Friday, July 11, 2008

Sink About It

Well it's been a long time since I've blogged mostly because I haven't really had anything truly interesting to talk about (and my job has been slowing sucking my soul out), and maybe this won't be interesting at all anyway but it has nonetheless captured my attention. And it's crazy because once I got started on this I started seeing in so many different contexts and situations. So the three contexts that I am choosing to discuss today are in family life, politically, and religiously. Sounds dangerous already I know. So the thing that is really bothering me is how people are biased, but they're biased in the worst way. They are biased simply because they don't think things out, they don't decide things for themselves and they believe what they're told without (insert engineering term here) critically thinking about it. The only hard thing to decide is which to start with because I'm fairly equally passionate about all three. Dilemma.....hmm I'll pick out of a hat.

First Politics (order courtesy of Lauren). Have you ever noticed that some people have one opinion when you're talking to them strictly about the issue and not coloring it with McCain's position is this and Obama's position is that. Then they have a completely opposite position when they're discussing their support for their candidate. It's like they get so caught up in the eloquence that Obama possesses or the nice suit that John is wearing that they get lost in the words and, forgive the blasphemy, fall in love with how someone looks or talks. They don't stop to think, okay what is this person saying, is this the same thing he said last week? Now don't get me wrong I'm not endorsing either candidate, to be honest I don't really like either of them. And I'm also not supporting any "party", because both do it and there are stupid people on both sides of the fence. I'm also not just talking about this in the context of 'party lines' or just to do with elections and debates. It also has to do with our entire view of the world politically. Glenn Beck (seriously the more I read of this guy the more I am in awe) just did an article about things America does right and I completely agree and am floored that it plays right into my mindset of the week. So so often we get caught up in all the 'woe is me' things that are happening. Ya gas prices suck, ya some stupid high school students who can't count change without a calculator didn't get a job this summer, the world is going to hell. Seriously people why are we being so pessimistic? A friend of mine just wrote a thing about how bad Africa sucks right now. Ya there's civil war there and unfortunately people are dying. That really breaks my heart. It's awful that people don't have enough to eat, nowhere to live, and all they have is a gun to terrorize people with. But honestly, let's think about this, Africa has been a war zone since cavemen moved in there in the first place. This is not the first time this has happened people now just 'care' because they can see it on their tvs. Now that they see it they have the AUDACITY to say that WE have failed because this is happening right now. (just to lighten the mood I feel the need to be like Dwight and yell "right now this is happening!" and run out the door waving my arms ;) Why is everything in the world our own fault? Granted we are the most prosperous nation in the world no doubt and with greater abundance comes greater responsibility, but come on, does that mean we have to do everything? And if everything isn't patched up perfectly we are hypocritical and failing? In Glenn Beck's article one thing he mentions is we as a nation give the most out of the world to charity. Granted we are the most rich, but even taking into account that, we give 1000 times more than our closest competitor France. How can these idiots say that we aren't doing anything? Now I love my friend to death but I had to restrain myself from yelling at him. I just think that people need to, one, think a little bit more before they spew out pompous remarks that make them sound humanitarian and special if they haven't really done all the research. And second, people listening to people afore mentioned need to take the time to step back and ask, what is this person really truly saying, and is it at all able to be backed up.

Ah whew my heart rate could be at aerobic exercising range. Ha this passion is getting me worked up, I need to remind myself to calm down.

Religion. A friend and I were talking on Sunday about how incredibly shortsighted people can be when it comes to their religion and values. (BTW names have been left out on purpose...) First a disclaimer, I realize that people's values are at their core. They need to be and they are what define us in the easy times and the really tough times. I am also not applying this to only people of one religion, I include all religions in this hypocrisy but also that all people of that religion are not the same. It's only the really awful ones that usually give a name to a religion and that saddens me more than I could ever express. All Muslim people are not terrorists, all Baptist people aren't totally intolerant, and all Mormon people are not arrogant and haughty. Okay so your values are what make you a person, they're what define how you act and what you think. My issue is, what value is ingrained in your soul that makes you believe that your values are, not only more important that other peoples, but that you should also make it known that they are more important and try and put another down for not having the exact same beliefs as you? How can you not see any good in any other situation just because it's not the way you would do it? I feel the need for an example and since I'm Mormon I'll use a Mormon one since it's safest. A Mormon woman was recently put into a situation where she was in a gay home where the men had adopted a baby (and on national television but that's a different rant). Their rational was that their home was better than any foster home and the baby would be SO loved and cared for. This woman thought the baby was almost better off dead. Now look, I'm not gay, I don't think it's right, but I can't deny they will love that baby. And foster care almost never works out well (just look at degenerate statistics). Isn't this better than nothing at all? Also what about parents who are a mom and a dad but fight all the time...that child isn't raised in a good home. Or single parents... are we going to knock on all of them? We can't exclude them just because they're heterosexual! Shouldn't the foremost goal of parenting be to love and care for your child? Just because someone doesn't believe the same way you do, RESPECT their right to believe it!! There is good in all things, and wouldn't you want that same respect when someone thinks that you're a crappy mother because you make your child go to church every Sunday? The Golden Rule people, treat others as you want to be treated. Jesus didn't talk to the good Jewish high and mighty people, he talked to the lepers and the adulterers and the Samaritans. Study the text you claim to lay all your beliefs in.

