How do we handle disrespect?

8 08 2011

Most of last week was spent listening to comments about the increasing trend of disrespect displayed towards President Obama lately.  It is disturbing, to say the least.  I was raised on military bases so I watched my enlisted stepdad salute his superiors every time we moved around the base.  I loved the decorum and organization.  It never bothered me that he was not an Officer – I was just happy that he was in the service.  It definitely added value to my life.

One thing I learned for sure was respect for authority.  Although I was the class cutup before my mother remarried; once I started school on base- it ceased.  I was not an angel in school, but my mother never went to school to deal with discipline issues again.  I learned from what I saw practiced every day; respect for leadership and respect for authority.  The only dark side appeared when I started dating.  My stepdad refused to allow me to date an Officer.  He said there was “no way” he was saluting anybody in his own home – don’t even think about it.  Needless to say, I married an enlisted  man.  The one Officer I dated was mysteriously escorted off the base when he tried to visit me. Told ya – I was not an angel…

But back to the issue of respect – I do not see it displayed at that level today.  Let’s look back over President Obama s term – so far. Military leaders speak out against the President of the United States.  Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina yelled out to the President during his speech on health care reform “you lie”.  It was disrespectful, unbelievable and completely out of order.  But he apologized.  Donald Trump went on the attack about the President’s birth certificate, his education and his grades. He was rude, sarcastic and just plain ugly.  He pushed me off the fence.  I was always border line about him anyway.  I loved the Apprentice, but I was never sure about him.  Now I am sure – there is nothing he could put on TV that I would want to watch! He is much too arrogant to apologize.  Representative Doug Lamborn distanced himself, verbally, from the President by comparing it to touching a tar-baby.  But he too apologized.  Then of course, there is Pat Buchanan (again), who referred to the President as “your boy” and yes – he apologized also.  Collectively, they didn’t learn respect for leadership but they have definitely learned the art of an apology. Hmmm…

What should our young people think?  How should they interact with leaders and teachers they encounter each day?

Between now and Labor Day, school will start for kids around the country.   I have always felt that intellect is secondary to behavior.  It doesn’t matter  how smart a child or adult is, if they cannot function in society and/or they have no respect for authority, life for them and around them can be  miserable.  Simply put, whatever their gift or talent, interacting with them is just not worth the trouble.

If you are dealing with adults, sometimes it is as easy as changing your environment.   If it is someone you work with change could be more difficult, if possible at all.  But what about teachers that must spend the day with a difficult child or teen that has no respect for authority? Students certainly will not learn by watching political leaders today or some “religious” leaders as well.  What is a teacher to do?

How do we correct the problem?  There are many opinions in cyberspace on the subject.  According to   ascd.or, “With such an atmosphere of mutual disrespect festering in our classrooms, learning is becoming increasingly difficult.  Before you can teach or learn from someone, you need to genuinely respect them.”  Also good advice from How to Teach Kids to Respect Others:  When your children speak, listen carefully.  Do not yell.  Do not roll your eyes. Do not insult, and never, ever hit.  If you engage in any of this type of behavior with your children, they will ultimately learn that this behavior is acceptable, no matter how many times you tell them with words that it’s not ok.

If this is true – we need to send a few leaders back to school for retraining.

We always hear that it takes a village to raise a child.  But with the expansion of the World Wide Web and so many links to other social groups, we must all assume a certain amount of responsibility for the foot prints we leave at the end of every day.  What we say and do matters – now more than ever.

How to Teach Kids to Respect Others |;;;,8599,1921455,00.html;;


4 08 2011

Now that Washington has averted the debt ceiling catastrophe we can turn our attention to finances on a more personal level.
This is August and it is time to prepare for school and/or college. This can be a difficult time for parents, adult students and teachers as well.
Books, supplies, clothes uniforms and school fees are swarming over head and you will have to do something soon. What about the phones and computers?  They are practically necessities today.  Even that does not include expenses for extracurricular activities. Back to school events are in full swing in many
areas of the country.  For several weeks now our church has hosted a “Stuff the Bus” drive for school supplies.  They will be given away before school starts.

