If you think that means I am boring, you would be wrong. Let me give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about. I have been substitute teaching in the public schools recently. I was shocked to see a class of 30 high school students standing bored as the pledge of allegiance to our flag was recited by someone over the loudspeaker. It was me saying the pledge aloud along with the kid on the intercom. Wow. I was so shocked I did not know what to say. I was literally at a loss for words…until now.
Later I spoke to a few kids at the school in the lunchroom and asked them what was going on. How can kids show such disrespect to our flag, to our country, and for our freedom? None of them could give me a good answer. I asked them what they would do if someone in their family who served in the military were present. They all agreed they would speak up and say the pledge out loud. I told them, “Guys, you need to speak up whether someone is present or not. Many lives have been sacrificed for you to have the freedoms we have today. Please don’t disrespect them. Speak up.” I can only hope that they do. One thing is for sure, even if they don’t, I will…and I won’t let another class stand by in a bored fashion and be silent. I can’t make them speak up, but I will let them know how disrespectful that is. I guess I am just old school.
At another school I had lunch duty for a bunch of 6th graders. Lunch duty is like controlled chaos. It is so loud you can’t hear a thing, and everyone is talking at the same time…kind of like a ladies book club. LOL. Everything was going smoothly until one little boy decided he wanted the seat that a girl was saving for one of her girlfriends. He jumped in and sat down before she could. I saw it and watched the girl stand there in amazement at his rudeness. I went over to him and said, “How about being a gentleman and letting her sit down?” He stuck his chin out, looked at me defiantly and said, “I am not a gentleman.” I just smiled at him and said, “Well, today you WILL be, or would you rather me get that policeman to come over here and help you stand?” LOL. He stood up. I came back to him in a few minutes and told him, “You will get a lot further in life being a gentleman than being rude.” Then I have him a fist bump and everything was cool between us. I am old school. I still believe in saying please and thank you. I believe in giving a lady my seat. I believe in holding the door open for others. Like I said, I am old school.
If parents don’t teach their kids to be respectful of authority, to be grateful for our freedom, and to be respectful of other people, what is the world going to be like for our grandchildren and their children? It can’t be good if everyone does their own thing without regard for rules, regulations, authority, morals, and just common courtesy. If you are a parent, please teach your children well. Set an example you would be proud for them to follow. Say the pledge of allegiance out loud. Sing the national anthem like you mean it! If you are a teacher, please set the example in and out of the classroom. The kids are watching. They are waiting for someone to be the adult. It might as well be us.
For the sake of our children, for the sake of our future…speak up for what is right. Let’s be people who love one another and stand up for what is right. Like Dionne Warwick sang, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It’s the only that there’s just too little of.” If we learn to truly love one another, it may not be a cure-all, but it does cure a lot of the problems we face.