Saturday, October 27, 2012

Politics and Thankfulness....

I am reposting this from my Facebook page.  A couple of days ago, after numerous news stories and ads calling Romney/Ryan liars, idiots, woman-haters, elitists, and more, I wrote the following.  Everyday, I try to be post on Facebook something that I am thankful for.  Here is what I posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Today, I am thankful that the election will be over in two weeks.


***Steps up on soapbox*** Because I am sick of hearing that "my" candidate is a liar, and the opposing candidate is right. I am disgusted by the lack of tolerance from the other side -- quite frankly, the truth is in the eye of the beholder, and you're going to believe what you want to believe. I'm tired of libs mocking Fox News, but singing the praises of NBC or CNN. Hello?! What makes NBC or CNN any more "true" than Fox? Is it just because they're liberal, and conservatives only have half a brain? Give me a break! Not to mention the crazy threats being made if R&R beat B.O.&Bite-me -- how "tolerant" is that? Seriously -- can you throw a bigger temper tantrum? 

#1) I don't like B.O.'s policies. This fact does not make me a racist, any more than a pencil causes misspelled words.

#2) Just because someone opposes tax $ funding Planned Parenthood or abortions, or forcing faith-based businesses to cover birth control, does not mean they hate women. I happen to BE a woman, and I do NOT hate myself (or any other women, for that matter)! I vote with my mind, heart & conscience -- NOT my uterus!

#3) I love my friends, whether they are liberals, conservatives, atheists, straight, gay, caucasian, or any other race. I don't see "color," or "politics," or anything other than heart. If you are a horridly evil person, I probably won't have much to do with you. If you are an arrogant jerk, I'll probably avoid you. Will I "hate" you? Absolutely not. Bottom line: the way you treat me, and the people I care about, is what determines my willingness to give you my time or attention. 

I could continue, but I'm confident I have made my point. If you're not happy with my opinion, that is fine with me -- you are every bit as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I just ask that you be more respectful of mine, as I am of yours. I get my news from both sides, and I think you should, too. If you saw Fahrenheit 9/11, you should go see 2016, too. And, if you can't like me for who I am (shortcomings and all), you are welcome to de-friend me -- that's your prerogative. 

I'm grateful for the freedom of speech, too.... :)

***Steps off of soapbox***

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I love technology... Well, not so much!

OK, so, I've thought about this for a while.  A really LONG while....

Texting sucks.  Really.  I hate it.  How ridiculous is it that we carry around cell phones, but then type messages?  Whatever happened to human interaction?

Am I the only person who is concerned about the future of communication?  Drive by the nearest middle or high school yard; how many kids are standing around with their phones glued to their hands in front of their faces?  Do they even know how to speak anymore?

When I first got my then-7th-grader a phone, I got her the most basic phone available -- you know, the "free" flip phone you get with your upgrade.  "I can add texting to your plan for only $5.00 per month, per line."  "No, thank you."  The look on the clerks face? Priceless.  

Now, more than 3 years later, I STILL deprive my kids (not just one, but TWO teenage girls) of the ability to text -- and I'm pretty darned proud of it, too.  You see, I have long believed that the art of interpersonal communication is going the way of the dinosaur -- and that THAT is NOT a good thing.  

Growing up, I didn't have my own phone in my room.  My very dysfunctional family actually ate dinner together most of the time, and spent evenings in the same room.  In school, we played on the playground during a long recess.  Games were played in person (not online), and we had to learn how to lose.  Don't get me wrong -- for some of us, these forced interactions were a "necessary evil," designed to torture the shyest kids as we struggled to survive in the concrete jungle.  Still, we learned to communicate: to read body language, facial expressions, and vocal inflections; to listen when others were speaking; to ask questions if we didn't understand what the speaker meant.  We learned common courtesy (in a day when courtesy was common) and respect -- not just for others, but for ourselves, as well.  Don't interrupt.  Eye contact is an excellent way of showing that you're listening.  Speak clearly.  Slow down.  Overall, I think we had a clearer grasp of the consequences of speaking our minds, largely because we could not hide behind the anonymity of technology.  

I can't begin to tell you how many parents I have met who complain that their kids spend all of their time texting, playing computer or video games, or are on social networking sites from the moment they get home until they go to bed at night.  We've all heard the tales of the $700.00+ phone bill because someone went crazy texting.  I suspect that most of us know kids who have every "latest gadget" that comes out -- Kindles, Nooks, Game Cubes, XBoxes, GameBoys, Wiis, Playstations, Galaxys, Droids, iPads, iPods, iPhones.... iTired just thinking about it!  How many of those kids know how to draw a picture of a horse?  How to double-dutch jumprope? Play hopscotch? Fly a kite?  How many of them know what their siblings' favorite color/animal is? Dream of being a Firefighter?  How many parents have met their kids' friends & their friends' families? 

I admit, I'm being generally pessimistic. I get super frustrated when my kids tell me that they don't have the phone numbers of their friends, because none of their friends talk on their phones -- kids don't even want my kids' phone numbers, because "You don't have texting? Never mind."  No joke.

I'm tired of hearing, "Mom, all the other kids have an iPhone/Galaxy/Droid; why can't I have one, too?  Well, can I at least have unlimited texting, and get rid of my flip phone?"  They know we aren't rolling in dough, but it can be exhausting when they ask every day.

I also get annoyed when a parent I know complains to me that they're tired of their kids being on their phone all the time, texting, but refuse to cancel the texting plan.  "Oh, I could never do that; my child would kill me!"  Really?  Who's the parent, and who's the child?  Oh, and last I heard, murder is illegal.  That's fine -- don't cancel it; but please, tell your child not to persecute mine for not being "with it."  Teach yours phone etiquette, then tell them to give mine a call....

I'm trying to teach my kids life lessons.  "Yea, right.  Like what?"

~ You can't always get what you want.
~ Competing with the Joneses is not all it's cracked up to be.
~ People are more important than "things."
~ The "latest and greatest" will be replaced with another "latest and greatest" very soon, if you wait a bit.
~ "No" is a fact of life.
~ Mother/Father knows best.
~ Don't judge others (I'm trying not to judge the texters!)  :)
~ Family is important, so don't hide from us!

And, most importantly....

~ I love you, even if you aren't as "cool" as the other kids....