Saturday, September 29, 2012

What if We Quit Caring...

I was at the grocery store waiting in line and noticing the tabloids about the worst in every "important" celebrity. The headlines brought us the infidelity, divorce, weight gain, incarceration and every other bad thing that was currently happening to "important" celebrities right now.  As I processed the mindlessness of the headlines, I couldn't help but imagine. What if our society quit caring about all of the ridiculous stories about people that do nothing more than entertain us and started caring about the really important people, kids that desperately depend on the society that they live in?

  • Instead of the headlines that tell us about a bitter divorce between 2 superficial celebrities, we would see a headline about the importance and sanctity of marriage and how kids need both parents working together.  We could even read about 2 important people in pop culture that put their marriage above their careers. #wow.

  • Instead of the headlines talking about a teen pop star entering rehab for the 4th time, we could read about how a high school student body is working hard to battle against drug abuse and the community is actively supporting them. #canyouimaginethat

  • Instead of the headline reading that a leading actress is overweight or looking haggard, we could read about an organization that promotes the real beauty that we should see in young ladies that is grounded in self-confidence, intellectuality and modesty. #weneedthis

  • Instead of reading about the latest stupid act that some actor did that landed him in jail, we could be inspired by a community that has joined together to mentor disadvantaged youth to keep them from becoming a statistic of the criminal justice system. #thatdoeshappeninamerica

  • Instead of reading how America's schools are horrible because of a few that are not doing well, we could read the headlines about the actual reality of schools which is they do the best job ever preparing kids for a college and career pathway. #testscoresdonttellthewholestory

Let's be honest.  What we read and allow to enter our brains affects us.  It numbs our character and dims our wit.  In the 1940's & 50's, mainstream literature was grounded in character, examples of improvement, and obstacles overcome that motivated and inspired a nation.  What do we have today in mainstream America that is available to every American that motivates and inspires us?  There are too many examples of literature that tears people down which in actuality rips apart our nation's fabric.  As a nation and as Americans, we should and we must promote and provide our students with multiple examples of literature that will stimulate and inspire their minds in such a way that will encourage them to become something bigger and better than literature that they read.  #itcanhappen

So here is what I suggest that every one of us do.
Let's not wait for this change to take place and take matters into our own hands. What if we used our schools as the new source for meaningful news in our community?  Our kids could work with our local newspapers to write inspiring stories about the excellent education that they are getting and the issues that are important to them.  Our webpages, blogs and social media could feature the writing of our students and staff members.  If we want our children to be focused on this utopian type of  character, we must take purposeful steps to make it happen.  #wecandothis

We have the smartest kids in the world, and unlike other countries in the world, we don't limit their opportunities or potential due to socioeconomic status, race, religion, or disability.  Every child has an equal opportunity, and our schools do more for kids than ever in the history in the world.  We owe it to our kids, their future children and our country to demand that we all save and protect the character of our youth, not by eliminating or censoring literature, but by something bigger and better, diverting our attention from this trivial gossip.  This change would push our collective character to expose ourselves and our moral fiber toward meaningful literature that will challenge us everyday to be better individuals, to create a better community and a belief in a better America.

1 comment:

  1. I dig it, John -- especially the suggestion that we try to engage kids in process of raising their voices about the good that is happening in our communities.

    Doing so would focus them on the kinds of behaviors that we want them to admire instead of the slop that surrounds them.