Anger, Bullying, Change, Compassion, Crying, Egos, Fake Christians, Fear, Gun Control, Homegrown Terrorism, School Shootings, Uncategorized

Another Senseless Mass Shooting….

And it has happened yet AGAIN……another mass shooting….another SCHOOL shooting!  I remember how shocked we used to be by all of this.  Now it’s almost a daily occurrence.  We have become numb and desensitized to the trauma.  I’m going to talk about some things in this post that may upset a few people, but I’m very upset right now, as are a lot of others, about this nonsense, and how NOTHING is being done about it.  I thought about apologizing ahead of time if I offend anyone, but I really don’t care if I do. There are an awful lot of innocent dead people, and someone needs to speak up.  Each side accuses the other of making it political.  Well, it IS political! Unfriend me or stop following me if you must.  I will not point fingers at any political party, but I will be political.  You all know who you vote for, and where you stand.  And I will address what role Christianity (or those claiming Christians) plays in this.  So…..read at your own risk.

First of all, never in my life, or my training to become a teacher, did I ever think that I could possibly be putting my life on the line in the classroom, and defending the little people I teach every day.  If I wanted to work in a combat zone, I would have enlisted in the military or law enforcement.  My calling was to teach.  I don’t want to carry a gun.  If schools start requiring teachers to be armed, I will be leaving the profession for good.  If others choose to carry a weapon that’s their right.  I will exercise mine not to carry a gun.  But my daughter and my grandson (the only two offspring who are still in school) have the right to go to school feeling safe, and so do their teachers.

I’m not anti-gun at all.  My father grew up with guns on a farm.  He had guns in the house when I was growing up (put away).  After all, we do have that 2nd amendment. But that amendment was written before we had semi-automatic weapons, and guns such as the now infamous AR-15. Yes, we do and should, have the right to defend ourselves.  If someone is coming into our homes to hurt us or our families, we should have the right to keep ourselves safe.  However, the AR-15 is meant for one thing…..killing a lot of living things in a very short amount of time.  And no civilian should have access to it, whether they are mentally sane or not.  It is, in itself, a weapon of mass destruction, and we’ve seen it over and over again.  Yet, the politicians with the NRA in their pockets keep turning a blind eye to it. And yes, the NRA and their political buddies have blood on their hands over this.  Oh, you’re an NRA member?  Okay.  I don’t care.  I’m not criticizing you as an individual.  I am condemning the organization as a whole, and how they have bought off the politicians who are supposed to be representing the people, in order to wield their power.  We are talking millions and millions of dollars.  They are profiting from the murder of innocent lives…..innocent children and public servants!

Mental health…..oh, here’s a good one.  I’ve noticed that any time the shooter is white, there is a discussion about mental health.  Well, that’s good, because there does need to be more access to mental health services in the United States.  Mental health is slowly losing the negative stigma and shame, and it does seem that people are more open to getting help for mental illness, depending on the severity.  Yet, so many of our mental hospitals were closed in the 1980’s, leaving these people with nowhere to go, and no options for help.  Sometimes, it’s more than one person can take care of alone.  Then they need help from society.  It should be easier for these people to obtain mental health services!  So, if the problem with mass shooters is mental health, then why is funding cut for mental health services?  Why are facilities closed?  They’re ill.  They need help! If you vote for politicians who cut spending on mental health services, then you can’t also use the mental health argument.  You can’t.  It makes you a hypocrite.  So if you voted for the ones who cut the funding for mental health services, then knock it off!  You can’t have it both ways.  I am tired of hearing it.  There was a law in place, which was recently repealed, making it more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain weapons.  Why was it repealed?  What idiot asshole thought that was a good idea (I’ll let you do your homework on that one)?  What purpose did it serve to repeal that law?  Oh, and if the shooter were black, Hispanic, Muslim, etc…..oh, that’s right….terrorist, and they should be deported.  The majority of these mass shootings are carried out by white, home grown, American terrorists.  Period.

Another argument I heard was that this gun should not have been in the hands of a 19 year old.  Really!?!?! So….a 19 year old with a history of mental illness was able to legally obtain an AR-15.  Please!  I have a more difficult time buying cold medicine! The argument I heard was that he shouldn’t have been able to get it until he was 21.  Because when he turns 21 he will be less mentally unstable?  He’ll magically become mentally stable at 21? Sorry.  That “logic” doesn’t work on me.  Neither does the bullying issue.  Bullying isn’t the problem either.  Bullying is a horrible thing that has been around from the beginning of time, and most educators do all we can to minimize it.  There have always been bullies.  There hasn’t always been access to weapons of mass destruction for the average person.