The very popular tax free weekend kicks off in most areas the first weekend in August. Check your area news for local dates. Tax breaks are not supported in every state.  This list shows tax weekends published on the internet.

Alabama 8/5  – 8/7
Arkansas 8/6  – 8/7
Connecticut 8/21-  8/27
Florida 8/12-  8/14
Iowa 8/5-   8/6
Louisiana 8/5-   8/6
Mississippi 7/29-  7/30
New  Mexico 8/5-  8/7
South  Carolina 8/5-   8/7
Texas 8/19-8/21

Every small savings helps – especially in families with more than one child in school.  Any opportunity to avoid adding to your debt via credit cards and over spending is good for everyone involved. Remember also, there is still time to search the internet for coupons and promotion codes. ;;

Atlanta is burning….

13 07 2011

As someone who obsesses on books, reading and children,  I am completely engrossed in the unfortunate chain of events in the Atlanta Public School system aka APS.  The issue is cheating on achievement test and the finger-pointing has run amuck. Teachers have been put in the position to turn on their Principals in some cases to protect themselves, but in others to get even with leadership.  After all, how many people would turn on their boss if they knew for certain they would be protected?

Cheating is wrong, seriously wrong; which makes it critical that authorities take every step necessary to identify violators correctly.  Mistakes in judgment, accusations
and charges can be costly to the credibility and careers of the innocent. Not to mention the impact on the children.

The most astounding part of this entire incident is not that some people broke the rules.  People fail to follow policy and break rules every day in every segment of society.          There  should have been something solid in place to prevent it – at every level. But the outpouring of judgment, hostility and the overall breakdown among peers and coworkers, inflamed by the Governor and his investigators, is unacceptable. They are the leaders – inciting people to turn on each other and tear down a system where trust and team work are essential.  It is sad.

I am curious to know if Dr. Beverly Hall changed any of the testing procedures when she arrived at APS.  Were erasures a problem prior to her arrival or did the State decide to
check because they were suspicious of the new trend?  How many class rooms were flagged before Dr. Hall arrived?  What was the trend? Why now and why did it take so long?

Finally, teaching children not to cheat is important and so is leading by example.  However, it is critical that we teach them how to resolve the issues of life and how to
conduct themselves in the midst of a crisis. They must learn to weigh all the facts and make good decisions. We must teach them to fight with dignity and respect when addressing the many problems they will encounter in life. I have read and watched so much sanctimonious verbiage and accusations in the last few days. Even to the extent of interviewing children (not protecting them) to voice a negative opinion on TV.  Media should return to unbiased reporting – not head hunting.

Hopefully, when the dust settles,  the guilty will be punished, the innocent will be named, and ATL will rise from the ashes again.

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.

17 01 2011

Martin Luther King,  Jr.

January 15, 1929 – April 14, 1968

Today we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. He would have been 82 years old on January 15th. Nationwide there will be events and church services in his honor. Every year I play my old video of the 1980’s TV tribute to him.  Stevie Wonder, Debbie Allen, Ray Charles and a cast of great entertainers paid tribute to the passing of the Martin Luther King Holiday.  It is one of the best shows ever on TV.

Dr. King was gunned down in 1968.  The world is such a different place now and I often wonder how he would feel about it.  Is this what he saw from the mountain top? Yes? No? Really… Would he call himself an African-American? What would he have done during Hurricane Katrina?

What would he think of his black brothers today?  What would he say to them? Have they met his challenge to keep the struggle on the “high plane of dignity and discipline”? What would he say about the baggy pants and the increase in crime? Would his message have changed at all?

Like most people, I would love to see him standing beside President Obama in the “Palace of Justice…his rightful place … free from wrongful deeds”.  I know he would have been moved to tears.  I am not sure if he  ever envisioned a black President when he was on that mountain top.  There was so much discord and hate at that time.  But I am sure he would be proud of this country for the progress we have made.

Great leaders are rare. Martin Luther King did not achieve greatness in death. He lived a great life for a worthy cause while he was alive.   He sacrificed normalcy and put his life on the line to change the dark side of humanity in this country.   We honor his efforts and his legacy always.

Picture and excerpts of I have a Dream courtesy Nobelprize.Org and essays


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