Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Went Along . . .

I think I am tired of the "moral high ground" people are taking regarding the Internet-generation. Indeed there are children, adolescents, and young adults who carry an attitude of entitlement, but folks, my generation was called "the me-generation" long before this current generation was even a twinkle in daddy's eye. My mother told me stories of the flapper's (1920's) selfishness, pettiness, and lavishness. This me-generation thing has been going on for a very long time, but the term came along with my generation.

No generation springs whole-cloth into existence. If our children and grandchildren want a smart-phone, insist on the latest gaming system, grumble because the TV isn't HD, or don't play outside, there are two factors to blame. Of course, society/peers and the expectations there are big influences, but the ultimate responsibility for teaching moral codes and selflessness falls to us. Parents and grandparents.

Yup, as a kid, my curfew was the street light, my mom came looking for me (she didn't like to yell), I didn't have a cell-phone or a laptop, and we were lucky if we had a working TV. But in all honesty, if my generation had, had the technology that this generation has, and my mom could have afforded it, we would have had it. She didn't believe in depriving us of the most current trends just because she didn't have them when she grew up. She also didn't believe it was a terrible thing to give us what she could afford. And neither did or do I. 

Sure, I had to work to use her car, and indeed, I had to ask permission. But my mom usually gave me the use of it and it always had gas in it. Sometimes I had to gas it up, but she would never have sent me out without the money to fill it. (Mine or hers). I also had to find a payphone to let her know if plans changed. This wasn't because I was such a great kid/adolescent but because she had rules and I'd better follow them. In other words, my mother set boundaries and I had to stay within them. No personal moral high-ground here, it was because she expected it that I did it.

If this generation doesn't meet your morality then find out why. Is it you? Is it your peers? Kids are going to kick those boundaries; it's their job. It is your job and your friends' job to see to it that boundaries are set and that kids are required to stay within them. 

This generation may not understand what it is to lose a game, because my generation decided everyone must win something. Somewhere in my lifetime, some adult came up with the bright idea of playing the game just for the fun of playing the game and didn't keep score (at least not publicly). It was not the kidlets who made that decision, it was their parents. Trust me, those kids kept score and knew it well! 

It was not this generation who decided that everything needed bumpers to keep them safe, it was some adult in my lifetime who decided to pad everything. It wasn't this generation who decided that everyone should get something simply because they showed up, it was some adult in my lifetime. 

Understand, I firmly believe that there are changes that simply are good. I made my child wear a helmet when she rode her bike, even though I didn't (I had the concussions to prove that they should have been invented decades sooner). My child had to sit in a car seat until she was tall enough to sit under a seatbelt without choking on it. My child had to be buckled into the car before it moved, as did (and do) I. We had outlet covers and cabinet locks to protect her, even though I shocked the snot out of myself by putting a bobby pin in the outlet and thought mothballs were candy. Yes indeed, you'd better believe I put safety first where my child was concerned, even though many safety features weren't around when I was a kid.

Sure, I made it to adulthood and so did most of my friends and we have the limps, burns, and impaired memory that goes along with all our bumps and scrapes. By the way, we are also the generation that is helping to raise the cost of healthcare to the stratosphere. I have to wonder if that skyrocketing cost might be because we survived so many bumps and bruising's along the way.

So while you complain that "today's kids/adolescents/young adults" don't know about life, remember that some adult in YOUR lifetime decided to smooth out the bumps and you went along with that decision. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

For a Little Girl I Never Knew...

A child was kidnapped
and
killed
in our community this week.
The response has been nothing short of amazing.
The community pulled together.
When she was kidnapped;
witnesses did their best
to save her.
One followed in his car
until the suspect disappeared into rush hour traffic.
When the suspect was caught,
when the child was found,
the community
pulled together again.
They set up
a bank account
to help the family,
a restaurant 
is holding a fund raiser for the family,
a candlelight vigil is already scheduled. 
And
last night
all across the metro
and
literally around the world,
have been lit
for Hailey.

One question remains,
why?
Why her?
Why anyone?
Why did he do it?
And
we will never know the answer.

A reason might surface,
but I know for me
it will not suffice.

The only answer
that seems to me
to be the real answer
is...
evil exists.

I wish,
I pray
evil did not exist,
but it does.

It rears its vile head
everyday,
in unspeakable horrors.
And we can only
bring it's perpetrators 
to justice.
Sometimes.

Don't presume that if you were God
you would have stopped this.
That you would never allow anything like this to happen.
There is only one way to prevent these things from happening
and
that is for God to take away our free will.
He laid it down in the garden,
Adam and Eve picked it up.
I cannot answer why He laid it down for us,
though I can speculate
that He created us for relationship with Him
and relationship cannot happen
when free will is absent.
That is mechanical
acquiescence.
Not relationship.

I will not blame God
for Hailey Owens death
or
for the manner in which she died.
I will blame the man responsible.
(and for legal reason's I will not name him
I leave that to the news medias).
He has free will
even if it turns out that he is mentally ill.
God
does not remove free will
because of illness.
This man know's right from wrong.
He chose wrong.
He chose,
with his free will,
evil.

Our choice today is
based in our free will.
I choose to pray for the sweet child,
her family
and
friends.
Her classmates
and
teachers.
The community
that tried to help her.
The wider community
who sat glued to social media,
smart phones,
and
TV
waiting for news of her safe return.
It never came.
I choose to pray for
the police
who are dealing with the aftermath.

Rest in peace precious child

Friday, February 7, 2014

Her Name Was Derva...

...and she was quite a woman.

I didn't know her as well
as
I knew her husband
But what I knew of her
told me that
she
was a special lady.
By the time I met her
she
had raised all her children.
She gave birth to 8,
2 have proceeded her
to heaven's gate,
6 have survived her.

She was proud of her children,
grandchildren,
gardens,
and
her volunteer work with the
Library for the Blind.
She adored her husband
and
their many ministries.
She was quirky
and
sweet.
When she discovered my heritage
she proudly showed me
her display of Jewish
art, memorabilia,
Seder plates,
and
other Jewish artifacts.
At one point
she was about to give me
a very expensive piece
until
I told her that those things were for her children.
She reluctantly relented
and
I hoped I didn't insult her giving spirit.

Her last few years
have
been spent
in the fog
of
dementia.
Confusion,
disorientation,
and
 frustration
but
she always knew her man.
Sixty-five years of
marriage
had
solidified
him on her
heart.
The song
that told the story of their marriage
is "Always" by Irving Berlin.

Her son, Tim, wrote
"...Earlier to-day I remembered
that her jewelry box plays a song that 
was
sung
at their
wedding...Faith played that for her...
"Days may not be fair, always
That's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour
Not for just a day
Not for just a year
But always"
I can imagine mom and dad
pledging this
sixty-five years ago,
but I know right now that
Jesus
is the one
singing this song
for mom."

Yesterday,
Derva
left the bounds of earth
to be with her
man
and
her Saviour;
Always.