Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Something Needs to be Done

This is not a post about parenting as much as it is a recognition that, as a whole, we need to change ourselves in order to better are surroundings for our kiddo's.

It’s a new day with the same attitude.  It seems that no matter where you look these days someone is treating somebody like crap.  It’s all over the news, it’s on the television that we watch, it’s in the music we listen too, and it is tragically seen in our daily lives.  That leaves many to wonder who is to blame.  Do you blame the media, do you blame bad parenting, do you blame the entertainment industry, or do you simply blame yourself for allowing it, the world, to be like this? 

I know who I blame.  I choose to blame no one but myself because I have failed to do anything to change it.  I have forgotten that if I don’t like something it is my responsibility to do something about it.  No one is going to do it for me.  Therefore, I can only change my own attitude and how I treat others and what I allow to happen.  I can’t change anyone else.  So, hopefully, by changing my outlook I can lead a few others by example and then they can lead a few others by their example, and, possibly, something will happen that will surprise us all.  Yeah, I know that I am being na├»ve, and that it will never happen, but what harm is there in trying.  I have to for my son’s sake just like you should for your children’s sake too.   

One of my pet peeves, of which there are many, are people that fail to own up to their own failings and shortcomings.  Let’s get real here.  You can’t blame anyone else for you being an asshole.  That you accomplished all on your own.  My parents weren’t perfect and neither was anybody else’s.  We can’t blame all our problems on them can we?  Let’s not be stupid.  Most of our parents did the best that they could, yet most of us turned out to be shitheads surrounded by assholes nonetheless.  Yes, I am certainly including myself here as well.  There is no need to worry about that.  I know I am an asshole, and I blame no one but myself for this.  The way I see it is that we all have options.  We can either choose to be decent people or not.  It is that simple.

Another thing that really irritates me is the fact that there are so many people that fail to recognize that the world owes nobody anything.   You better get used to living with disappointment and actually having to work for what you want.  Nobody’s going to give you anything around here.  Here you have to earn it!  I am terrified that my little man is going to grow up thinking that he automatically deserves everything he wants.  Where do people get this idea?  Really!  I need to know so I can ensure that the little dobber doesn’t grow up thinking like that.  For real, I am so nervous of this happening that I am already giving him odd jobs around the house to earn his food and water and toys.  Love I give for free.  Yeah, I know that he is only ten months old, but that doesn’t mean he can’t change my oil or snowblow the driveway does it?  (Every time I make a joke like this I am afraid that someone is going to take me seriously and call child services, but it doesn’t stop me from saying it anyway.  So, please don’t take me seriously.) 

Anyway, now that I have a clear idea as to how I definitely don’t want my baby boy to end up, I have to figure out a method of prodding him to become the man I would like to see him become.  Yeah, I know this sounds odd because I just said that we can’t blame our parents if we turn out to be assholes, so, logically, we can’t blame them when we turn out good either.  Well, as it turns out there isn’t much of anything in this life that is purely black and white.  No, I still believe that my parents aren’t the reason why I act like an ass most of the time, but my parents and all parents, whether biological or not, set the standard for their children’s behavior and how they interact with others.  Our parents provide us with a model in our early years as to how adults behave.   Therefore, I am obligated to try and change how I treat other people so I can be a better role model.  Unfortunately, that means I have to stop being so damn belligerent; so no more flipping off other drivers; no more telling people that they are idiots in the store while they scream at the poor sales person; no more muttering obscenities under my breath at old ladies who think they have a right to tell me how I am screwing up as a father; and, no more being curt and rude to people that come up to me and talk/bother me while I am obviously busy.  It is going to be hard, but I have to do it for my baby’s sake.  I am determined to be a decent role model for him.   However, this doesn’t mean that I won’t intervene when I see moronic things going on.  It just means that I am going to try and tone how I react down a little.  Name calling and belligerence rarely ever gets positive results.  This I know for sure.   

Just think.  If we all tried a little harder to be better people then maybe some good really would come of it.  I know it will take time and be hard, but wouldn’t it be worth it?  Aren’t you tired of hearing about shootings on the news and hearing about all the violence that happens daily?  I am.  This world of ours or nation at least is getting scarier by the day, and I don’t like what it is becoming.  That is hard to swallow as a parent and a person.  It is hard as a parent to realize that you don’t like the world that your child is growing up in and knowing that there is precious little that you can do about it.  I often find myself thinking, “I can shelter my son from this or from that,” but I know damn well that I can’t shelter him forever or protect him from everything.  The best I can do is to try to explain the world and all its problems in a way that makes sense.  This is an outrageous undertaking because most often I don’t even understand why a lot of this shit happens myself.  But, I do know it is just too easy to blame everyone and everything else for it.  We need to be blaming ourselves.  It seems to me that the media and entertainment industries are often the scapegoats, and I can’t fathom how that make any sense.  Since when can people fail to take responsibility for their own actions by blaming what they watch and listen to and still be taken seriously?  It seems to me like it is time for everyone to step up a little bit.  I know I have said this before, and I am sure I will say it again, but placing blame on the media and entertainment industries is synonymously placing the blame on ourselves anyway because these industries are just giving us we want to see and hear.  So, let’s point the finger at the real culprits. Our televisions, computers, cell phones and radios don’t make us watch and listen to them.  They can’t.  Maybe this sounds a bit petulant to you, but it is true isn’t it?  It is time for a change, and all we can change is ourselves.  If that is the best we can manage then I am all for it.  Something needs to be done.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Jeff. While we can't blame media, pundits, politicians, and on and on ad nauseum, we MUST take responsibility for our own actions. You're right...we can fool ourselves into thinking that its always "somebody else's fault" that we act like an idiot. Its time to grow up and accept the fact that we, as individuals, only have ourselves to blame for poor behavior and attitudes. Peace and civility towards each other begins at home...yes. Most importantly, though, it begins within each one of us.

    Thanks for today's blog.