While not an avid, nightly, Daily Show with Jon Stewart watcher, I enjoyed watching him from time to time. I barely have the time to watch the few shows we do DVR, so adding a nightly show to the mix is not in the cards for us. In any case, the man is an inspiration and is hilarious. I am sad to know his show is over. In all the pleas from his fans to not end his show, I came across this quote:
“The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.” – Jon Stewart
Ah, well put, Jon. Well put. I love it. I am a fan of saying something — always. I am that person that 99% of the time is going to call you out on your bullshit. Why live life without being honest, transparent, and authentic? That does not mean it is always easy for me. Most of the time if I do not say something it eats away at me. While I am not yet a parent, I know all the times I have been told by my own parents, or in childcare situations, that if you let kids get away with something and you let time pass then the teaching moment is over. In most cases I agree. However, what matters most is that you say something.
Be it your spouse, your friend, a family member we so often let things sit inside and agonize over them. We get frustrated, we get angry, and often if we were just open and honest with the other person it resolves itself. They might respond by telling you how grateful they are for your transparency, they might be angry (and really that is their thing to work out), or they might even laugh at you thinking how absurd that such a thing bothered you. Whatever the result, it is good to get it off our chests and not let it fester inside.
Thank you, Jon, for your wisdom and for making us laugh for the past 16 years.
The sensational news these past few days. We go between the struggles of watching the earthquake in Nepal, to riots in Baltimore. I said to Chris while we were eating dinner last night that I feel like I am in the early 1960’s. Why is there so much struggle with race, color, and violence? Such different issues in different parts of the world. In Nepal they did not ask for an earthquake and yet look at how the world is coming together (as often happens with natural disasters)? I received a notice from my company to donate, Facebook reminds me, there are mentions all over social media to donate and support the victims of this massive earthquake. We donate because we care. We donate because we know one day we could be in a similar situation. We donate because that is what we do — we take care of others.
Why then do we then see the juxtaposition of rioting, looting, fires — a war zone in Baltimore? How is it that we can see such generosity and such anger? Both situations have a result of pain, but different triggers of that pain. I am not going to even give my opinion one way or other as to the situation that occurred to cause this anguish. I had not actually followed what happened. What sparks my interest are the actions of those that are reacting. How is that living a non-violent approach? The police officers in the earlier incident could have very much been in the wrong, and it could also be a misunderstanding. It makes no sense to me that the result is that individuals feel they can damage liquor stores, throw bricks at cops, and burn and destroy public property. It completely diverts from the actual original issue. Others no longer see what actually happened. The issue is lost because all the people can see (my view completely) is their reaction.
It reminds me of a kid that does not get their way. What do they do? They throw a temper tantrum. They lie on the floor and keep their feet and whine and moan. Sometimes they use violence by kicking their parents or a sibling. Sometimes they might punch a wall, break something, or destroy an object to prove their point. Basically, I watch what is happening in Baltimore and what was happening in Missouri and I think stop it all. Stop acting like children. Stop with the news frenzied temper tantrums. Grow up, use your words, and make change in other meaningful ways. Ways that have a lasting effect.
We all have those days when we want to pitch a fit, but deep down we never want to steal, destroy, or hurt someone else. We want to be seen and heard. The individuals in Baltimore may be acting out because they feel an injustice has been done. They want to be seen and heard. Yet, there is a part of me that feels they do it because they can. They do it so they can try to prove a point, but in turn they lose a lot of credibility. In the words of many parents, I just want to yell: “Use your words.” We have got to stop this violence and instead put our focus on Nepal and other areas of the world that truly need our help.
My family was never lovey dovey. I vaguely remember that we would hug and kiss our parents before going to bed. I never thought anything of it, it was just the way it was. It also meant that when we saw each other after returning from school breaks, vacations, or summer camp that our way of greeting each other upon arrival was to give a hug and a kiss. As I got older it started to feel a bit strange. Maybe not as much when I kissed my grandma, but definitely I thought about it when I hugged and kissed my dad. Somehow my sister and I just avoided it all together by not even hugging each other. Over time as my mom, dad, and grandma gradually died, there was no one left to hug and kiss hello or goodbye, so it was not something that I thought about much.
