Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Changing Our Children with Respect

We all act in our contacts with others.  We all hide ourselves behind walls or faces that aren't our own.  As adults we seldom feel we can be ourselves because, "what might others think of us?"

But learning the value of respect and caring really begins when we are young.  As young people we often find ourselves mistreating others because someone we're trying to emulate and impress.  We do it without thinking and without feeling at all.  That is part of growing up, but it doesn't need to be.

Adults can step in, instead of standing back and nodding and noticing.  They need to do that more.  They can say something, or simply step forward and be the example of caring when someone is is being bullied.

Why don't we step forward more?  For some it is because they are mired in their own fears.  Sadly, I know for me that has in the past been a driving force.  I think we all need to take a page out of one my own personal heroes' books.  Leo Buscaglia realized early on that caring for others was more important than looking good in other people's eyes.  In his story about is entrance into school in the U.S. after moving here with his family told not of success but of the love he learned about in a class for those who are handicapped.  If I remember the story correctly, he was put there because he couldn't speak English.  There he saw more love shown through hugs and caring than in any normal educational setting he has seen since then.

We can do so much through caring - we can do little but create hate through anger or aggression.

Pass on the love.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where Has All the Kindness Gone...

I am reissuing this blog because I believe it hits the mark for what we need to remember as Americans, and citizens of the world too.  Pass the kindness on!

A play on an old song is such a valid question these days in our terribly hurried society.  We no longer are taught to value the fellow travelers on our journey, it almost seems like it's okay to devalue, or worse still to be cruel or rude to someone who slows us in our own personal race.

This rant comes along side of one that I read today from a blogger friend that bemoaned the fact that people are often threatening, or cruel to people with disabilities.  It's sad, but our society seems to value more what we see as the whole and perfect as apposed to those who might have a physical attribute that slows their pace, or frustrates the mind and blocks our general rush through life.

How have we so quickly forgotten the gifts given to the world by Professor Stephen W. Hawking, or Helen Keller?  Where is our awe for people who have the gifts of a Christoper Reeves, or Christy Brown (The Academy Award winning film My Left Foot profiled his life.)? 

In spite of the constant examples daily of those who continue to contribute so much to our lives through science, music, and the world of words I see such a loss of respect for those who might move more slowly either mentally or physically than those considered normal.  I often wonder where that term comes from - normal.  Because some of the most normal or the kindest souls I know are those who are labeled learning disabled, and some of those who help the hardest in any kind of disaster are those who are often handicapped with emotional burdens. 

I wonder when we'll learn that we all are disabled in one way or another - we are simply able to hide that fact from a world that devalues those who aren't considered perfect....