What ever happened to teaching our children manners? Are people so self-involved that they don’t even realize that their behavior is as bad as bullying?
Tonight, I am beside myself, though it involves a situation which does not directly affect me. The pure poorly disguised malice involved has forced me to drag out the soap box again.
Recently, a support group sponsored a Halloween party which included costume contests for the children and adults in attendance. Finalists were selected by the organizers, then put to a popularity vote to be shown by applause. (already, I’m fuming because I find this method to be completely barbaric. It has nothing to do with the time, thought and effort a person puts in, nor to their creativity, but instead, focuses on how many friends and family members are in attendance.)
One individual who was chosen as a finalist had come alone. When it was time for the popularity vote, not a single person had the good grace to even offer a courtesy clap! Where were these people raised? My guess would be a refuse pit overseen by Fraggle Rock’s Trash Heap.
Although I’ve attended my share of functions which utilize this popularity contest style vote to select contest winners, I have never…let me repeat myself…I have NEVER seen anyone forced to stand there in silence when the MC asked for votes for their effort. Frankly, if it weren’t for low class, the members of this “support group” would have none at all. To blatantly humiliate a new member in front of both adults and children sends the worst possible message. Yet, I guarantee that these would be the first people to complain that one of their precious children was being bullied at school.
If we want our children to be treated with respect, we must teach them what that looks like…and the way to do that is by example
Our world is full of whiners and complainers, ready to put the blame for their less than perfect lives on anyone but themselves. They treat friends and strangers alike like crap, then wonder why people treat them disrespectfully. Wonder why they aren’t getting the job or the car or the recognition they believe they deserve.
The reality is, if you want someone to treat you with respect, don’t sit around waiting for it to happen. You need to show them some first. You need to put yourself out there. And yes, there are times when you are going to get crapped on. It hurts and it sucks, but it also teaches you to recognize who really can both give and receive respect and who is respectfully retarded. Sadly, there are a lot of people who just don’t understand the concept. Some are worth trying to teach by example, but unfortunately, many are just lost causes.
I raised my daughters to treat everyone, at the very least, politely. I advised them that they were going to meet some people who were just unpleasant, unhappy people. The best you can do is to be cordial, and spend as little time in their company as possible. Responding in kind by being nasty and rude only lowers yourself to their level.
Every group, club or organization I’ve ever known has a core group of people who do all of the work.
The rest are good for support at best and lip service at worst. If you’re part of that core group, you learn to recognize newcomers who are destined to be part of the “worker bees” and do your best to make them feel welcome and appreciated. If you don’t, they’ll find someone more deserving to give their time and effort to. At the risk of stating the obvious, humiliating a potential worker bee in front of a group of members is guaranteed to see them taking their business elsewhere, and there is never a shortage of deserving organizations who would love to have a dedicated volunteer.
To paraphrase a quote from “Pretty Woman”: You folks depend on volunteers, right? Remember the person you humiliated? Big mistake! Huge!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve both taught and learned regarding respect. It paves the way for so much more.
2. I am grateful that the people I know and associate with will always be kind, courteous and compassionate with newcomers who don’t abuse the privilege. Even then, basic courtesy will always win out.
3. I am grateful for all of the people who have been taught the common courtesies. They are far from dead, despite evidence to the contrary.
4. I am grateful that I can avoid humanity when I need to, as I still lose patience with rudeness and cruelty. (just another lesson I’ll be repeating ad infinitum, ad nauseum.)
5. I am grateful that we all have outlets and can vent when we need to. Life isn’t always fair, but we always have someone who loves us and to whom we can turn when we’re battered and bruised.
6. I am grateful for abundance: compassion, kindness, friendship, love, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.