i am concerned about our future generations' lack of respect. i have worked with students for many years now and i always run into the same concern.
there is a serious lack of respect for authority.
i'm not going to speculate why. you could argue that it's parents. you could argue it's culture. heck, i guess you could argue it's technology, media, organic milk, vampires or zombies! who knows?!
but here's what i do know...
on a night like wednesday, oct 3 or thursday, oct 11....i'm not surprised that kids are disrespectful.
that's right folks, i'm talking about the presidential and vice presidential debates. and i bet that some of you reading this are getting a little excited right now because you think i'm going to point out how disrespectful one of the candidates was. nope. not gonna do it.
actually, if you had a little rise in your blood pressure because you thought i was going to bash a candidate...SURPRISE...i may be referring to you.
(notice the nice italics on the "may" because maybe i'm not referring to you so please don't be offended)
all i'm saying is that my facebook and twitter feeds were FULL of disrespect both of those nights. there was all kinds of bigotry going around against age, religion, race, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. and with my very, very wide variety of friends & family (and i LOVE that about you guys) there was plenty on both sides of the aisle.
i love that i have passionate friends and family but i'm honestly a little embarrassed at times. i've even blocked a few people from my news feed because i just can't take the hateful comments. and trust me, i understand. i'm right there with you!
(see how i did that, there? you don't know exactly who i'm with. nice, right?)
but in all seriousness, i'll tell you who i agree with 100%...
NONE OF THEM.
and i bet you don't either and that's ok. i'm glad that i don't live in a world where everyone i love thinks like a robot. that would be so boring AND robot voices are just not flattering.
but guys, i've always interpreted paul's writing to mean that we're supposed to respect those in authority. respect. that doesn't mean like, agree with, vote for, financially support, put a sticker on your car... but what it does mean is that we hold a certain esteem for them. i'm sure that respect looks different in different situations, i know that's true.
but i also know what DISRESPECT looks like.
when i scrolled through facebook or twitter on debate night it was very clear what disrespect looked like. i don't allow my middle school students to talk about their least favorite teachers in the same manner as some of the comments i read about out government authority figures. if one of my students said something negative about a teacher's age, race, religion or intelligence i would put an end to that before it could get started. and maybe we think it's ok because it's not personal, they'll never read it but that's simply not true.
we are desensitizing the next generation.
it is not ok to personally attack a person simply because you don't agree with them. that is bullying. do we really need to go back through history and see where that took us in our past?
i know this is my own personal rant, i do. but i'm scared for the next generation. social media has made it ok for us to blurt out every little thought and feeling we have for the world to read. and let's be honest, the world DOES NOT need to know every little thought we have.
so maybe it is the organic milk, or the zombies. but i think it more likely that our future leaders are being desensitized. we are not modeling respect, to love your neighbor, to do to others what you want them to do to you!
(yes, i hear you, person that's thinking about campaign ads right now. but seriously, do we want to stoop to that level?)
ok, so i am now going to take a leap off this giant soap box that i've been typing from and get ready for bed. but...there's almost a month left before the election. go forth and be PASSIONATE! care about this great country! choose a side and fight for it! there are men and women putting their life on the line every single day so that you and i have the simple right to care who leads us.
please, please accept that great gift and CARE! vote!
but please, please be aware that future generations are watching us.
how we handle this matters. it does.