Thursday, May 28, 2015

Do Your RIGHT Thing

DISCLAIMER: Frustration Release Day!I cannot keep it in any longer!

Ok, I let it out right off the bat... Why are we so judgmental? Why do we shun or cling to people based on their living circumstances, athletic ability, brand of clothing they wear, the size and shape, the jobs they have and who their parents or grandparents are or what the rumor mill has to say? Why do we not take time to get to know and experience people for themselves. Why do we not look at what their potential is, what they can do to help us become better people, and how they deserve to be valued. I am SO tired of the thoughts of if I do this, that person or group will not like it or if I say this or question that then people think I am attacking them. Yes, how things are said has a lot of play in how actions and words are received, but so does intent or reasons for the things we do and say.

Have we have become a society so worried about what others wear, do, have, say, think that we have lost touch with who we are, what we enjoy doing, and the ability to make our own decisions based on what is right for us? I personally, think so.
We have cut back or stopped doing what is right and have shifted to doing what we think others will feel is right.

I write this all out today because I find myself falling into the trap. I am not without fault myself. I also write because I struggle at times with finding the line between healthy levels of "keeping others perceptions and actions" in mind and unhealthy levels of "I can't do that or I will only do this or I should go there because a certain person or group will be there". The fine line between looking up to someone and trying to impress them and prove something is often hard to find. I write because the social world is VERY COMPLEX!

This is not a kid issue. It is not an teenager issue. It is not an adult or elderly issue. It s not a rural vs. urban issue or one of poverty vs. wealth. It is all of it.... It is a PEOPLE issue!

So why today is it the day to get this off my chest? Well, two very impactful things have happened in the past few days. Yesterday, was my son's 8th birthday party. Kids all played, had a good time, interacted well. As most birthday parties have, we opened gifts. Some presents were large and elaborate and others were small and simple.
To my son, it didn't matter. He Hi-5ed or hugged everyone, thanked them and couldn't wait to play with them all. None of the issues that I listed above came into play. He loved that each child was there, gift or not, large or small, rich or poor. He was simply pleased that they thought enough of him to want to come.

The second event happened today. Today is the last day of school for us. This means the annual award program. It means recognizing kids for a variety of accomplishments, most of which relate to academic performance and ability and most of which have very little to do with their character, actions towards others, desire to simply do what is right and do it because they want to, not being forced to do so. So I attended and clapped. I watched the clock, thought about the various things I wanted to get done before the afternoon end of year dance party celebration. Which is when I realized that I had forgotten about my favorite elementary award of all times, the Citizenship Award. In all honesty this award is my favorite, but it makes me nervous. I prayed that the awards went to people of good character and not those who simply are popular or parents have power or presence. Indeed, those making the decision did well! Three very deserving young people got this award. They act and make decisions, they carry on through diversity and strive to do it each day. These kids give me hope that more of us can do the right thing!

So as I try to end my rant, trying to come to terms that by making decisions that are right for me, that do not hurt others, that I will be able to offer more to more people. I try to tell myself that it doesn't matter what others not impacted by my decisions think if they are right for myself and my family. I try to feel at peace knowing that even when I justify and explain my position and decisions, which I don't have to do, that most of what I say will fall on deaf ears.

Today is the day to step forward and do what is our OWN Right Thing!
Where will you begin?

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