Saturday, June 23, 2012

It is Time

I write two regular blogs. One is Neff Road. The other is A Grandparent's Voice. Today I am compelled to write from a grandparent's voice. It is only my opinion, but I am a piece of the solution to a growing problem as are you. Today I write in hopes of change.

Badgering. Bullying. Taunting, Teasing. Children. Adults. It's mix and match. It happens in all forms. It has been around forever. So why are we just aware of it now?

Our first awareness that has surfaced was with the children hurting one another with words and actions. Some resulting in suicide. Now we see that children are abusive to adults. Well, duh!! 

The commentator suggested to the counselor that perhaps this behavior began in the home. Perhaps?! Pretty good guess that it did. Ranting and raving in the house. Coarse words said in anger. Those words meant to degrade and to deflate. Words of sarcasm in a bitter tone fall on small ears and are passed on. We know where the anger begins and how it spreads. It is virus that has only one cure.

After watching this segment on the taunting of the bus monitor, I immediately thought of the types of video games that children and adults play. About those TV shows centered on bitter adults, hurting one another. It seems that more and more reality shows, based on families and adults talking about one another, those in which adults verbally abuse one another and make a mockery of such things as marriage and friendship, are topping the charts. What in the world is wrong with us that we accept this type of behavior? What is wrong with our society that we are complacent when it comes to our children? Why do we teach children that killing on a video screen to get points is fun? Why do we watch shows where women tear at one another, where gossip and cheating win? Why do we allow it to exist?

Shouldn't we be teaching our children conversational skills. Teaching them to embrace the positive and ignore the negative. Shouldn't we be showing them that words are better than the hand. That strength is more times found in walking away rather than standing ground. Violence begets violence. A child hurt by guilt, hurt by words, will act out. Children and adults scarred by gossip and taunting will only find anger instead.

Perhaps gossip seems harmless. I felt the sting of gossip. I felt the sting of friends hurting friends. We all have known what it is like to be hurt by another. Too often that hurt goes on turning into bitterness and more of the same. Where does it end?

It is a virus. It has only one cure. We are the cure. We are the ones who can change the face of humanity. We are the ones who can change the behavior of children. We are the ones who can change the behavior of adults.

The woman came into the store sobbing. I went to her and wrapped my arms around her asking what I could do to help her. She sobbed that she was going to her home to gather her belonging with a police escort. As with most abused woman, she still loved the man who beat her. She wanted a card to leave behind telling him that she loved him. We who have lived in healthy relationships find this hard to believe, but living in an abusive situation is part of that virus. A woman beaten down so far that she believed she deserved it. I told her that I would not sell her a card. I told her that his actions were not of a man who loved. I told her to walk out of the store, to gather her belongings and never look back. A few days ago, this woman returned. She did walk away with restraining order in hand. Now she is part of a support group and is in counseling. The virus stops here.

We all have a chance to make a difference. It doesn't need to be in such a big way, but it needs to happen. We must to learn to talk through differences and teach children the same. The days of the 'good ol boys' are over. The days of making fun of others are over. The days of brow beating children into behaving are over. It is time to stop this damage that affects us all. It is time.

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