything. Humility is weak and standing on principle...with no supporting evidence...is considered strong. Bullying others into believing whatever nonsensical information you spew out of your mouth is now revered. Good news for Brayden...he came out of the WOMB KNOWING everything. I have spent my days trying desperately to teach him humility and to show him that it is OKAY to not know everything. Unfortunately, this world is going to show him otherwise...
Thanks to The Klonopin Chronicles and Unconventional Wisdom for the above photo. It couldn't be more perfect!