Another thing that was really disturbing to me with this most recent act of terrorism on American soil was the way the media described the suspect as being “adopted.”  AND?????  I happen to have 3 cousins, 2 nieces and several friends who were adopted, and none of them are violent or terrorists!  They are my family and people I happen to love.  By repeating this over and over on the news, I’m sure it was upsetting to anyone who was adopted, or loves someone who is.  This infuriated me, and put an unfair label on every adopted person! Totally unfair reporting!  Just what we need….more stereotypes and biases, as if we don’t have enough dividing us.

Christianity…..here we go!  Yes, I do call myself a Christian.  I do believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  His main lessons were to help the poor, sick, and the children.  Yet, so many people who are constantly saying they’re praying, asking for prayers, saying, “praise Jesus!” attending the “right” churches, or voting the “right” way seem to forget those simple things!  Oh, they’ll pray for you!  But what good is prayer if they don’t put forth some effort too?  Why are they putting all of the burden on God?  They’re lazy, that’s why!  Why are they boasting about all of the prayer they’re sending up, but then voting for people who do the exact opposite of what Jesus said to do….take care of the poor, sick, and the children????? Oh yes, I know about the lesson of God helping those who help themselves.  But sometimes people CAN’T help themselves!  Oh, they’re poor? They’re sick?  Do we know why?  Does it really matter?  No!  They need help! These are also the same people who claim that God/Jesus/religion is not allowed in our schools anymore.  Are you kidding me????  If you are true Christians, how can you remove that part of your personality when you are at work?  True Christianity should reflect in your actions.  Doesn’t God work through us?  Then if we are Christians, doing God’s work, then how is He “removed” from our schools?  Sorry, but yet another argument that doesn’t add up, and I’m tired of it.  I use compassion and love and understanding each day with my students.  They aren’t numbers. They are little lives, and they are our future.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance EVERY DAY (I’ve been told many times that we don’t….maybe before posting that nonsense on social media, you should check with someone who actually works in the public schools)…..and yes, we DO say, “One nation, under God” EVERY DAY!  I’ve been in schools where there were prayers around the flag pole, Bible study groups for teachers, my children were involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc. etc. etc.  No one is telling us we can’t pray. We just can’t force anyone else to pray! And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want someone forcing their religion on me either.  We are free to pray, and think however we want!  So all of these stupid posts about how we need to put God back in our schools to avoid more school shootings only anger me more.  Instead of putting it all on God, why don’t some of you step up and help out?  Stop using that as a cop out! Why don’t you go volunteer in the schools?  Why don’t you start serving the homeless, the poor, the hungry?  How about helping the mentally ill?  Volunteering in the Big Brother/Big Sister program? How about putting the prayer to work through your own actions?  How about praying for God to instill in you the desire to serve others, and understand others, and have compassion for those who struggle or need help?  Or, if you don’t have the desire or time to volunteer, maybe you have money, and you can help fund programs that have been cut? Time, energy, money, patience, understanding, compassion…….  Oh yeah…..now I remember……the answer is more guns, and protecting the 2nd amendment, right?

The 2nd amendment has become Biblical to some Americans, and it’s sickening!  They tout the Bible and say they’re Christians, but they are more willing to protect an amendment ratified in 1791 (that needs to be updated for today’s weapons) than to protect our children! That’s not a Christian. Why doesn’t our right to LIVE, and our children’s right to feel safe at school hold more weight than the right to carry a weapon?

So now we come to the right to bear arms…..concealed carry…..whatever you’re wanting to call it…..you’re carrying a gun.  Let’s look at the Las Vegas shooting.  That happened at a country music concert.  Now, I would guess that there were probably a few people in that crowd carrying weapons.  I don’t have a problem with that.  It’s their right.  Yet…..what good did it do them?  Were any of them able to stop the maniac in the hotel with his high powered weapons and mechanisms making his weapons more powerful?  More guns are not the answer!  The whole load of bullshit saying, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is ridiculous!  I’m sure there were plenty of good guys with guns in that crowd!  So where were they?  Why didn’t they stop him?  Wasn’t anyone praying?  If so, why did 58 people die, and nearly 500 people were wounded?  What happened?  Weren’t people praying hard enough? Weren’t those injured or killed deserving of God’s grace?  Of course they were! But who was there doing God’s work?  Prayer and guns alone are not the answer! Maybe that guy shouldn’t have been able to get his hands on those weapons in the first place!

