Thursday, May 18, 2017

A broken heart

My heart is broken tonight. I have read and heard daily this past week or so about some things that just simply break my heart. All of the incidents I speak of are about 1 specific topic, bullying. It is a word that to some is overused, to others it is just the "flavor of the month," and to others it is a word that strikes them to their core. It is everywhere these days. You hear about it everywhere you turn. The local paper had coverage of a protest that took place at a local high school, I had a lengthy conversation with a friend earlier about her child's ongoing battle with it, it has been brought up in conversation with my colleagues. It troubles me deeply that it is so prevalent in our daily lives. I won't pretend to know exactly why, because I don't know, but I suspect the plethora of social media outlets we have at our fingertips makes it seem to be everywhere all the time. Well it is everywhere and in my opinion it is getting worse. I think part of the problem is that we have a generation of young people who have this sense of entitlement that whatever they want they should get and they should get it when they want it. They think the rules don't apply to them and in a lot of cases their parents enable this misguided thinking. The other problem is that as a society we have drifted away from a commandment that if we were to follow it would solve the majority of our problems. We all know the phrase, we have even named it, but we don't follow it. Now before you get upset I am speaking in generalities here. I know a lot of the people reading it still believe in and practice the Golden Rule but as a society we do it less and less I believe. We are a me first society not a we first. We see it in our capital city, we see it in our work places, we see it in our schools, and we see it in our homes. I believe it is an epidemic. Matthew 7:12 says "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you..." Jesus was basically summing up the Law of Moses in this one sentence. He was able to wrap up the entire law in one sentence. Think about that for a minute. One sentence. I am not a lawyer and I have no idea how many laws we have in this nation but I think Jesus was on to something in this one sentence. It really is as simple as this one sentence. If everybody really took this one sentence to heart and thought about it before speaking or acting we would be living in a much more peaceful time with less turmoil and more love. Isn't that what we all really crave anyway? Deep down we all have a desire to be loved. So if that is what we really want, and need, then let's apply that to our Golden Rule. Let's love others so that in turn we will be loved.  Is it really a cool thing to go on social media, in a pretty anonymous way, and post some profanity laden tirade about how people protesting (their Constitutional right) to try and draw attention to a bullying problem are "stupid" and "f-ing babies" and they should just "grow up?" I am sorry, but using vulgar language and calling names to prove a point is pretty immature and shows a lack of intelligence, in my opinion. I am not perfect, and I will be the 1st one to admit that, but I strive everyday to do my best to love the people around me regardless of who they are. My passions are teaching and coaching and I tell my kids, whether they are biological, adopted, educationally, or athletically mine, that I love them. Not to make them feel good but because I do. They are all my kids. I met a person a short time ago and we got talking about our kids. He asked me how many kids I had and I said well give me a second and I proceeded to add up in my head 6 plus 17 plus 14 plus ... and his eyes got big and he looked at me with a quizzical awe. Before he could say anything, I told him I have a lot. I am a teacher and a coach as well as a father. I have 6 kids that the law considers mine, 17 students in my classroom, and 14 girls on the softball team I coach. That is not counting the foster kids I have had in my home, former students and players, and friends of my children that call me dad. We continued to talk and he said you must really be blessed. I agreed and then I told him, it is because I choose to love them that I am blessed. If you have read this far I want you to get one thing from my ramblings. That one thing is this love each other. You don't have to like others or what they do or stand for, but love them. Love them because they are human beings just like you are. Love them because they need to be loved. Love them because you need to be loved. If we all did a better job of this then bullying would not be an issue, it would be history.

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