Something to ponder…

As I watched my middle daughter graduate from high school the other day, from a school district that had once been really good, this meme really hit me hard!

This is a school and community I had attended and lived within when I was young and I had loved it so much, I wanted to raise my children here as well.

It was diverse in almost every way, yet everyone got along well with each other for the most part, respected each other, and liked each other. Even my old classmates mostly all still talk. We excelled in sports and we had wonderful teacher’s, staff, coaches, and safe neighborhood’s here where everyone looked out for each other. Skin color and culture differences were embraced and treated with equality! Most of us loved each other and didn’t care about anything besides character!

I’ve lived back in this neighborhood now for over 20 years and I have watched it go from a really nice community, to a very poor one…and I don’t mean in just financial ways. But, in that way too. The quality of the people who live here now is poor. The financial backgrounds are low to middle incomes, which is the same, except a lot more low income people exist than did before.

That shouldn’t mean the character of the people is also poor though. Character, integrity, morals, manners, values…those should be universal and people who are poor can still be good people and rise above. I should know. I was raised in poverty myself and was orphaned at 13, went through abuse and was tossed around to family to family. Yet I was still kind and had manners. I rose above and reached for better. I didn’t let my environment become an excuse for poor behavior. I have seen so many other people rise from the ashes of poverty, abuse, and other obstacles in life and still be wonderful people who didn’t use their past as an excuse to be as horrible as what they had lived through.

Bad behavior was not socially acceptable when I was growing up and we avoided the few kids who behaved badly…we tried to help them and talk them into better choices first, but if they didn’t listen, we loved them from a distance and just hoped and prayed they’d grow out of it. Many did and regret their youthful choices.

Adults didn’t tolerate bad behavior either…parents and school staff alike. We really did act as a village to raise up the children and other people’s parents and our teacher’s acted as positive role models and mentors to us too, not just our own parents or guardians. We knew if we misbehaved, the neighbor down the street might just as well discipline us and march us back home to snitch on us, as our parents might be to catch us in the act by checking on us themselves during a walk or drive through the neighborhood. Knowing everyone might be watching and might get after us, most of us kids knew to behave well always! We had a healthy fear of discipline and trouble and we respected our neighborhood’s, neighbor’s, and people in authority, including officers and teachers. We knew as long as we behaved, we had nothing to worry about and had a lot of innocent fun with our friends within our neighborhood. We rode bikes and played sports and in many ways, were like the kids from the movie The Sandlot, but with break dancing and boom boxes thrown in. Life was pretty good for us kid’s, even for those like me who suffered through a lot of hell too. I still had a lot of positive things that helped me survive that hell and much of that was faith in God, good friendship’s with kids who were being raised well and to be kind and respectful to other’s no matter what, and many good adults who helped influence and guide me too. Good teachers and good parents of friends. Good coach’s. Good neighbor’s. So many more good people than bad.

I’m not sure what has happened to people, but now it’s like the bad is overrunning the good. There is a lot of crime here, a lot more poverty, and a lot of people who seem to have no regard for anyone else but themselves. I have some good neighbor’s close by and we watch out for each other, but there are so many other people around here who just suck royally. Loud parties and music all hours of the day and night, fireworks all year long, all hours, people letting their pet’s run free, cars and houses being broken into or vandalized, people speeding, crashing car’s, hitting pedestrians because they drive so crazy, and I have come to hate the neighborhood and almost everything about this community that I once loved so much!

The school system is horrible! They started closing down schools years ago, sending huge amounts of children to the few schools they didn’t close down so they became understaffed and started failing our children tremendously. Children would be bullied and it got ignored and swept under the rug. Kids have been allowed to run wild and act horribly with little to no consequences for the kid’s or the parents and many parents in this community are as bad as their horrible children! Many of the school staff are poor excuses for teacher’s, counselors, principals, etc., and are not good role models or effective for the students in any way. Many do not actually teach the children anymore. They just give them work and expect the children to figure it out for themselves. The few good staff left probably only stay because they know other schools are probably just as bad and they don’t feel like they have any better options. They fight a losing battle with poor co-workers and policies, horrible parents and their evil spawn children who haven’t been raised well, just to reach and teach the small amount who still care and want to learn and become better with education!

