Rounding the corner from the drive-thru window at the local Starbucks, a driver tosses a drink carrier from the window into the ice plant. “That’s littering,” he is told by a customer. “Hey,” he said, “They don’t provide an accessible trash container.” “So?” The situation deteriorates into profanity as his wife and children watch.
A parent refuses to allow his child to attend social studies class if any mention of Islam is to be offered during the state-sanctioned teaching of comparative religions. The parent tells the student to stand up and walk out of class if the subject comes up. “I’ll take this to the Board of Education!” the parent threatens.
BULLYING, AND ITS DEVASTATING EFFECTS, has, again gained national attention. And we immediately focus on what we should do to or for our kids to prevent it. Here’s a different thought: We will not stop bullying in our children until we call adult bullies on their behavior. People will behave stupidly so long as we allow them to.
When the principal – who happened to be me – recounted the incident in the parking lot in a school newsletter, two mothers quietly came in to the school office, independently, to apologize for their actions in the parking lot. Neither was the individual who I saw flipping me off. Still neither will probably do it again.
As the driver at Starbucks pointed to me for interceding saying, “F--- off, pal. She’s the one who’s giving me s---!” I picked up the carrier and stuffed it in the available garbage can. (Not, perhaps, where I might have liked to stuff it.) The driver knows he got caught. Maybe, in the future, he’ll think twice.
The school parent’s child must be served in the public schools regardless of handicap or behavioral issues, but the school is under no obligation to change the state sanctioned curriculum to suit the narrow focus of one individual. This parent should be told to take the child elsewhere. “Please get an attorney, dad." (The school district will win this one.)
THE CHURCH OF THE OPEN ROAD is deeply troubled by the stupid among us, because the stupid among us:
- Drive automobiles
- Can own firearms, but mostly because they
- Have children.
If we gently remind the stupid among our adult generation that their behavior is offensive or out of line – and if we do it in a manner that doesn’t prompt us to lower ourselves to their level of stupidness – perhaps we will contribute to a subsequent generation of citizens that can overcome the self-centeredness, aggressiveness, abusiveness and bullying they unfortunately see in their own homes.
Church of the Open Road Press