Let me preface this soapbox by saying…I work in a financial aid office, and my views of the world have become a little…well…jaded. I have seen it all, and the more I see, the sadder I get!
What happened to the good ole days? The days when people worked hard for what they had and did things to help a neighbor. What happened to the good ole days when a couple sitting in a restaurant was completely focused on each other instead of sitting in quiet while each typed on his or her phone? What happened to kids playing games that didn’t require batteries or electricity, but instead imagination, dice, cards, colors, and paper? What happened to people taking pride in themselves? Knowing how to speak English correctly…She came inside versus she come inside…or we haven’t ate those yet…eaten…EATEN…EATEN!!!! What happened to teaching kids how to think in school versus teaching to a state mandated test? When did it become okay to use inappropriate language on cable, or have a kids’ show with a song…Smells like a turd! Really? When did our country stop protecting our children and women? Why is it okay to let a rapist or child molester back on the street? When did it become okay for guys to wear their pants down around their knees and let their underwear show? When did girls think it was okay to let their thongs show above their blue jeans? Who thought it was a good idea for people to gauge their ears, holes as big as silver dollars? Were these people not told that they won’t get big girl or big boy jobs with lobes down to their shoulders? Or tatoos covering their bodies…literally…from head to toe? You realize you will get old and the girl tatooed on your arm will one day sag and possibly disappear beneath all the wrinkles, and the lobes with huge holes will cause problems in the nursing homes when you try to reach down to turn the wheels on your wheelchair! When did you think yelling, “Shut up! Quit yo cryin’ boy!” at your child in the middle of a store would help groom him into a nice, young man? When did people think it was okay to take advantage of the systems our government put in place to help those at a disadvantage? So let me get this straight, you’re going to only make enough money so you can qualify for food stamps, have more kids so you can get more food stamps, get daycare assistance, claim head of household on your taxes even though you’re married, claim a niece and nephew, heck, a neighbor’s child, so you can get that $5,000+ earned income credit, then receive $2775 a semester in Pell grant, borrow the max loans that you never intend to pay back and receive over $5000 in a refund per semester, all while living in subsidized housing, sending your kids to school to receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch, and being taken care of by, once again, taxpayer dollars at any facility that takes Medicaid…Noooo, really, just sit…the middle class has this! I’ll throw my 70/30 ground beef into my cart at Wal-Mart while you grab all the ribs, lamb, steaks, and chicken you can possibly fit into your cart! Don’t believe me? Check out your local Wal-Mart the first Monday of the month! Our generations since the depression era will never know what it means…The Good Ole Days. They didn’t have a pot to pee in, but they didn’t complain. They didn’t wait for a government handout. The didn’t feel entitled to anything. They planted vegetables in the side yard to make ends meet. They didn’t fret when the cable went out for the evening…no TV! It was okay to play good ole games like charades, cards, or badmitton with each other. It was a terrible thing to go into the library without socks on, and getting pregnant out of wedlock was a huge NO NO and something to be ashamed of. Nobody had Pell grant to pay his/her way to college and complain when the refund check was only $4000 instead of $5000. That was the time in America when people were excited to vote, and would never be caught dead with holy jeans, purple hair, or earlobes down to their elbows. Americans had pride in themselves. They worked hard to make ends meet, to raise their families and not depend on others, and were more than happy to loan a cup of sugar to a neighbor in need. Teaching meant focusing on children and giving them the knowledge needed to survive and excel in today’s world, not quickly glancing at a page a day to make sure they were ready for a test that means nothing! Going on vacation meant listening to the music Mom and Dad liked to listen to and playing silly games on the way to the destination…no battery operated games, cell phones, or computers. A conversation was face to face, not text message to text message. I am proud to be an American, but I’m ashamed at what many people in this country have become. Okay with just being okay…average…never striving to improve any area of his or her life. Not understanding the importance of a good education and what a good education looks like. Why it isn’t okay with going out in public in pajama pants, scuffling along in house shoes, and saying inappropriate words in front of my child. America…once the prominent country in education, science, technology, and good ole ways in life and work and love. I would love to live in those good ole days. I strive to make good ole days for my daughter. Technology is here, so I guess we’ll embrace it! Fads come and go, so I guess we’ll go with it…to an extent! Education is not the best, so I guess I’ll have to do extra activities at home to make her think above the knowledge level. We still speak English in America, or at least some of us do, so I guess I’ll still stress I came inside, or we haven’t eaten. The 3Ds and Wii are here, so I guess we’ll play but still make time for board games and coloring.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for helping those who need help…food stamps, housing, Pell grant, etc. But at some point, the lying and cheating has got to stop. You have to want to better yourself. And being on these programs for years is not bettering yourself! You can do better when you know better…Thank you Oprah. She is an example of how you can do better when you want to. It’s all in what you want to do.