I will be the first to admit that I was not raised like many or perhaps even most of my Gen-X counterparts. I never had a Nintendo, I never played organized sports, took part in beauty pageants, Dance or Cheer. I went to small private schools, and I started working part time at the age of 13 and have continued to work ever since.
My parents were normal, healthy, working adults who attempted to instilled in me Love, Kindness, Accountability & Responsibility (personal, family, and community), & Charity as starters.
Respect was a requirement, “Yes, Sir” “No, Ma’am” were required, even if you thought you hated that persons guts. You were always free to have and create your own opinions, but under the age of 21 there was a time and place and way to express them, and they were ALWAYS expressed with respect. Cussing could and would get your mouth washed out with soap. Occasionally cruel or mean things would get washed out too.
I learned cause and effect from the very beginning. My actions had an effect either positive or negative. I had the freedom to not study my spelling words, but I knew that if I did not pass my weekly spelling test the effect would be a loss of privileges or treats. My parents followed through, if Mom said “No Dessert if you don’t pass your spelling test” then there was NO DESSERT if I didn’t pass that test, and there was no being excused from the table when it was time for dessert. I had to sit and watch everyone else enjoy what I could not have because of MY OWN ACTIONS.
There were guns in my home. They were not locked away in a huge gun safe. The rifles were in the closet and my Father’s .22 pistol was in his bedside table. We learned to shoot at a very young age, and understood what kind of damage a gun could and would do to a living creature. We were taught how to check to see if a gun was loaded, and always treat a gun as if it were loaded at all times.
Pointing a gun, loaded or unloaded, at a person was NEVER acceptable unless you were defending yourself, your family, your neighbors or your Country from active attacks. I will never forget the spanking and lecture that I received the one and only time I pointed a gun at a person. I was about the age of 7. That memory is still vivid, and the lesson understood.
Perhaps the biggest thing my parents instilled in me was the fact that there is good and bad in every race, creed and religion. That there is a self pride that we come by naturally, but that we must temper that pride with our belief that God/Higher Power/Creator made us all and that we are equal and it is only our choices and actions that make us good, bad, evil etc.
No, I take that last paragraph back, that’s important but I think this next bit is much bigger and important.
The most important thing my parents tried to teach me is that everyone has knowledge to share if we are just willing to listen and learn. Some people teach us what not to do, some people teach us a new way to do things, and some people gives us ideas that we haven’t even imagined!
This morning as I read my Facebook news feed I was disheartened to see so much hate for other people because of their religion, their skin color, their political affiliation or even their job.
Sadly, I don’t know what the cure or fix is…But I do know that I can not blindly ignore someone else’s idea because they are a democrat or a republican. I can’t correct the evil of others by doing evil myself.