I recently read this blog: “Do you kiss your babies on the mouth? Or your parents?” It made me think about what we expect from kids. I am absolutely smitten with my nine month old niece and I want to love and dote on her, snuggle, and make her laugh, but I also want to be conscious of not making her feel like she has to do anything she does not want to do. I would rather her come to me and snuggle when she wants to, and yet that is hard for me. I have such a voracious strong love for her — so how do I hold myself back and let her come to me and yet still show her my extreme love?
It also makes me think about what I would do as a parent. I love the idea from the blog of how the dad decided to kiss on the head, and not on the lips. It allows kids to make their own choices and not feel like they have to kiss back. While I think at times that a hug is harmless, I also would never want to force my kids to hug anyone that they do not want to hug (See past blog: Consent: No means no). I have a hunch that my parents never even took the time to think about what was right, or what they felt was important. My hunch is that they replicated what happened for them during their childhood.
Yet, is it not a little strange to teach kids to kiss on the lips (unless they willingly decide to do so)? If you have kids, how have you thought about this? Hugs and kisses? Hugs only? Kisses on the head?
Last night I was in a store and the woman asked what I was looking for, and if she could help me. I gave her my usual response: “I am just looking.” Unless I cannot find what I think I should be able to find, or I need a different size, I am a leave-me-alone kind of shopper. She then proceeded to ask me if I had any kids and if I was back-to-school shopping. I was a bit shocked about the question (the age for the store would be a tween store). Did she really think I was that old?
While it is completely numerically possible for me to have a tween, and even a kid in college (yikes). I believe it is the first time that I have ever been asked if I was back-to-school shopping for children I do not have. Maybe I was a bit more shocked because just mere weeks ago I was carded while out with work colleagues. When the woman saw how old I was I could see she was shocked. I then asked her how old she thought I was, and she said under 30.
While I should be flattered by her subtracting 6+ years from my life, the entire age thing baffles me. How can one individual think I look much younger than I am, and another potentially assume I have a tween. I know I am stretching the store comment a bit (and I know I had crazy bags under my eyes after a long day and week), but I am perplexed. After getting carded, I could not get over it. Those with me told me it is a compliment and I can see what they mean, but does it also mean that I act younger than I should?
Or, should I just shut up and be grateful that the waitress took years off my life and know that years from now I will look back and want someone to do that for me again?
We get to decide who touches us. We get to decide how we allow others to treat us. We get to decide how we allow others to make us feel. Yet, how we are socialized to respond and react to each of these is remarkably different. Not a single person has the same experience in how we were taught to handle our reaction, or how we handle “consent.”
“Consent: giving permission for something to happen.”
Have you ever thought about how even the littlest of babies have the right to decide (give consent) to whether a stranger touches them? As a parent, are strangers allowed to touch a small baby or do we protect them until they are capable of communicating their consent? What we teach children at an early age matters, because it is the beginning of their education on consent.
Consent in some ways is similar to telling kids there is a Santa, and they believe you, then one day you tell them there is no such thing as Santa. Have we not then taught them a lie? Should they trust us after finding out we have told a fib all those years?
The below video “4 Ways Parents Teach Kids that Consent Doesn’t Matter” really opened my eyes about the topic of consent and shares the following four points:
1. Tickling and Roughhouse Play
2. Contradicting their Feelings
3. Forced Affection
4. Respect your elders
We teach politeness over feeling comfortable. We make kids hug their elders, or individuals they may not feel comfortable around. We tell them that they cannot think or feel how they feel or think. We do not stop tickling them when they ask us to stop. All of these ideas mentioned in the video are ways we continually teach children not to think for themselves and rather do what they are told. Of course, I am not proposing that kids be rude, but we often force them to do things they do not want to do. We need to listen for when they are not comfortable instead of only when they are just grumpy or do not want to participate or interact with others. There is a balance between being a bratty or disrespectful kid and allowing them to make choices that are most comfortable to them.
Eye opening ideas for me. Teach them that their “no” matters. Teach them to trust their instincts. Teach them to have a voice and to know when to give consent.