Monday, December 17, 2012

Let's start thinking a little bit more...

Okay, I'm going to go ahead and warn you....this one will be way off the normal topic today. In the spirit of today's post, I have thought and thought and thought about how I wanted to say this. I have gone through many emotions with the topic of this post ranging from anger, sadness, being proud, truly worried, and in the end motivated. So here goes nothing...

What will my New Year's Resolution be this upcoming January? It will not be to spend more time in the gym, to eat healthier, to give up pop, or to stop nagging my husband about insignificant things(sorry Shelby!). It will be to simply "Think before I SPEAK"  This is bolded, underlined, and italicized for a reason. It is important. It is vital in today's society. It's something that I think we are seriously lacking in, especially with the surge of social media popularity. Now I will be the first to admit that I have "posted" or said things that I clearly have not truly thought about in the past, and I regret that. I have definitely been better about that recently, with the constant thought in the back of my mind, "I run a business. A business where I care for children and where I would like the parents of those children that I care for, to respect me"

So, while I may not agree with some of President Obama's policies or beliefs, I will not attack him as a person. Because as of this past weekend, we were all so strongly reminded that he is a Father first and above all. I may not agree with Verizon Wireless' policies or procedures, but I will not speak negatively to the operator on the other end of the line. They have no say in those policies, they are merely the messengers and intermediaries. I may not agree with the prices of some clothing or products in a store, but definitely will not downgrade the sales associate as she did not come up with that price.(This comes from years of experience in retail, and tooooo many times of being yelled at because something was too expensive). My husband and I have quabbles(shocker!). We do not agree on everything. But does that mean I need to post every single bit of those fights for the public to see? No. Because 9.5 times out of 10, those issues are resolved in a matter of hours in private. But if they are seen by the public, permanent damage can be done.

Here's where I will challenge you. Do you think that you would be able to start "Thinking before you speak?" Maybe it could be about what you post on Social Media, how you react to something that upsets you in public, or how you describe your distaste about a person while in the presence of your child.

I'm going to offer a little piece of knowledge that every student who passes through the doors of Hoeflin Stonehouse in Manhattan, KS(An early childhood lab school) learns. "Do not speak about children in public, or even when you think you are in private. But if you do, choose your words carefully. You never know if an aunt, uncle, grandparents, or parent of that child is sitting at the table behind you, in line at the grocery store in front of you, or someone you come into regular contact with unknowingly. It could hurt that person, even when you are not intending to"

That speaks volumes doesn't it? I think this can be applied to most everyone or everything in this world today. How would you react if you walk up behind someone to hear them denouncing you, your husband, or even worse, your child? How does it make you feel to have your job performance discussed publicly where everyone can see it, without your knowledge first? How would it feel to be yelled and publicly humiliated for filing a piece of paper in the correct file, because that is what your job description entails? I'm willing to bet that your answer to each one of those questions went something like "Well I would be upset. That's not fair"

Do you know what I, and so many other women(and men too) have to deal with? While standing in line at the gas station I frequently hear "That **** officer gave me a ticket. Who the **** does he think he is?" "Cops aren't real people, they're ***holes" There are constantly rumors that are spread, in an attempt to discredit or humiliate those who are not guilty of what is being said. Or seeing things posted where an Officer is denounced for doing their jobs. People are so quick to rely on Officers in times of need, vehicle assistance, or in worst cases, complete terror. I sit at home most nights and wonder if it's the night my husband will be responding to a dangerous call to help an innocent person, and in turn leave a little girl without a Father. I fullt understand that this is his job. But do you know what else is in their job description? Upholding traffic laws. Investigating theft. Taking accident reports. Patrolling. I have been stopped a few times. I have received 2 tickets in my 9 years of driving. The first one I wasn't happy about. I was angry at the officer. The second one, which came about 2 years ago? I understood. I clearly was above the speed limit, I was clearly breaking the law. I was not happy about it, but was not upset with the officer. I was upset with myself.

I get that there is usually a need to deflect personal responsibility and blame your faults on others. I have done this one too many times to count. But with how the world is today, maybe it wouldn't hurt to start accepting responsibility for our actions, choosing our hurtful words more carefully, reaching out to those who may need a little more care or love. We keep hearing of all of these senseless acts of violence taking place, and I can't help but wonder what more could have been done to help that man who ran into that Elementary School and felt the unconscionable need to take innocent lives. I can't help but wonder how that man in Topeka who killed 2 men doing their job, may have been raised to not respect the law or people upholding the law. I understand that people have free will. Some people grow up to do things that they were not directly raised to believe in. But why not try harder? Why not think about the message we are sending our children, our neighbor's children, or the impressionable young teenager who is listening in on your lunchtime conversation? Instead of them hearing "Stupid pig gave me a ticket for speeding in a school zone", how about letting them hear "You know, I deserved that ticket. It has deterred me from speeding there again, and potentially hurting a child who is riding their bike to school" Or instead of publicly posting "**** Obama. I bet his kids don't have to eat this kind of crap"(where mind you, there are children that now have Facebook), either don't say anything at all or opt for "I am considering writing and calling my representative to discuss my concerns over the recent piece of legislation" Let them see you conduct yourselves in a respectable manner.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. 

-Tome Krause

I would much rather my child grow up to respect Law Enforcement Officers, the Mayor, the Governor, and the President, than to blame everyone else for the laws she could potentially break. I want her to grow up to be a productive member of society who has total respect for laws that are set in place to protect people, property, and animals. I want her to think before she makes a comment about a friend who is wearing the same thing 2 days in a row. I want her to think before she responds to hearing someone publicly insulting her father. Most of all, right now I am grateful that she cannot fully comprehend the things that I hear while she is in my presence.

So please, if you do nothing else for your Resolution, do this.

I will leave you with this as to pay tribute to Cpl. Goigan, and Officer Atherly.

"The Final Inspection"

The policeman stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. 
He hoped his shoes were shining. Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, policeman. How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My church have you been true?"

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't, Because those of us who carry badges
can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny, That wasn't mine to keep....
Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here.
They never wanted me around Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't.....I'll understand.

There was silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly, For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, policeman, You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell."

Author Unknown
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