Fab Friday

The events of the week are disturbing. Defunding the police. And now, cancellation of LIVE PD, COPS, and who knows what else. The kicker? No guns for the old Looney Tunes cartoons. We know Elmer Fudd used his to hunt silly wabbits. We know Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote aren’t socially correct characters. Come on, people. The straw that broke the camel’s back is the fact that Legos will no longer make police officer Legos. And, our beloved Paw Patrol may omit their police character Why? Because of all this anti police rhetoric. Yes, there are very bad cops. There are very good cops also. and so on, including people, clergy, teachers, everyone. I am sickened by this approach.

I have also said for a long time, the confederate monuments should be viewed not as homage to folk heroes but of the very ugly time in the history of this country where we did not live up to what we were supposed to be about. I think our reminder to ourselves is a great motivator to keep us on the up and up. Apparently, no one else feels this way. I hate slavery. I despise the very idea of it. And of brutality towards one group of people over another. I do not know why or how this has been such a constant throughout time. It is in the sins of the world, the wrongdoings of those before us that lingers. I cannot believe that is what this nation is about. There are too many good people of all kinds who make living in this world country worth it.

So changing cartoon characters and omitting certain occupations of imaginary characters is in order? Can’t you see how ridiculous this is? I believe the saving of America is at work in many levels. One is the family. One is the school system, including libraries. One is the social aspect, what kids do in their spare time. One is belief in something larger than yourself, religion or faith, volunteering, helping.

I do not believe you need two parents if one is sexually abusive, if one is addicted and a danger to the family, if one is a pot-stirrer and verbally abusive, if one is a serial cheater, if one is . . . I think you know where this is going. I was a single parent and raised my kids alone from ages 3, 7, and 10. Their father did not participate too much in their lives at the time. They all turned into hard working people. They are good to their communities, their partners, and children. And their mom. It happens a lot.

Single parents who are committed to the job of raising their kids well can do the job. There is a lot of bad press about us. I was denied renting some places because I was not married. That was wrong, and is no longer lawful. If I would have had one less child, or no dog, it would have been ok. Nothing I could do about it in 1985. I earned too much to qualify for assistance, so we had to punt. One year later, the owner decided they wanted to move back into their house, and we were unceremoniously dumped from the dwelling. I was able to buy a house on my own then. Good thing.

The Key Lies in Education

Education. I know schools aren’t all the same. I believe there are some very, very good teachers who know how desperately urban children of any race need a good education. They are educated not only by book learning but how they are treated. They deserve attention and time. I know teachers are overworked, and at the same time, the kids are hungry for what they have to share. I believe school plays a huge part in how the kids view the world and their surroundings.

Even being from a two parent family, most people my age didn’t have their dads active in their lives. Fathers used to be the providers or head of the family, and mothers were the heart of the family, and traditionally did all the hard work in raising children. This has probably only changed significantly in the past twenty to thirty years. As it should have. Yes, we might have done better in life with a little more Dad time, but we weren’t lacking in basic human decency.

Socially, most people traditionally believed in good vs. bad behaviors. It doesn’t depend on two parents to be taught this. A father can reinforce what a mother teaches, and vice versa, but most people traditionally grew up knowing what was right vs. wrong. If you were mean to a kid for no reason, you learned that was not the way to be. Bullying has morphed into many forms over the years, and it is still present in the world. Bullies often have parents who are bullies in one way or another. The big kid may emulate his big dad and pick on little kids who can’t fight back. That one has been around since Adam and Eve. The majority of kids know it’s wrong. Hopefully, the team and the class and the workplace each does their part to reinforce what is right. I have yet to find a cure for grown women bullying one another. It happens and I am adamantly opposed to that as well.

Another way right and wrong are taught and help them become second nature is a Church of some kind. Learning about God as you know Him is important. The belief in something bigger than ourselves keeps our egos in check and helps us learn what we are here for. To give thanks to God for the beauty of our world, for our families, and for our schools. None of these are perfect, and if a person is ever in danger, we hope these institutions can rise up to help. It is the right thing to do.

If a child can play sports, school is an ideal place to do that. Hopefully, there are enough funds to fully fund the equipment and coaches. Teamwork is vital in our worlds whether it be on the field or in the office. You learn about developing strengths and respecting the strengths your teammates and opponents have. Respect is a by product of all that hard work. These things are part of what I admire about the coach for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Scott Frost. Scott Frost was the product of a very Christian based coach, Tom Osborne. Scott is coaching and reinforcing the rules and moral character concerning team membership, which has been missing for a long time. Back to the basics, as I believe we, in America, have to do.

My children weren’t able to play sports because I couldn’t afford them to. I regret that, but they learned in other ways. Early work habits were established to buy their cars. They had to do it and insure them. I was not going to provide it for them. I couldn’t afford that either. They learned how to be responsible, which I believe a lot of people, young and not so young, might need to learn. Wouldn’t hurt to make sure your kids or nephews and nieces understand what that is.

The environment around us is rich with opportunities to help our youth learn the good way to grow in life. We are all responsible for helping our fellow humans do so. If we do not, I shudder to think what will happen. Take time today. Read a book with your grandchildren. Talk about it. Discuss bullying. Especially if your child is a bully. And don’t let your babies grow up to be racist bullies to the innocent people of color who are truly trying to work towards a better life. We all need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Ridding the world of a Paw Patrol character won’t help. Involvement will. Constructive involvement. Riots don’t help anyone. Do some good today.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time so much. I will be back tomorrow, and hope you are, too.