Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unspeakable Acts

Yesterday, 2 people in 2 different countries killed large groups of children.

Of course, amid speculation about the perpetrators of these evil acts, there's a bunch of screaming for gun control, better access to mental health care, you name it. People are yelling for it.

Here's a nugget for you folks out there who think there should be more or less of anything.

JUST FREAKING BE POLITE TO PEOPLE!! Stop being jerks. You being an asswipe to someone that afternoon could potentially be the last straw in their crappy day and you send them over the edge. Remember me talking about my husband's friend that killed himself? THAT is an example. If one person had chosen their words more cautiously, that sailor might not be dead, and friends mourning that horrific loss.

Let me demonstrate the opposite. I half-jokingly say all the time that I mistreat all the kids that come to my house just the same. If you're here when we're cleaning, working, doing yardwork, whatever - we are going to put you to work with us. I treat the kids' friends like I treat my own kids. Borrowed Billy practically lives here more time than at his own house. He loves being here, because he learns something new every day in our house. I never thought twice about sharing knowledge with my kids because that's what my dad always did with his 6 kids. It never occurred to me to not do that. How are they supposed to learn how to function in the world if we don't do that? Not sharing your knowledge with your kids leads to them being financially taken advantage of because they don't know something like how to tell if you need new tires, or your oil is too low, or your water heater only needs a new heating element or sacrificial annode rod versus full replacement. It leads to kids getting credit cards as soon as they turn 18 and student loans when they head off to college, then suffering the burden of being saddled with debt for the entirety of their adult lives. They get to retire into poverty because they couldn't save any cash for their old age. Borrowed Billy is an example of what happens when you're not an asswipe to someone. He's going to head into adulthood with knowledge he wouldn't have gotten at home, and be able to live his life differently than he would have if he hadn't taken up residence on my futon.

A few years ago a friend asked if his girlfriend could stay with us. She lived in what he described as a total trash-life situation. I told him I had to meet her first. If I'd had any hinky feelings, she wouldn't have lived with us. I saw a girl who felt lost and like she was always doomed to living like her family did. I didn't even know she was still 17, and legally her mother could have caused us all kinds of trouble. Thankfully she did not. Like with Borrowed Billy, I treated her pretty much the same way I treated my own. We held her to a standard appropriate for her age, and she did fabulously living with us. It was my husband's friend that mucked up things, but that's water under the bridge. Ours was the first example of a normal relationship she'd ever seen. She had always seen various abuses around her, and that's all she knew. She had new hope that she didn't have to be destined to live like the others in her family tree. We eventually parted ways, but a few years later she popped up in an IM to say hi. She thanked me for letting her live with us, and showing her that she could have a better life. She said that we gave her love and care and that nobody ever did that before. She made me cry. All I did was just help her meet her basic needs, and give her a hand when she was stuck. It as all I knew how to do, because that's how I was taught to treat people.

Common sense and human decency are two lost arts, to the point that they are now superpowers because so few people have and use those tools in their interactions. So when people are acting out evil atrocities such as happened in 2 places yesterday, everyone gets mad and starts muppet-flailing about how things need to change and rules need to be more stringent. How about holding your kids accountable for their actions from a young age instead of telling the teacher "not my child", or "My baby wouldn't do that!" or "why didn't you give my child a passing grade?". What you should have said was "I'm sorry my child did that, and I will discipline him/her at home" (and then DO IT, holding yourself to the discipline too), or asking "what was my child doing, who else was my child with, what else were the other kids doing, and who was supervising them?" and sort out the facts of the situation before calling "not it". It just might have been your kid doing the misdeeds after all. And your child didn't get a passing grade because your child didn't study for that test or do that project themselves. Teachers are NOT stupid. They know when you do the project for your child. If I were a teacher and got the idea a parent did the work, I'd be inclined to giving a failing grade, just because it's not the STUDENT'S OWN WORK. Aren't you lucky I'm not your child's teacher. Only once in Evil Genius' entire school career, did I side with him. ONCE. He knew I was going to side with the teacher because I was always teaching him that the teacher gets my vote initially. I met with her and gave her the benefit of the doubt, till I learned that she ascribes to the teaching method of "no straggler left behind", disallowing the accelerated students in aiding the stragglers to catch up with the other end of the spectrum. She did the entire class a major disservice. It was in the middle of that conference my vote moved and I sided with my son, because that teacher really didn't deserve my support after that.

And then I'm seeing in my crackbook feed the things like "why would someone have three guns in their house if they knew their adult son was mentally ill?"

To that, I say this:
The second amendment does not, and should not, specify that you have to be deemed mentally fit to safely own and operate a weapon. Nor should it stipulate restrictions if you have any form of disability or mental health challenges in anyone in your household. Just because you have a family member that has any of that, it does not mean that they are unable to grasp the gravity of handling a weapon, or the consequences of its use. Mentally and emotionally handicapped people CAN LEARN. When people stop making asinine generalizations and having overreaching kneejerk reactions, and wait a minute till we get all the facts in situations like this, then and only then can appropriate steps be taken to mitigate the atrocities.
I suppose if we use all that same line of logic, then knives sharper than a rounded butter knife should be made illegal too since the loon in another country stabbed a bunch of kids too.

Stop being a ninny and hold yourself, your friends, your children, your coworkers and your leaders accountable for their poor choices. The government can't babysit everybody, nor have they demonstrated that they can successfully handle what they already have. Why the hell would we want them nosing into how many boogers are in your collective noses?

Just be civil to each other, help without expecting anything in return, hold yourself and your kids accountable for actions and choices, and share your knowledge without fear of other people knowing what's in your head. You can't change the collective world till you change your own self, and inspire others to change their own selves. When you have enough people that do things differently on their own, you will start seeing a shift in how society behaves in general.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm getting old, and I don't wanna

This week has already been a roller coaster, and it's only Tuesday.
A few around me are brokenhearted after the loss of loved ones. And then I had an amazing Monday that got punctuated by my sister needing to go to the ER and be admitted to the hospital for a couple days. She will be fine, but she knows how to scare people.

And then... today, is another round of mixed emotions.

This goofy kid......

..... is the future of the Marine Corps