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Posts Tagged ‘middle class’

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Roy and I have noticed the habit that many people have adopted, which is excusing boorish behavior when it comes to athletes, actors, politicians, etc – essentially anyone that is in the public eye or when the person in question is a “minority”. Now maybe we aren’t being politically correct here, but, like we have said before, neither Roy nor I will be politically correct when it comes down to “rightness” and “fairness” and “truth”. Unfortunately, sometimes the truth hurts, but the only way someone can correct a wrong is to hear the truth and to take the mental blows. Whether or not someone is a “celebrity” or a “minority” has absolutely nothing to do with anything. We don’t look at color. What we look at is true inner character.

Look at Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, for example. He is the most recent public figure that exhibited obnoxious behavior for all to witness. Surely he has come through adversity and has made something of himself. For that, we commend him. There are others that have done the same thing. We each have our cross to bear and our demons to fight and our issues to overcome. Admittedly, some have more than others, but we would never judge what another may or may not have endured to get to where they are now. Certainly, I’ve had my share of things, as has Roy. We wouldn’t judge other people as we wouldn’t want them to judge us. Nevertheless, if the vast majority of people acted anywhere close to how Mr. Sherman did on live TV minutes after winning a championship game, shouting into a camera and putting down another player, taking all of the credit for a TEAM effort and diminishing what the Seahawks did together, they would have been told to grow up, to deal with their anger management issues, to be more humble, to learn to take the heat when under pressure. However, when Mr. Sherman chose to do that and was rightfully admonished by the majority of Americans (and the world, for that matter) for acting like a spoiled brat, everyone is now being told to “cut him some slack because he grew up in a poor neighborhood and is black”.

I don’t know about all of you, but I do know how Roy and I feel. We come from what others might call the quintessential white Anglo-Saxon Protestant American Caucasian background. We grew up in the working middle class. If any of our children, family, friends, co-workers, or whoever had done something similar, personally we’d be not only appalled by them but embarrassed for how they tarnished their legacy. If we’d done that when we were younger, there would have been hell to pay with our parents. We both would have been more afraid of our parents than anything someone could do to us on a football field.

Surely fighting through a terrible school system and getting out of the mean streets of Compton, CA, to go to Stanford and then play in the NFL is an accomplishment for Richard Sherman. Actually, it’s a massive accomplishment. Surely doing all sorts of good works in the community is commendable. However, standing in front of a live microphone and a rolling camera and shouting into it nearly demolished everything for which he worked. Excusing it away as “ok” because of where he came from is only perpetuating the lie … the lie that it’s “ok” for those that come from a poor background to act like spoiled brats with no consequences because “life was hard for them growing up”. It’s the “poor, poor, pitiful me” syndrome. In our opinion, if someone wants to play in the big leagues … both literally and figuratively … and be a part of what America has to offer anyone that works for it, then that same person has to learn how to act like a productive and caring member of society and not like a spoiled brat.

Life isn’t fair. I learned that a long time ago. My mother and father taught me that when I was a child. If life were fair, my middle child would still be alive. If life were fair, Roy and I wouldn’t have gone through massive financial set-backs, most of which were not caused by us but by less-than-scrupulous people, companies, and the IRS that tried to take us down. We could have lashed out, yelling life isn’t fair, that we’re better than that, and that everyone else owed us. We didn’t. We got in the trenches and FOUGHT to overcome it. We had some wonderful mentors and team members that helped us navigate through it. We are now doing ok. People now try to tell us that we’re “lucky”, but we aren’t. We worked like pack mules for every last cent we have right now. Richard Sherman has worked for his also. He wasn’t “lucky” either. He had loving, caring, giving parents who worked to help him move forward, but he still had to do the work and get himself out of it. Mr. Sherman did that, just as we have.

However, be that as it may, it doesn’t give him or us a “pass” to be jerks on national and international TV, blowing to bits every single thing that was overcome. Mr. Sherman, like us, worked diligently to get out of a bad situation. He does good things with his life now. That’s a great credit to his work ethic, but bellowing into a camera certainly doesn’t help showcase what has been done or illustrate to others in a similar situation the right way to be in life.

So, in our minds, trying to say that people reacted to what he said and did was because they’re “racist” is nothing short of ludicrous. I don’t care if you’re white, black, pink, blue, or chartreuse with orange polka-dots. If you’re being a jerk … YOU ARE BEING A JERK. Own up to it. Don’t make excuses. Fix the problem. Don’t blame everyone else. Don’t continually pull the “race card”.

… AND DON’T SAY IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE PICKED ON, BECAUSE YOU’RE MISUNDERSTOOD, BECAUSE YOU SHOULD GET “SPECIAL TREATMENT”, BECAUSE YOU’RE A MINORITY, BECAUSE YOU’RE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BLAME IT ON TODAY …

If I had done this … or anyone of any other race had done it … people would have reacted the same way … that we’re being boorish, rude, and insensitive. It’s humanity reacting to humanity, not one race or political group reacting to another. This boils down to a group of human beings telling an individual human being that they’re being an obnoxious, shameful, foolish jerk. Period. Like we said above, we’d react the same way to a spouse, our children, our family, and/or our friends. Oh, hell, our children would be more afraid of our reaction than what any opponent on a football field could do or say to them. That’s pretty true of most any of our family and friends. We hold ourselves to a very high standard. So should Mr. Sherman. Boorish behavior shouldn’t be excused away. Boorish behavior is simply BOORISH BEHAVIOR, no matter where you grew up or what you’ve been through in life. Continually pulling that “race card” is childish … plain, flat, and simple.

