Let’s face it. Our society is a real mess right now. People are doing things and saying things that even fifteen, twenty years ago would have been unthinkable, and in our parents’ and grandparents’ times would have been outrageous or even scandalous. There’s a major case of hostility affecting the world today, especially when it comes to news and social media. Most days, if you read through Facebook comments you will find more death threats and arguing going on that intelligent conversation. There are more broken homes, false accusations, and embarrassments happening than ever before. It is truly a Dark Age, not only for this country but for the world at large.
So how do we solve this problem? I propose that not only do we do a better job of raising our kids—those of you that have kids—and that we go back and try to raise ourselves, as well. I think if we all took the time to remember all the rules our teachers tried drilling into our heads in preschool and kindergarten, we’d be well on the way to making the world a better place.
(NOTE: At the risk of sounding hypocritical, I admit that I have never been the best at following some of the rules I’m about to talk about. Now that I’m actually suggesting that we start abiding by them, I am going to make an honest effort to follow them myself.)
RULE ONE: KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
Can you imagine how many fewer assault, battery, rape, and sexual harassment cases we would have if people just followed this one rule alone? I mean, most of us are adults. You would think that we would be smart enough and mature enough to not put our hands on anybody or do things to them that we know are wrong, but there is more touching and hitting going on now than ever before. The bottom line is, keep your hands away from anything or anyone they aren’t supposed to be touching and you will stay out of trouble. Usually.
RULE TWO: TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.
If you want to be treated like you’re all that, be nice and respectful to people. If you act like a douchebag and piss somebody off, all you can expect is for that person to be the same way right back at you. It’s much more likely nowadays, though, that you’ll end up getting your ass kicked because so far too many people don’t like following the first rule. The way you act speaks volumes as to your character, so if you can bite your tongue when somebody is being a dick to you, eventually you will start earning people’s respect.
RULE THREE: MIND YOUR OWN BEEZWAX.
Each of us has plenty of our own problems to deal with. We don’t have time—or the right—to worry about anybody else’s. Yet that is precisely what so many people want to do. It’s like everybody else’s business is their own business, and spend more time trying to get on to someone else for something than they do taking care of whatever it is they need to take care of for themselves. For example, a few years ago a friend with two late elementary age kids took them both to see the latest Godzilla movie. Afterwards she got flak from not her own parents, but parents of a friend of hers who did not feel that Godzilla was an appropriate movie for kids. They gave her so much crap about it, and she wasn’t even their daughter! They seemed to be more interested in trying to parent her than worry about the fact that their own son had just gotten like his second DUI in a year and was facing jail time. Do people really think that other people are a) going to care, or b) actually do what you want them to because you want them to? There are only a few people in the world that any individual person should be listening to, and I guarantee strangers don’t fall into that category. Worry about yourself. Take care of ALL of your own problems and then maybe it will be acceptable for you to stick your nose into other people’s beeswax.
RULE FOUR: ACT YOUR AGE.
Just about every day something happens that makes it on the news that makes you stare at the screen with your mouth half hanging open wondering what the hell was going on in the person’s mind to make them do something as stupid as whatever it was that they did. I’ve read online about TWO instances where grown ass adults would drop their pants and take a dump on the grass, one pooping on a football field (this man being a school superintendent, by the way) and the Mad Pooper who would make a regular stop to this family’s front yard and take a shit right there by the sidewalk. I’ve been around kids my entire life and I kid you not, I have NEVER seen even a little kid do anything like that, much less a grown up. Especially since in both cases I read that public restrooms were easily within view of both crap sites. It baffles my mind. The entire Jackass franchise, as hilarious and entertaining as it is, is proof in the pudding. Michael Rotondo, the 30-year-old deadbeat from New York who has actually had the balls to live at home, not work, not do any chores, and then SUE his own elderly parents when they try to kick him out after eight years is an embarrassment to adults everywhere. If you’re two years old, run around and wreak havoc. If you’re 30 and still at home completely mooching off of your parents and pawning stuff off for pocket cash, get a job. That is what grown-ups do.
RULE FIVE: IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON’T SAY ANYTHING.
Not too long ago I commented on a post on Facebook that I thought, for the most part, that Donald Trump was doing a good job as President. I can’t tell you how many replies I got almost as soon as it posted, calling me just about every name in the book and every insult Trump opponents could think of, some even going so far as to send me death threats on Messenger and then block me so that I couldn’t respond. Not that I would have anyway, but that’s beside the point. We are supposed to be living in a country (those of us in the U.S., I mean) where you can state an opinion and express yourself freely. That’s definitely not the case anymore. You might not be hauled away by secret police in America, but if you say something that even one person disagrees with you have opened yourself up to the hate. Naturally, if someone says something mean to you most human beings would take that as a challenge and try to outdo the other person, until it digresses into a playground name-calling match and does absolutely nothing for anybody but cause more problems. And lord knows we have way too many of them as it is. So the next time somebody insults you, just ignore it. Don’t add any more fuel to their fire because you will be playing right into their hands. It is so not worth it.