I had no intention of writing today. The boys are asleep upstairs napping peacefully and snuggled with the hand made blankets my mom made them. When I look at them sleeping I feel so much love. They are so pure. They live to hug and be hugged. They live to laugh and love. They would never intentionally hurt another person. They are the absolute portrait of innocence.
We all begin exactly like this. We are all born into this world without the knowledge of how to hurt another, without a hard heart and spiked tongue waiting to hurl an insult. We are all born pure and kind. We all slept peacefully, unaware that there are people in the world who live solely to knock others down.
As I said, I had no intention of writing today. I was sitting at the dining room table, working on a craft project that I have been mulling over for a few weeks. I found myself thinking over a post I read on Facebook. It appeared in a group I am in with other mothers whose children are the same age as Casey and Connor. One of the women in the group posted about a bully and the bully's mother.
This situation started innocently enough. My friend posted this on her FB status: Special request to all kids & teenagers returning to school this month:If you see someone at school who is struggling to make friends, or being teased because he/she is different or shy or doesn't have the nicest clothes & shoes -- PLEASE STEP UP! Just say "hi," sit next to him or her at lunch, or at least smile at him or her in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness could make a BIG difference in someone's life :-) Please share! It's a great status and a worthwhile reminder that every small thing you do can make a difference in someone's life. You never know whose day or whose life might be saved by your kindness.
After posting this message my friend was informed that there was another mother-NOT in our group- who had a response to this (Note: I will put the whole quote even though there are offensive words- be warned) "To all of you posting the be nice to kids and no bullying crap, go fuck yourselves, that is bs, there is no such thing as a bully and kids get punked because they are faggots or retards." Amazing sentiment right? The worst part of this is- SHE IS A MOTHER! Furthermore- her son is an accused bully himself.
Why? I know I ask this question so often in this blog but WHY? Why would you invest so much time in RUINING YOUR CHILD?? What are you teaching him by being a hateful, rude, ignorant person? To completely place blame on the children who are picked on by calling them faggots and retards? Really? This is the moral foundation you wish to raise your child on? No wonder our world is so screwed up.
I often wonder why kids are the way they are and there are 2 answers that I have come to accept. The first is- kids are selfish and socially unaware. They don't realize that their actions directly effect others. Children are, by their very nature, hedonistic little creatures. Babies live to be taken care of- their needs are all encompassing and that's all they know. Toddlers push the boundaries because they don't know better. Teenagers live ONLY for the moment and lack the ability to see too far into the future. If at these various stages in their lives they don't have a strong, caring adult there to guide them they would destroy one another without a second thought.
The second answer I accept is that If you put good IN to the kid you get good OUT of the kid. If everyday you fill your child with hateful words they will in turn become hateful. If while driving you are tailgating and calling the guy in front of you an a**hole and flipping them off your child absorbs this. If you call your neighbor stupid, lazy and fat- your child learns that it is acceptable to degrade and belittle someone. If you are constantly calling people names, making fun of their clothes, commenting on their weight, car or social status your child learns that, too. If you use words like fag, retard, nigger- your child will come to think this is acceptable.
There are people who will argue this point but they should know that they are wrong. Children learn what they see. Children are the future. Why are we poisoning the minds of the people who can eventually make a difference in the world? Why do we take them to movies that degrade and dehumanize? Why do we let them watch shows that teach messages of intolerance and cruelty? Why don't we as parents WAKE UP and realize that EVERYTHING OUR CHILDREN DO IS IN DIRECT RELATION TO HOW WE DO OUR JOBS AS PARENTS???? There are no more excuses.
I tell my children everyday I love them, that they can do ANYTHING they want to do and that they are amazing. When we are out I smile at people, wish them well, say please and thank you. When someone sneezes I say God bless you. When they see their daddy opening a door for me or for other women they are learning that men should be courteous and chivalrous. When I follow the speed limit and wear my seatbelt they learn the ways to be safe. When Matt and I have our occasional arguments they see that you can disagree and even get mad but you do it while still respecting your partner and that when it's over you kiss, hug and make up. Children don't need to be shielded from things. They need to be taught properly.
I want my children to know that there are people in the world who are different from themselves- that THEY are different from one another- and that it is perfectly acceptable. There are so many mixed messages out there. Some people want our children to be taught tolerance. Why? Why tolerance? Why teach them that you must TOLERATE differences- why not teach them to ACCEPT differences? I think acceptance is such a better message. Accept that some people are thin and some aren't. Accept some people are gay and some are straight. Accept it, understand it and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
There are too many mothers like that hateful one who thinks it fine to spew her message of hate and bigotry. There are too many people not willing to stand up to people like her. I am not one of those people. I would love a chance to talk to her. I would happily tell her that she is ruining her child by poisoning him against the world. She is sending the message that being cruel is perfectly normal. It's not. It's wrong. It's a disgusting message to send and she should be terribly ashamed of herself.
If you are a parent who strives to fill your child with good things- kudos to you. Thank you. YOU are the ones who will eventually make it a much nicer place. We as adults need to take a stand and teach children that cruelty is unacceptable and that it will not be tolerated in any form. We need to stand up and say that the blame lies not in the media or sites like facebook or with Hollywood movies- the blame lies with us. We failed somewhere along the way by remaining quiet or worse- by being rude bullies ourselves. It has to stop. I would like to think that once we get more people realizing that they are their child's most important teacher a difference can be made. Further, when that happens maybe we will all be able to sleep as peacefully as my beautiful little miracle men.