Through all this decline, from shutting schools down, combining two separate school districts into one, laying off or firing officers and firefighters, good teachers and staff being let go, etc., the city and school continues to claim there is a shortage of fund’s and keeps pushing for more bond’s, proposal’s, and tax hikes! I have literally watched as they have asked for more and more from an already horribly struggling community taxed to the max in every way and barely getting by, while wasting the fund’s on frivolous and unnecessary things only to keep asking for more while giving us less.

The school’s have added additions that were unnecessary and aren’t even used just creating wasted space, while still having poor heating and cooling systems in place. They put in fancy filtered water stations instead of regular water fountains, fancy TV monitors in every classroom that go unused, fancy new computer stations that also go unused mostly, extra gym’s and weight rooms that barely get used, have given every student a personal laptop whether the parent’s okay it or not…to student’s who abuse and/or lose the equipment. They have pretty much stopped teaching by books and use online material instead and if they have books, students have to sign out the books and they have limited supplies so not every kid that needs a book gets one. I could continue with how much they spend on wasteful and ineffective things, rather than putting it towards necessary things, but it would turn into a book in itself! Instead of learning to budget and work within that budget, they continue to ask for more from us so they can continue spending OUR hard earned money on unnecessary expenditures. I guess because it’s not coming out of their own pockets in a real, tangible way they understand and feel like the members of the community do, they act like there is an endless supply of fund’s and if they run out, they can just keep asking for more!

And our city government runs the same way. Local cities around me have the same problem. In fact, we have that problem at a state and countrywide level too! They always want more yet they do less and less to actually earn it or to put it back into our cities, states, and country, and into the people who it’s supposed to be helping as a whole! We are all getting screwed! And not enough people seem to care or want to hold our schools and government officials accountable for it!

I see people so busy on their phones, posting selfies, arguing on Facebook and other social media sites, than people who get involved with their local schools and government, making sure they know what is being done, what money is being spent on and why, approving budget expenditures, and everything else! People who drink, do drugs, break law’s, and expect everyone else to behave well but themselves…situational moralist’s who want equality, fairness, and all good things for themselves without the work, but could care less about anyone else! Raising up children to be just like them! It is horrible and unacceptable! When we walk on the right’s of other’s to uphold our own or someone else’s, and only stand for equality when it suits us, we have slid down a slippery slope of moral corruption.

We all need to hold ourselves, our school’s, our government’s and officials, our communities and community members, etc., to higher standards and behave better. We need to expect more from ourselves and everyone around us! We need to bring back kindness, respect, and accountability! Take back our schools and communities, have less government and more control over them, to ensure they are actually working for us, not the other way around!

I am tired of seeing a decline. I am tired of seeing people who are capable of so much more, doing so little! I am tired of seeing this world be failed by us humans when it doesn’t need to happen!

I went to my daughter’s graduation and watched as hordes of people showed up late, after the ceremony started, standing and walking in people’s way of seeing and getting good picture’s and/video. I watched people stand up in people’s way, sit in area’s meant for the graduates, and I listened and suffered through screaming, hooting and hollering, noise maker’s, and all out rude and obnoxious noise during the ceremony, even after being told to please be quiet while names were called and students walked across the stage to get their diplomas so their names could be heard and speeches did not get drowned out. People didn’t listen or care who else they affected with their trashy and rude behavior! I tried so hard to sit through the whole ceremony, but finally had to walk out because I was getting claustrophobic and a headache from all the noise. I went outside and there people stood around near the entrances, smoking, also not thinking about anyone else around them or our laws against smoking in public near entrances and windows to respect people’s rights to not be exposed to smoke!

What should have been an extremely joyous occasion was significantly degraded by awful people who have no morals or respect for other people! Part of our biggest problem within this world is the belief system that some people matter more than others and they do not! Equality will never be equal if we continue allowing this kind of attitude within society!

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