Okay last family dynamic. I took a little break so maybe I'm not so worked up. Parent's always want to teach their children to be good people (well if they're good parents). They want to teach them how to succeed in life and to have good values and be upstanding people who will actually contribute to society. Again this statement applies across all religions, ethnicities, everything. My blanket statements here target stupid people in all areas not one 'group' of people. Here's where my problem with parenting and guardianship and mentorship comes in. It can be explained succinctly in a statement made by a teacher I had senior year of high school who taught me the United State Constitution and Politics. The very first day of class he came in and was talking to us about all we would be learning about: party lobbying, bills, pork, how the justice and lawmaking system works, etc. Basically a lot of things that can be potentially argumentative. But how he qualified things to us was this: "I am going to teach you HOW to think not WHAT to think." This distinction is so incredibly important to make especially if you're take a child who is a blank slate, who absorbs everything you say and everything they see you do and bases their life on it. We all act how we do to a certain extent because our parents taught or didn't teach us to be that way. There is no way to avoid this and no way to deny it. Because it is like this, you as a parent have an amazing terrifying responsibility. And you sure as H*** better think about the consequences of the good and bad things you teach them. Are you going to teach your child that you are always right and they need to follow blindly those who are in authority? Granted I totally understand the need for the "because I said so" moments. But I'm not talking about doing your chores and cleaning your room. I'm talking about bigger moments, the kind that facilitate things like thinking outside the box in the workplace or deciding what values are most important to you and what you believe at your core. It's the people who think outside the box who make millions by coming up with innovations. But aside from that, if you teach your kids to be able to think for themselves and analyze situations around them, then they can LEARN. They can take situations that maybe are awful like parents divorcing or catastrophies at school and adapt themselves so that they don't fall prey to the same situations and mistakes. One example of this is teen pregnancy, my friend from work and I were discussing how it is such a viscious cycle because how do you explain to your child that they don't have a father because you were too young and that teen pregnancy is such an awful thing, but still it's good because you have your child? How does that logic make sense to a child you always thinks literally? Now I'm not saying this always happens but it makes things so much harder if you don't teach your child to learn from others' mistakes. John Bytheway once quoted a parable that said "a wise man learns from his own mistakes, a superwise man learns from the mistakes of others." Don't we want to be superwise? I'm not only talking about mistakes, I'm also talking about the ability that a person has to solve their own problems if they can think for themselves. They don't have to be dependent on other people to tell them what's the best answer, they can deduce it for themselves. That kind of independence is amazing and exhillirating if you have it. Whenever I ask my dad a question, no matter if it's about electronics, the car, the weather, whatever, his response always begins with "well let's think about this." My father all my life has been teaching me how to learn things. Now I don't like to talk about my ability at school, it makes me nervous, but school has always been easy for me and it may be because I'm a technical genius, or a better reason for my ego and my logic is that I've been taught how to think problems through in order to solve them. My sisters are the same way, they can think things through and they don't have the same ease with school that I have had. (not trying to brag, really, but they're better at some things than me and I'm better at school.)

I guess the point of this whole long verbal oration was to express my distaste with people who don't think. We have such an amazing mind and supposedly we only use 8% or so percent of its capabilities - 5% of which goes to bodily function like breathing, pumping blood etc. Some people may not even use that much of their brain. Why should we waste what we have by being lemmings and following those who are loudest or sound the best?


Abbey said...

First, who are you directing the parenting tirade at? I'm curious. Answer that for me and then when I'm not really tired and seriously ill from only tasting metal, charcoal and guacamole that for the first time in my life was disgusting from my expensive dinner-I'll comment more. I love you Heidi. Also, tell me what it is I'm good at figuring out, because I haven't figured that out yet. ....

Heidi said...

The parenting tirade is directed at people such as the parents I work with who are so overprotective that they won't let their kids go on a field trip because a bus is unsafe. Hell I went on so many field trips and was disiplined and I turned out fine.

I'm sorry you're so sick, I feel your pain. Expensive dinner? You're good intuitively, like deducing that I'm in a bad mood even though I think I'm acting the same as normal.