About Decency

I may have to admit to being old. I feel like I’m starting to sound like my parents or maybe it’s just that I am finding my voice at 60+. Regardless, there is something afoot on “my” lake that is aggravating my moral and ethical self and that is making me question the society that we live in in the good old US of A.

A Couple of Sunrises Ago …

I am on the board of trustees of a public charter school here in Maine and I have listened to educators and others say that our children are disrespectful and rude and have no manners and are selfish, etc. None of these are wrong but we, the adults, have to look at our own behavior as the examples that our youth follow and (maybe) look up to. Who are we? Who are we as an adult society? How do we behave? Are we respectful and polite? Do we set the example for our youth by behaving well, by saying “please” and “thank you”? Do we use our turn signals? Are we generous with our time and talents? Do we take our hats off inside? Do we watch our own language use?

This morning there is a large group of what appear to be adults (to be fair they’re over a mile away) who are out ice fishing on the lake. Ice fishing in Maine is a long-standing tradition, often a generational (family) event, that is a wonderful outside activity for adults and children. Lots of people I know take their kiddos fishing in the winter. In fact, I just found out that there are child-sized snowmobiles! How cool is that?!

While I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast, I thought I saw that they had a flag flying over the group so I got the binoculars out and had a look to see what clever flag some family had created. Boy, am I sorry I did. There was a “F#*@ Biden” flag, a big one, flying with a Trump sign. I have no problem with the latter flag. We get to support who we want to in this country. But the former flag, the one with the obscene word and the name of the president of these United States, that one I take offense to … strongly.

We need to do better. Children will see that sign today and ask their mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, “what does F@#* mean?” because children READ! If we ever wonder why our youth today has no idea what appropriate language is about, this is one of the reasons why. We need to bring back the respect of the office. You don’t have to like the president, but the office must be respected. Only by demonstrating good behavior can we teach it. I am disgusted by this group and I hope someone, a mom or dad or another adult, will ask this group to take the flag down. What are we teaching our children?

I went out and put my American flag up this morning with a sadness that I haven’t felt for awhile and with a pride that I often feel. We can do better. We must do better.

Gone knitting.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I will not tolerate anything less. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter what your excuse. I have worked hard and continue to work hard to treat people the way that I want to be treated. I am cheerful and positive and respectful. I don’t tolerate bullying or disrespect. I choose not to be part of groups who are critical and mean-spirited. I don’t even want to hear my knitting students speak negatively about themselves.

Life can be hard. I’ve lived through some tough times. Life can be wonderful. I’ve lived through some wonderful times. I truly believe that we create the world that we live in – and we can affect (effect?) the future by our present behavior and beliefs. I am choosing to be grateful for the wonderful things in my life. I am grateful for three healthy and productive children, some money in the bank, a job that I love, my little dogs, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. I have food in my belly and yarn in my atelier. I am so grateful for my family that is growing again this year. I feel so blessed.

I feel sorry for those who are not able to be grateful and positive. Those who have to criticize or bully because it only means that they’re not as blessed as I am and that they don’t feel gratitude for what they have that is positive in their life. Like the Grinch, my heart swells (grows?) when I think about how lucky I am. And while my life is not perfect – or without it’s challenges – I am thankful and happy and blessed.

Gone knitting!