Yes, prayer helps.  Saying, “All we can do is pray” is nonsense!  You can do so much more!  You can stand up and speak out against the senseless crimes being committed by having access to these types of weapons.  God gave us a voice!  God gave us brains!  Use them! If you are true Christians, then where is your compassion?  Why is the 2nd amendment more important than the teachings of Jesus?  I’m not trying to be preachy, but I’ve heard these arguments from “Christians,” and I’m not buying it.  I’m tired of lazy people hiding behind the label of Christianity.  The constitution is not the Bible.  “In God We Trust” did not appear on our coins until 1864, and not on our currency until 1957.  The Founding Fathers did NOT put it there (contrary to what gets repeatedly posted on social media).  Saying, “Let’s pray, ” and “Let’s put God back in our schools,” and continuing to vote for more guns is  NOT the answer!  Putting armed guards in our schools, arming our teachers, and making it easy to buy guns (but not cold medicine), but doing nothing to fix the root of the problem is not the answer.

Other countries don’t have this problem.  There are other countries who have the right to defend themselves, and they don’t have mass shootings.  The United States…..the country I love with my whole heart, the country my grandfathers, father, uncles, cousins, and son have all risked their lives to defend….needs to get it figured out when it comes to the most horrifying and disgusting issue facing us today. The answer to most of us is very clear. For the rest of you….well, my husband and I will continue to speak up, while we go into our classrooms each day…..always ready for a lock down (with little to no appreciation from anyone unless we’re gunned down…..then we become unwilling heroes…..an entire blog post in itself).  Oh yeah, and we will educate ourselves on political issues and candidates, taking into consideration what is best for us as a whole, and who is interested in fixing this problem,…..after all, the 2nd amendment is NOT in the Bible.

So even though this blog post is long, I hope you can see my frustration, and how saying and doing nothing about the core of the problem is as good as guaranteeing that this will continue to happen.  I’m angry!  I’m pissed off!  No amendment is worth the loss of countless innocent lives, especially school children and their teachers.

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Anger, Be Kind, Being Strong, Bullying, Compassion, Courage, Empowerment, Grow a Pair, Kindness, Loyalty, Racism, Respect, Speak Up!, Support, Uncategorized, Understanding

Don’t Be Part of the Problem

Things are a mess in our country/world right now.  I guess our parents and grandparents felt this way at times too.  My grandparents were adults during WWI and WWII, and my parents were witnessing terrible things in the tumultuous 1960’s.  I’m sure they felt afraid and concerned at that time too.  One thing they did not do is turn and look the other way when someone was being mistreated.  They always spoke up, and always stood up for people who were being treated unfairly.

In today’s world, I keep thinking about the saying, “If you ignore the problem, then you condone it.”  Right now, many of us need to be remembering this.  On a world scale, it applies to racism, bullying, sexism, animal cruelty, hatred, or any type of discrimination.  On a personal level, it applies to those who are being unfairly treated at work, home, or in our communities.

Confrontations aren’t easy, but I have always prided myself on the fact that I will stand up for others, whether I know them or not.  I will stand up for someone else before I stand up for myself.  My friends and family can always have confidence in knowing I will defend them.  If someone mistreats them, I won’t tolerate it, and will address it directly, putting a stop it to immediately.  If the other person gets upset with me, that’s just too bad.  I will not condone meanness on any level, especially if it’s hurting someone I care about.  I admired this quality in my family members, and have applied it to my own actions, feeling that it defines good character.  The good old “golden rule” seems to be lost in our society these days.  Some people might say they live by it, but their actions say otherwise.  In other words, they have no balls!  When you don’t speak up directly, and don’t stand up for someone being mistreated, you are showing that person that you don’t care about them, and you agree with the poor treatment.  What does that say about your character?  How should the person being mistreated feel about you?  If you agree with the negative treatment, then why would they trust you on other things?  Why would they support you if you needed it, when you didn’t defend them? If you thought they were your friend before, then I am willing to bet there will be a wedge in your relationship after the fact.