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Therefore, we would like to address the following specifically to Mr. Sherman, although others that like to blame anyone but themselves for things that they themselves do can take to heart for their own individual circumstances what we say.

“Yes, Mr. Sherman, you worked long and hard to get out of the streets of Compton and to better your life as well as that of your family. You’ve accomplished a lot. Nevertheless, you were being a rude, insensitive, boorish, self-centered loud-mouth acting like a spoiled brat when you bellowed into Erin Andrews’ microphone and looked into Fox Network’s TV camera. Admit it. Don’t make excuses. Act like an adult and shoulder the responsibility. Then, after doing so, work on fixing whatever the issue within yourself is so it doesn’t happen again, so that people can see the character you truly wish to portray and not the image you have worked so hard to overcome.”

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We’ve all seen blaming, finger pointing, and politicization on the newest “end-of-western-civilization-as-we-know-it” crisis with which the government is trying to scare the public.  Today I saw a “march” on the State Capitol that was essentially saying someone else should pay for whatever the particular group marching wants to do, because “sequestration isn’t fair”.  Hmm, what it boils down to is that they don’t feel that it’s fair to them.  This is a regular occurrence unfortunately here on Sacramento’s Capitol Mall.

Guess what?  If we as a nation, a culture, a society, a group, a family, whatever wish to survive, it must be shared responsibility, and everyone must share in what needs to be done, not just one person or one group or one anything having to do it all for a few.  Since when has the general public become “entitled” to the fruits of what others have worked hard to obtain?  Everyone needs to understand that the only way the entire will survive is if the entire does something about it.  Otherwise, the entire will collapse.

Perhaps this is just too simple for some to grasp.  To me, it seems like plain and simple old-fashioned COMMON SENSE … or as my parents and grandparents would have called it … HORSE SENSE.  However, like my daddy always used to say … COMMON SENSE AIN’T THAT COMMON.

I work for the State Government.  I am starting to see the sequestration cuts that will go on in my department and division.  Even before this, we as State Employees have already endured cuts in the form of not only paycuts but also “furlough days” (which are really just different words for “paycut”).  We are seeing that this may affect us yet again not only as employees but also as a provider to the public.  I have no problem per se with the fact that it will since this will slow down the out-of-control spending that the Federal Government seems to enjoy.  However, we who have already endured cuts and higher taxes should only have to receive more IF AND ONLY IF other areas, other places, other programs, other people also receive the same ACROSS THE BOARD.  It shouldn’t be levied on just a few. 

I’m one of the many doing background work about this issue for my employer, and I’m by no means in any authoritative or decision-making position with regards to this, but I do have a very general understanding of it.  So, since the prior cuts and the prior tax increases have already affected me and my ability to not only make personal financial ends meet but also to handle my own financial obligations, then it is only right that everyone else should also receive the same treatment, including the Federal Government.  Why do so many think that they can make someone else carry the burden for the entire population?  It simply isn’t feasible.  That’s what sequestration boils down to, at least in my opinion.  Everyone must share the pain.  Period.

Essentially it comes down to the fact that any individual sooner or later has to “pay the piper” and meet financial obligations, or they will go bankrupt.  It’s not always easy to cut back on personal household expenditures when receiving paycuts or layoffs or higher taxes, but you do it.  SO MUST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT instead of just taxing and laying it on the backs of others.  Cut-backs must be made by all.

I guess, as I’ve said before, this all goes back to my upbringing.  I was raised to work HARD for what I wanted and to look toward the future.  I was raised to go out on a limb if I had to, like my maternal great-grandmother (Big Gramma) that moved from Pennsylvania to California on one of the first Trans-Continental Railroads for a better life and more opportunity; or like my other maternal great-grandmother that left an oppressive upper-crust household and moved to California to be free to live her own life; or like my paternal grandmother that moved from the Dust Bowl with 2 very young children; or like so many other ancestors.  I was raised to be responsible for my own success and to never blame any misfortune I had on someone else.  Perhaps that’s why, even as a college freshman at the University of California, Davis (UCD), I took a job one year as a part time, student janitor cleaning dorm bathrooms. 

I may have been raised upper middle class, but I knew how to work, and if that’s what was needed to get through college, then that’s what I would do.  I did that for an entire year, and I then found other jobs throughout college, but I worked my own way up and didn’t expect someone else to hand it to me.  These jobs weren’t easy or glamorous.  They were far from any comfort zone I may have had or anything I’d been raised to do.  However, my parents and grandparents raised me to “do what you gotta do” when it comes to getting through life.  It’s how I raised my children to be.  Keegan could have blamed all sorts of circumstances after being born with Cystic Fibrosis, but he knew that, as I had taught my children, life isn’t fair, no matter how much you wish it were.  Logan has never blamed others for having Classic ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  It’s just how life is sometimes.  Kara has never blamed any struggles she might have on the fact that she grew up with so many major medical and emotional issues going on in the household.  You deal with it.  You carry on.  It amazes me then that so few have that ability to not throw blame anywhere and everywhere.

Like I said … common sense … ain’t that common.

Common Sense, as it says below, is a Super-Power.

 

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