We are having an epidemic of immaturity in our country. Screw the Swine Flu! We need a collective inoculation of wisdom, compassion and enlightenment, STAT!
I have been exposed to the infected in staggering numbers this week.
It has been as minor as middle age adults trying to dress and behave like they are back in high school. This actually does not make them look any younger. The gray hair, wrinkles, and pot bellies are actually accentuated when you dress age inappropriately. It is painful to see and I am embarrassed for them.
Though prevalent, this is but a small transgression.
I am teaching my daughter how to drive. God bless all parents trying to instruct their children on the proper way to maneuver a 4000 lb hunk of metal through our community.
Sitting shotgun, I have begun to think I really need the said shotgun.
If you cut my daughter off while she is turning into a parking space...
or speed to pass her only to pull in front of her and slam on your breaks then glare at her because she was only exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph, instead of the 20 mph you wanted to speed...
Or honk at her because she stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian their right of way...
I get to use my shotgun status.
But here is the biggy!
By know we have all witnessed at least one "Facebook Smackdown". This is a Shannanism that I have added to Urban Dictionary. This is the knockdown-drag-out arguments that occur over someone's status updates. Typically occurs when one "friend" misinterprets or takes another "friend's" status personally and begins a comment war for all to see and enjoy.
I have had the un-pleasure of witnessing a Smackdown between my sister and my mother and my aunt... between several of my co-workers... and finally a bullying session between a few 40-something adults against my 15 year old daughter.
I witnessed three, adult parents belittle and attack my daughter on their Facebook status over a second-hand rumor they heard from other kids at her school.
Some of the comments went like this:
"What I really think is weird is disrespectful kids who think they are all that and so good that they can say whatever they want. Someone needs to realize they are not as good as they think and in fact - they are the weird one."
"Don't be to hard on whoever is making comments they can't help it if they are immature."
Then one adult goes to my daughter's page and copies, then mimics, her status about having a great time at a football game - Mattea's status in BOLD, lame ass adult, italic:
"I just wanna say, "The day has started off AMAZING and MAGICAL and has continued to be SPECTACULAR...because I rock and I'm a legend in my own mind...BLAH BLAH BLAH....BARF!! Gag me with a spoon."
I might add that the adults in this Smackdown against a 15 year old, call themselves devout Christians...
Don't worry. I stepped in.
We all have been seeing the teen suicide epidemic in recent weeks over online and school bullying. And maybe you have been wondering why these young teenagers are hanging themselves from their neighborhood trees and jumping off bridges. It is because their peers... and maybe even adults... are cruel, predatory bullys.
It might not be because the child is homosexual. It might be because they aren't like other people... maybe they are smart, or pretty, or talented, or something the bully isn't and the bully has to bring that person's esteem down so the bully can feel good about themselves.
We can try to console our youth with the trite "sticks and stones" cliche. But a teenager's esteem is in a fragile state of development, and thinking that "words can never hurt them" is so very, VERY wrong.
Words do hurt.
We take them in... we question whether or not they are true... we repeat them over and over in our heads... and if we decide we believe them, they have life-long, and sometimes life-ending, ramifications.
When are we all going to GROW UP and start being NICE!?
How are our children going to learn how to be wise, loving and compassionate human beings if we don't start BEING THE EXAMPLE!!! ???
I have had many wonderful opportunities to spend time members of our older generations recently ~ so spry and witty and full of story these octogenarians. Yesterday, we had the pleasure of celebrating my grandfather's 90th birthday!
What a gift!!!!
I have always felt like a "storykeeper." Gathering the experiences and wisdom of others and treasuring as if they are my own. Somehow I feel their stories in myself and am transported to these earlier times through the legends of their youth.
Then I turn around and I am surrounded by youth. All the infants, toddlers, munchkins, and teens. This, too, is precious. I am always amazed at the fresh perspective and humor these beings bring to the party.
I listen to their stories, too. They are not living in the easiest of times, our youth today. Times are more uncertain. Opportunity doesn't come knocking with much frequency. They have bigger issues to deal with then I remember having at their age. It makes me realize, they actually have more in common with their grandparent's and great-grandparent's experiences than I do.
I am here ~ right in the mid-life.
Rather than feel sad or depressed about this transition position, I feel BLESSED!