I worked in a situation once where another teacher was being incredibly cruel to me.  It was being condoned and encouraged by the owners of the school (private school).  They were trying to make me uncomfortable enough to quit.  They had no reason to fire me because I had done nothing wrong.  I just knew too much….(actually, I could have an entire blog just on that school!).  This teacher was telling other teachers not to talk to me, or they would be fired.  Why?  They had decided I was a threat to their business by knowing a bit too much about their financial dealings.  Yet, I would go to work each day, arriving early, teaching my students, and showing them my love and dedication, even though I was being ignored, talked about, lied on, and putting up with mean remarks by this other teacher (directly and indirectly).  No one stood up for me.  No one helped me. I was keeping my mouth shut and being professional, but I became a target, and it was miserable.  All I wanted to do was teach.  It taught me a lot about the character of the others who wouldn’t help me.  There were still a couple of teachers who talked to me, and were supportive, but no one who had the power to put a stop to this evil witch and her remarks did anything about it.  They showed me their character…..

We teach our students in school that we will not condone any type of bullying (threats, harassment, alienation, physicality, gossip, etc), but adults are just as guilty of it, and many condone it by not putting a stop to it.  I know I talk a lot about being nice, or being kind, and I think most people think they are.  Adults can hurt just as much, or maybe even more so, than children when it comes to cruelty.  I challenge all of you to look in the mirror, and evaluate yourself on this.  Are you really nice if you are ignoring mean behavior?  Are you really nice if you aren’t practicing what you preach about loyalty, love, trust, friendship, care, and protection?  If you are ignoring it, then you are definitely a major part of the problem.  Don’t be a part of the problem.  No matter how large or small the situation….stand up, grow a pair, and don’t allow ANYONE to be mistreated.

Acceptance, Anger, Anxiety, Be Happy, Being Strong, Crying, Emotions, Happiness, Laughter, Uncategorized

Healthy Crying

I’m a crier.  I cry when I’m happy.  I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m tired.  I cry when I’m in pain. I cry when I worry.  I cry when I’m angry.  I cry when I miss someone.  I cry when I feel sentimental.  I can’t help it.  Sometimes it makes me mad!  I wish I could control it better, especially when I’m angry.  It can get embarrassing at times, but when I’m mad, it really just makes it even worse!  My mother was a crier, and my sisters and I used to tease her about it, or get embarrassed.  I’m convinced I jinxed myself because I’m 1000 times worse than she was (I think).

When I’m mad and crying, the person I’m angry with either thinks it’s funny, or feels superior, as if they’ve conquered me, and that I’m weak.  Of course, those types of people are really just bullies, and their motives are to make people feel weak and helpless.  I am not weak and helpless.  In fact, I”m a pretty strong woman, as was my mother.  I have learned that tears are not a sign of weakness.  Tears are merely a sign of being able to feel completely.  To be able to shut that off would have helped me in a lot of situations, but it also would be the end of me being able to feel every emotion as intensely as I do.  I’m not sure I want that.  If I stopped crying when I’m angry, I may not laugh as heartily, with my silly snorts and not being able to catch my breath.  If I didn’t cry when I’m angry, I may not feel the same compassion I feel now for others.  Or, I may have a cold personality, and not be able to express myself with any warmth at all.

People who antagonize someone, or try to push someone to the point of being angry are nothing but bullies…..or assholes……take your pick!  They find it fun to upset someone, and make them feel embarrassed when they start to cry, or attempt to fight back tears.  Yes, they are bullies, and have no feelings or compassion for anyone else.  I’ve been in that situation a few times.  It’s hard, and my voice shakes, and I cry. I’m not afraid…..I’m just feeling that emotion with great intensity! It isn’t easy at all to deal with, but I feel sorry for them in that they don’t really feel anything at all.  How can they enjoy or appreciate life?

Tears and emotions are okay.  It is sometimes embarrassing, and we end up spending a lot of money on tissues!  When I laugh so hard I cry (and snort), it’s a wonderful feeling!  My kids will make me laugh at something, and I laugh harder and harder…..becoming  silent, to where I can’t catch my breath.  Then they say, “Oh no!  She’s going to snort!” And sure enough, I always do!  Through my tears, I snort like a pig, which makes everyone laugh harder!  That’s embarrassing too, but at least I get a good belly laugh!

I have decided that I will not feel ashamed of this trait I inherited.  It’s me.  It’s real.  It’s sincere.  It’s who I am.  I feel with great intensity, and I’m thankful for that.  Life is too short to have to try to hide who we really are.  I should feel thankful that my mother and father taught me how to express emotions, and communicate my feelings in a healthy way.

