Monday, August 22, 2016

Q&A - Wake Up. Kick Ass. Be Kind. Repeat.

What do you think is the most important thing for today's kids to learn in school?
I touched on this on my post about "If I were to teach as a career, what would I teach?", and even thought this question is a little different, the answer is pretty much the same.

As much as I believe in education, school is one thing, but life is another.

From an early age, a child is a sponge soaking up every sort of stimulus around them - said and not said, done and not done. They notice more than people think, but more often they treated like if you hide the reality of your life, they will never notice.

But they do. (So be careful since they will soak up and later emulate all that they've learned from the world.)

To start, I would want them to be happy.

In my younger years, I had my bad moments, but I feel I was mostly a happy child. But as I got older, and I moved, and my appearance changed, some of the other kids picked on me... because I was different. And back then, I didn't think or feel that I was different and couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with my clothes or my hair or my face. My happiness was soon overcast with clouds of doubt and self-doubt leading me to desire to be liked and doing anything to get them to like me.

Later I realized that was no way to live. I had to be happy by my own terms. I still wanted people to like me, to fit in, but not at the expense of the inner struggle and turmoil it create within me. So I did things that made me happy - read books, wrote stories and poems, played video games - and as I grew older, those happy things expanded to road trips and meeting new people and trying new things. I still have my down moments, but it's up to me to make a change - to be happy - whether it's to do something uplifting or reach out to a friend for help, but it's on no one else's shoulders to guarantee my happiness but me.

So I think it's important for children not just to be happy - but to know how to be happy - to be emotionally self-sufficient and not be dependent on someone else's approval or attention or flattering words to make them that way.

I also think it's important for them to have inner-strength and be secure in who they are. 

It wasn't until my freshman year of high school before I started being myself and planting the foundation of who I really am. Finally sinking into my own skin, feeling comfortable there with my thoughts and words and actions. It was okay for me to have my own opinions and ways of doing things and ways of expressing myself. I didn't want to be a chameleon, latching on to others just for the companionship. I was okay with being alone - I would rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones. I was better than that - to settle. And in the end, I found friends that love me for me, and I love them for them. We are all different in every way people can be different, but we respect each others' differences and are able to co-exist happily amongst each other.

Children need to know that they don't have to fit into some kind of mold - that they don't have to be what their parents want them to be or what other adults want them to be or what their peers think they should be. To be an individual is a grand thing. You know yourself best, and only you know what is truest in your heart that makes you happy.

And lastly, I would want them to learn to be kind.

I think I'm a pretty decent person.

Ever since I was young, it just seemed the thing to do to help or soothe or uplift.

When someone near me drops something, I pick it up and hand it to them. If someone was walking behind me into a building, I'd hold the door open for them. I say "Please" and "Thank you." I make eye contact with people I walk past during the day, smile, and say "Hello." And I do this not because I feel required to but because it just seems second nature to me and to not do them would feel wrong.

The world is filled with so much hate - so much animosity and disregard for our fellow man, it hurts to even exist within sometimes. But there are those that give in to the anger, let it consume them, and just spew it at anyone that crosses their path - deserving or not.

At my job, I end my calls with "Thank you," and there are times that the people on the other end get defensive asking "What did you say?" I say "Thank you" again, and they calm down a bit but still don't sound like they know how to process those words.

I knew someone who would but into conversations demanding to know what we were talking about, and when told them and it wasn't something they personally did or liked or knew anything about, the comment was always "Don't know. Don't care." At hearing those words after insisting to be let in on a conversation you were not a part of in the first place, and then to just dismiss others likes and desires and passions... how dare you?!

The ever so popular turn of cliche "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" is really not that difficult to follow. The world needs to make it a rule, a code of conduct. I honestly do not understand the need to shit on someone else's parade. There are billions and trillions of people on this planet, and not every single one of them is going to like the same things. Embrace and support our differences.

Don't like scary movies? Don't watch them.
Don't like sushi? Don't eat it.
Don't like rap music? Don't listen to it.

Why waste the energy commenting on someone else's choices in a negative manner when you could be putting that energy toward something better? Like shutting the frak up!

In this world of mind games and eye-for-an-eye-ness, we need to chill out and think of the bigger picture. Does this really effect me? Is it going to change/damage things in the long run? Is this really worth it? Projecting hate/discord onto other and into the world is a testament to your own character. The way you treat others is a testament to your character. The battles you choose to start and/or fight are a testament to your character.

Be wiser, and stop being an asshat.

I want children to learn not to be petty - how not to be mean and negative and spread that about them like a plague until everyone is infected. I want them to learn to take the higher road - to have their reflex reaction to think about what has happened and the best way to respond (or not respond).

If children are our future, we need to lead by example. Yes, we need to teach the fundamentals of the world and what it's like to grow up in it, but all of the things I mentioned are a part of that world and can sometimes get overlooked. There is way too much hate and not enough love in this world and that can effect children in ways far worse that we realize - so that is something to always keep in mind.

To the children I wish them the best and to remember (as Shameless Maya says) "Do You, Be You. Stay True."

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!

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