Restoring The Personal Approach

Good grief, it’s time to be nice. We know, we risk being accused of being soft, of being marshmallows, pansies. We might even be accused of eating quiche! But we have to say it because we believe it. It is time for a return to civility in our culture. It’s time to go back to practicing politeness, good manners, kindness, even—dare we say it—gentleness. And for goodness sake, it’s time we parents pass that on our teenagers, if it’s not too late.

In your face from afar

We live in an in-your-face world and we operate in isolation. Social media has allowed us to be bold and brazen with our fingertips—to be mouthy or tell someone off in absentia. To share our opinion – any opinion – at will. We confront people from our sofas. We have forgotten how to converse & to listen. Don’t have to. We’re uncomfortable having to face anyone and speak honestly. It’s all done by remote. Every man and woman is an island. We stand alone with our e-devices, and we fool ourselves into thinking that we are socially more engaged than ever before.

We’re not. We’re consumed by gizmos. We’ve been chewed and swallowed. And we’re socially disengaged.

In your face close-up

Our teens are engaged through keypad and touchscreen. They have become so adept at it that they don’t see any real reason for forming words with their lips. But when they must form words, they are more in-your-face, more abrupt and abrasive, than ever before. When confronted with a public appearance, they interact as if they’re still on the sofa at home. Bang! Bop! Wham! (Reminds us of the old Batman TV show.) Fast. Efficient. To the point.

Our e-devices have permitted us to communicate by syllables, acronyms and two-letter words. Let’s not forget the heart-warming …  🙂   All we can say is — Rly? Yks! Hlp!

The day the earth stood still

Invite your teenager to hold a moratorium on e-device use for just one day. You, too. Let’s just try it and see if it’s a day the earth stood still … if the body snatchers emerge from their cocoons and take over. We can hear Rod Serling already: You’re standing among a civilization that is frozen in time. They’ve put down their e-toys and suddenly found themselves devoid of words and thoughts. Their minds are indelibly etched on miniature screens that lie on desks, reside in pockets or are suspended from waists. What was once a thriving society, with chatter around the office water cooler and over the backyard fence, has devolved into scrawls and scrolls on glass plates. This once conversant civilization no longer talks or turns the pages of books or newspapers. Their gods reside in cyberspace. They have erected e-idols and now stand idle … in a distant app called The Twilight Zone.

Yes, we know. Silly. Crazy. Outrageous. But maybe we can restore a bit of personal conversation  & kindness. Until then, chk u l8tr. BFN.

 

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By dads2dads

We Interrupt This Program

A huge fire broke out today in a block of tenement houses on the city’s east side. Police reported that parents were throwing their small children from two- and three-story windows to friends below—and then jumping after them. The death toll is mounting as most of those children and their parents perished in the fire or in the fall.

“There’s just too much homework, and the teacher never explains anything.”

Violence erupted today at a religious festival. An angry mob pulled an opposing leader from his car and beat him to death with rocks and fists. They hung his lifeless body from a utility pole for all to see.

“I can’t believe that texting while driving is a crime. What’s next?”

Authorities found two children living completely on their own for almost a year in an abandoned warehouse. They were surviving on garbage scraps and what they could steal from stores and restaurants.

“This lousy computer is too slow. I want the new zipbop337Varoom!”

Change the channel

It’s not that we and our kids don’t have a right to complain. It’s just that there are people in this world—in this country—in your town—maybe next door to you—who have nothing to complain about. In fact, they have nothing at all.

So next time you want to complain, or your kids are crabbing about something, change the channel.  Pull in a new perspective. Reflect on other situations and realize you don’t have it that bad. We could all use an attitude adjustment sometime and the best way to get one is to consider others who fight a bigger battle, run a greater risk, or carry a heavier load.

The road to appreciation

We can easily get into the habit of complaining, taking our situation for granted, not taking time to appreciate what we have. But life sometimes has a way of presenting us with a new direction. We hear a story on the news about kids our son’s age who were arrested for drug trafficking. Or we read an article in the paper about a baby fighting for her life after being born three months early, kids trapped in a cave, or children separated from their parents. Or a coworker gets a life threatening disease, and we see the challenge she faces each day as she deals with treatment and worries if she will be here to see her daughter graduate from high school.

Hey, Dad, you’re a lucky guy. Be grateful for little irritations in your life, for the troubles of teens, the worries of work, and the labors of living. In your work, home, and social life, we’re sure you have an impact on more people than you know. Be a comfort to others and a positive influence in your world. And be sure to let your loved ones know how fortunate their lives are. Help them get a glimpse of another world out there, and remind them that their own world is pretty darned good.

By dads2dads