Tears are okay.  Tears are not a sign of weakness.  Tears are a sign of a healthy spirit.  Criers unite!  Stand up to jerks who see you as weak, with your healthy tears.  Have a good healthy cry today!  And those of you who may look at us as though we are too emotional or weak……I’m sorry you see us that way, and if it makes you feel superior to us, you are wrong.  I’m sorry you are not able to feel as deeply as some of the rest of us.

 

Anger, Civil Rights, Fear, Peaceful Protests, Protests, Racism, Respect, Uncategorized

Fear and Sadness…….

Well, after the weekend’s events in Virginia, I really wanted to write about something positive, happy, and less upsetting……but my heart and mind keep going back to the news.

Angry alt-right protesters marched…..chanted…..and violence/terrorism ensued.  It breaks my heart, and makes me so incredibly angry and sad.  Those protesters, carrying Nazi swastikas, and chanting their hateful messages spit on the graves of every U.S. soldier that fought and died in WWI and WWII…..and every American who ever served this country, or currently serves this country, defending our freedoms.  My grandfathers, my father, my father in-law, my uncles, my cousins, my son…..

At this point, it isn’t about Democrat and Republican, or who you voted for.  I have friends who voted unlike me.  They had their reasons, and we didn’t agree, but that’s the beauty of America……even if we don’t like the outcome.  Even when we were in Europe earlier this summer, an American friend was shaking his head, wondering why his family in New York voted the way they did.  Right now……it doesn’t matter.  Right now…..it’s time to put a stop to the hate.  SPEAK UP!  Take a stand against bigotry.  We absolutely can NOT let this continue!

The truth is, the atmosphere in America right now is ugly, sad, and scary.  It seems that unrest, racism, and hatred comes in phases in our country.  I have a tendency to put on my Pollyanna personality, and try to see the good in everything, but right now, I’m angry! My parents (especially my father) were a little too close for comfort to it during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.  Actually, our country was built on violence and racism, but I believe that the Declaration of Independence and Amendments still support that “all men are created equal,” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and we need to respect that, and stand on that.  Our current administration seems to condone the hate.  I’m not a fan of his, and I don’t hide it, yet some people were more upset that President Obama wanted everyone to have healthcare……”It’s un-American,” as one of my friends stated.  Un-American?!?!  No, it wasn’t.  What is un-American is supporting white supremacy, and threatening the lives of those who are standing up for their rights or those of others.

I still believe that the majority of Americans are good people, and do not condone hate or violence.  Some will say that if you voted for the current president, then you condone the behavior of these individuals.  I disagree.  I may not agree with their decision to vote for him, and I can’t stand him, but that is/was their right, and they had their reasons, which was also their right. What upsets me the most about this is that the behavior of those idiots (yes, idiots…assholes…..jerks…..traitors…..terrorists) yesterday is condoned, while peaceful protests, such as someone “taking a knee” during the National Anthem, or peacefully marching in a Martin Luther King Jr. parade, or a women’s rights march, or a gay pride parade, are condemned, ridiculed, abused, or called “un-American.”

It all comes down to what I’ve written about before…..respect.  Those who marched yesterday disrespected the American public.  They disrespected our Constitution.  They disrespected every single individual who fought and/or died for the freedoms we enjoy today.  This is not Nazi-Germany (remember….they were the ENEMY….America fought and won that war!).  This is not the 1800’s or early 1900’s America where men hid behind their white hoods terrorizing African Americans.  I was raised in Kansas, once known as “Bleeding Kansas” because of the racial unrest in the 1800’s.  My father was raised in South Alabama.  My parents served a church in Southern Arkansas in the 1960’s, and I’m married to a bi-racial man, living in the South……I know a bit about racial issues.  As time goes on, you would think we could see the sins/mistakes of our past, and not repeat them.  Unfortunately, what I saw yesterday made me sick and ashamed.

I love my country.  I am as patriotic as they come.  I cry when I hear the National Anthem.  I love our diversity.  I love the freedoms we share in America….but I do NOT love hatred, bigotry, or anyone attempting to deny the rights of anyone else because of their race, religion, gender, political affiliation, etc.  As much as I miss my parents and grandparents, I am glad they are not here to see what is happening in our country today. It’s just too sad….and too scary.