As I click ‘write‘ I realize I have so many frustrations I don’t even know where to begin. And I’m not even 100% sure this is going to make sense. But I’ll give it a try..
I am frustrated because my cousins, two of the sweetest people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting, have been harassed this week by “social justice warriors“. By people who preach ‘tolerance‘, yet tear down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. As I read the things they tweeted at my cousins I could feel the rage flowing through me. How dare you, you foul-mouthed keyboard warrior, you? You don’t even know my cousins. You only know that they are in relationships with men at a fraternity that allegedly said horrible things. You don’t even know if those members really said those things, you don’t know their boyfriends and you certainly don’t know them.
I had all sorts of colorful insults loaded and ready to send out to these keyboard warriors talking down to my family, their friends and whoever else crossed their path.
Then I thought to myself,
“Would I allow my son to talk to people this way?”
and I quickly erased the tweet, took a deep breath and went about my night. I will never allow my son to talk to people in a way he wouldn’t dare talk to me. I am hell-bent on raising a God-fearing, hard-working, respectful, loyal and loving man. If I’m going to do that, I can’t do the opposite of what I preach to him.
Can we start making promises to ourselves that before we post things we will stop and think,
“would I be embarrassed if my mom read this?”
“what would I say to my son or daughter if they read this?”
“Am I speaking to this person in a way I would feel comfortable using with a family member? A friend?“
If the answers are……
“I’d say “do as I say, not as I do”
and again, “no..”
Then erase what you plan to post. Walk away. It’s not worth it. Whether it be to Billy, that kid you sat next to in Freshman Science who you really never liked anyways so what the Hell who cares? Or whether it be a complete stranger…
We need to stop this mindset that disagreeing gives us a right to be rude to one another.
We need to take it upon ourselves to be the bigger person. Walk away. Don’t be that guy.
We need to teach our children that if you’d be ashamed to read what you wrote on the Internet to your Grandma Susie, don’t post it. Don’t act any different on the internet than you do in the real world. We need to start raising kids to be polite again. “Yes mams” and “no mams“. “Pleases” and “thank yous“. We need to teach them that if you can’t act that way to their face, don’t act that way on social media.
We need to re-establish basic morals that have been buried somewhere underneath all the old toys kids used to play with before life became about Facebook Live or XBOX Live. Bust out those old toys, send your kids outside and start monitoring the way your kids or teens talk to others on the internet.
Let’s do our part as parents to make being kind cool again.
Wear that as a badge of honor, instead of your bullying.
I guess that is why I’m so frustrated. Seeing the way these random people on the internet attempted to bully my family left me frustrated for my cousins, and terrified for what kind of craziness my son will grow up in.
Any young parents who share the same worries that I do……
Let’s raise a generation of kids that are respectful to authority and each other. In person or on the internet.
Let’s raise a generation of kids that people WANT to be around.
Let’s raise a generation of kids that are gracious losers, not sore losers.
Let’s raise a generation of kids that listen when we say, “NO.”
Let’s raise a generation of kids that embrace difference in opinion. Not bully others for it.
Let’s raise a generation of kids that know how to be bored.
Let’s raise a generation of kids that can play outside.
Let’s raise a generation of, well, kids. Stop giving toddlers, children, pre-teens cell phones. And let them be kids.
Bullying whether on the internet or face-to-face will never go away completely. But what we can do is knock it off with the glorified, universally accepted bullying when someone doesn’t agree with us.
Let us all together, take off that giant chip on our shoulder, and dump it right in the trash where it belongs.
That chip is now a thing of the past, and from here on out we are going to work together and remember that it is okay to agree to disagree. Because while we all have different opinions,
we’re all still playing for the same team.