Day 8 Question 8:
Being completely honest, what makes you angry?
Well there are many things that can get under my skin…people that tailgate, women who talk on their cell phones in public bathrooms, rude people, you know the usual. What truly makes me angry is how we as people are losing/have lost respect. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of it sometimes too. Let me give you the disclaimer, that in most of my blog entries I will never claim innocence. I have not always practiced what I have preached. These are just my thoughts and awareness in a moment. Thoughts or feelings I have had.
About 2 years ago I worked for a local nonprofit. I was the Education Manager and my main responsibility was to teach Teen Outreach Program classes. I worked with students grades 6-12. One of my classes was made up of all kids that were on probation. They were required to take my class by the Department of Juvenile Justice. The other class I had was made up of 7th and 8th grade students from another local nonprofit organization. The other nonprofit organization was Christian-based. All of these students were considered “at-risk”. The term “at-risk” drives me crazy because when you think about it, all kinds in some way are at risk. The students I work with came from families that had very little money. They needed assistance in various ways. These students attended church regularly. If someone were to guess which class was more disrespectful, most everyone would assume that it was the Department of Juvenile Justice kids. This could not have been farther from the truth (I mean we had a couple of come to Jesus meetings but for the most part they were well behaved). My other class of 7th and 8th graders were the most disrespectful young students I have ever encountered. So many people kept telling me that it was just their age and that is how all 7th and 8th graders are. What kind of excuse is that? Just to give you a little background (and this is significant), all of these students were black. A lot of them had parents that are my age (at the time I was 31). One day at the beginning of class I started discussing a certain topic, and one student under her breath (but very obviously with full intention for me to hear) said, “She’s just some rich, white girl from Waccamaw”. I understood that there would be a little discomfort with racial barriers. I didn’t realize how much racial barriers still existed until I moved down here. I didn’t really take offense to the comment because I knew it was not a true statement. What shocked me so much was that a 12 year old girl would say something like that and not see how rude and disrespectful it was. I started out the year with these students and it was challenging. It was very obvious that they did not like me and they let me know this by their actions every time I was there to teach. I thought time would ease the tension but it did not at all. I am going to be completely honest and say that this bunch of students (with the exception of 1 or 2) were an absolute disgrace. Actually, their parents and teachers are more of a disgrace in allowing them to speak to an adult in the manner that they did. I am by no means perfect but I have NEVER disrespected someone the way these students disrespected me and I certainly never spoke to an adult/authority figure when I was a youth in an extremely rude manner. It just wasn’t ever an option. These are “children of God”. They are supposedly on the path to follow Jesus. I can honestly say that this was another nail in the coffin to confirm that I am not Christian. These are harsh words but it is exactly how I felt. This was such an eye opening experience for me because I was seeing the youth of today and realizing that if things don’t change we are going to have even bigger problems than we have now. I have never felt so defeated as I did working with those students. I tried everything I possibly could to only be shot down and disrespected every single class. It amazed me that young people could have such ill/almost spiteful feelings toward someone they knew nothing about. I was there providing them something (and remember these students had pretty much nothing) and they were nothing but rude. They all had their own sense of entitlement-the world owed them a favor. Talk about disheartening. And I know this goes on all over the country-hell all over the world. In our quest to allow our children (I don’t have any children but I speak for other parents) to have independence and have their own identities, we are completely lacking to teach them the importance of respect. As a society, we are getting so lazy and it shows in so many aspects.
I will turn the tables but still speak in regards to our societal laziness. I am 33 years old (which I know I have mentioned at different times). I am single, never married with no children. To many I am “defective’ because of this. Honestly, I am these things because I choose them right now. I have been in the trenches with an incredible number of bad dates and children that are aching for discipline and structure that I am choosing not to take on any of those things until I know I am prepared. I watch too many marriages fail and children slip through the cracks and I REFUSE to be one of those people that stands by and allows that to happen. We all have choices. I have had 2 significant relationships in my life and both were not good situations. Yes, I am at fault for staying in them for as long as I did. I was young for both and although they were not good situations I learned an insane amount from them. I really do believe I have become a better person because of them. I have gone on an endless number of dates in the past 10 years. Another bold statement I am going to make (and I know I am going to catch some major shit for this) is that I cannot believe how pathetic men have become. I do not speak for all men. I know there are wonderful men out there—I just apparently haven’t met any of them. Yes I know anyone could say I am probably the problem not them. This may be true in some cases. But in a lot of cases I know it is not. Men have lost all ability to be chivalrous anymore. Why is that? Is it because of women’s lib? I don’t mind planning or paying for a date from time to time but upon first meeting someone (I am saying what I think) I think the man should step up to the plate and take initiative. I don’t think men realize how appealing this is. Instead we debate back and forth about what to do and most of the time the first date usually ends up at a bar. Yea, let’s go to a place where we can drink and not be ourselves and look like fools after drinking too much (well I don’t drink anymore but when I did this was known to happen). I have met men that I thought were very nice that had potential. I would hope for a second date and next thing I know I would get a text or let me re-phrase that, I would get a “sext”. I know men think with their penises almost all day everyday but why would you think it is ok to make some sort of sexual suggestion/innuendo to a girl you just met? Why do men nowadays say everything a woman wants to hear to try to get them in bed? Why do men nowadays just stop calling or talking to a girl out of the blue with no explanation? Again, I am not saying I am perfect or women in general are. It is just very disrespectful and I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand exactly when the shift happened of when men would take the lead to men being straight up lazy when it comes to dating or pursuing a woman. I was on a dating website before and I had a guy email me (and let me tell you that I NEVER contacted him first) and his email said: I don’t know why you are on here. You are a fat ass and no one would want to date you. I wrote him back and said: Your mom must be proud of the son she raised. This was a 38 year old man. I guess since getting older it has just become disheartening to have to be in this dating play field where it seems like no one really cares. Maybe I am the one living in a dream world but I honestly don’t think it is a horrible thing to want to be treated with the utmost respect. I can share crude humor and I love to laugh and be silly but I can also draw a line when it comes to disrespecting someone. The older I get the more honest I get because let’s face it we are not kids anymore. There is so much I don’t understand and maybe in other’s opinions I am doing something wrong but from what I have viewed there are a lot of people that really should step up their game when it comes to knowing how to treat people. My mom is 4’11 and I am 5’8. I may be 33 years old but my mother is still the know all. I have so much respect for my mother that I would not fathom speaking to people with such disrespect that I have encountered. It is unnatural.
As usual I have gone on a rant and I am sure I have offended some people. I am the queen of disclaimers as you can see. I will never claim innocence or perfection. Perfection is non-existent. These are just thoughts from my own personal experiences. :0)