Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On bad parents and real heros

Just because you can reproduce doesn't mean you should. Far too often I see people that just shouldn't be parents. Sure there are those who are bad parents due to their not being present. But those situations can be righted so that they still turn out well. Like when someone else that actually cares for the child steps in and fills the void left by the absentee parent(s).  But sometimes the problem is that the parent is present, and uses that presence to instil horrible thoughts or ideals.

One such example was a parent that was all too proud of their child's reaction to the whole Justin Bieber arrest story. On facebook she wrote...
I'm so proud of my _____. She said she doesn't like Justin Bieber anymore, she likes One direction because "Justin does drugs like the blacks do" So proud!
Yes, because all black people do drugs, right? Congratulations, you are raising a racist. I will agree with one thing, Bieber is a horrible role model. But not because of his recent legal transgressions... He always has been. I can't stand our culture of deifying celebrities and athletes. Fame should not be the sole credential for being a role model. Sure, the famous can be role models. But not because they are famous, but for who they are. Bill Gates is rich and successful, but I feel that the real reason to look up to him is all of his charity work.

The lead singer to one of my all time favorite bands is another example. Mike Peters lived the rock-and-roll life as the front man for The Alarm (as well as Coloursound). For kids today, that is enough reason to make them a role model. But while I love the music, it's the fact that he's not once, but twice beaten cancer. He also helped start the Love Hope Strength foundation. But what does LHS do? I'll just quote them on that:
At Love Hope Strength we turn concerts into lifesaving events. Through our GET ON THE LIST campaign we register marrow donors resulting in matches from concerts around the world. Through unique events, like Everest Rocks and Kilimanjaro Rocks, we build cancer centers, giving people access to early detection and quality cancer care.
They hold concerts is destinations throughout the world. And the proceeds from those concerts stay in the country or state where it was held, to build cancer centers or buy needed equipment. From the US to Nepal, and everywhere in between. I finally saw Peters play with The Alarm one month before I met my beautiful wife, and am proud to say I shook his hand that day. Peters would be just as impressive even if he wasn't at one time well known. But the fact that he has remained humble (unlike many others) despite success is also nice to see.

I wish that people would stop looking up to rappers, football players, and actors and actresses. When can we return to a world where our youths look up to philanthropists, scientists, firefighters, etc? Real people that are doing real good. People that do things that are truly admirable.

Another case of a parent bragging online was this 'gem'...
_______ Just told me that she can't wait to die so she can see _______ again, and meet God. She's so smart!
This received many disconcerting replies of praise. Mostly congratulating the parent for 'raising her right'. What?! I read that and my heart breaks. Here is a young child, their whole life in front of them and they are saying how they can't wait to die. Read that again and let it sink in. If anyone of any age teen and up said that they can't wait to die, it'd be time for serious counseling. But a small child says it and it's cute and impressive? That sickens and saddens me. This parent is teaching this child to discount and overlook the importance and value of this life. And for what? An old book of fables... Very sad indeed.

Unfortunately, I see tales of parents gushing over things their kids say or do that either aren't impressive, unique or good at all. It may be harmless that they are excited to go to Bible camp. But the parent misses the fact that they'd be excited to go to any camp. Maybe the child sees the new-fallen snow and says that God made it to their parent's glee. Still fairly innocent (yet incorrect), but then it mounts to them speaking out in opposition to Spirit Day, where students wear purple to show support against LGBT bullying.

I've seen posts of parents proud of their children voicing opinions on birth control, abortion, gay marriage, political groups and minorities at an age where they couldn't possibly understand those issues even slightly. And shockingly in a surprisingly hateful way. Young kids will easily trust their parents, and will pick up on what you say. Sadly, far too many parents choose to teach them hate and delusion. Don't let your kids pay for your mistakes. Instead, give them the best shot you can to be who they want to be, and the best they can be.

-Brain Hulk

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