Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nothing is Sacred. Not Even Death.

Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014
Remember when there were certain things you didn't do simply because you were taught to respect it? Yeah, some of you probably don't. My generation is the blame for that. My generation is the one that decided to let kids raise themselves. We are the generation that decided that schools should be solely responsible for teaching our kids because we're too tired. We give them smartphones/tablets to allow kids to be in their own world because we don't want them disrupting ours.

Because of that, nothing is sacred.

To let you get an idea of how far our level of respect for almost anything has declined, I'll use the following example that most kids born 1975 and earlier (especially minorities) may be familiar with: in my house when I was a child we had furniture in a certain room that we were not allowed to use. There was a couch in the living room that my parents said was for "company only." I wasn't even allowed in the room without a good reason. That couch was deemed sacred and I don't recall ever setting my butt on it before it got older and was given away to a needy family. I respected it because my parents taught me to respect it. Regardless of how silly it may have been it taught me something.  It taught me restraint.  It taught me to respect something that was not necessarily important to my life simply because someone else had an appreciation for it.

Over time and due to the lack of actual parenting, more things have lost its sacredness. Elders are no longer respected. Presidents are no longer respected. Religions are no longer respected. But, the one thing that I always thought would remain sacred can be added to that list: speaking ill or making fun of the dead.

At one time people only felt comfortable with criticizing or insulting the dead based on either how long ago the person died (hence the phrase "too soon?") or if the person died doing something illegal or stupid (Darwin Awards). Now there are no moral restrictions on insulting or criticizing any one regardless of when they died, cause of death, or even the stature of the person who died.

Today I read quite a few disrespectful memes and jokes on the death of author / motivational speaker, Maya Angelou. I even came across a columnist who trashed Maya Angelou as a person on a blog site.

As a blogger, I can't tell people not to have an opinion simply because it differs from mine. I want people to speak their minds because some things just need to be said. But, why just hours after her death? Why post jokes almost immediately? Why demonize her (or anyone else for that matter) when the grieving has just started?

I'll tell you why: because it's more satisfying (to some) to be funny and/or popular than it is respectful.

Social media entices people to do things that will make other people take notice. All of us with strong opinions push the envelope or cross the line at some point. I've crossed the line myself on many topics, I'm sure. Maybe not maliciously, but it's still crossing the line to get a reader's attention.

But I never posted a meme or a blog post insulting or criticizing someone who died. Because to me that would be the equivalent of putting muddy shoes on my mom's couch in that living room I mentioned earlier.  There are still some things in this world that I will deem as "sacred" even if no one else will.  And a person's death is one of them.

What do you think about the level of disrespect you see online all for the sake of being funny/popular?

Monday, May 26, 2014

How Many Likes Until Creepy?

Where is that other hand?
When I first started on Facebook in the Spring of '08 or '09, it was to reconnect with some classmates for an upcoming class reunion.  However, over time I started to enjoy reconnecting with past co-workers, family members, and more.  I would spend hours browsing through photos and Liking the ones that I thought were nice photos.  Sometimes it was someone who had a before/after photo of weight loss or someone posing with their family.  That was Facebook was about to me.

After the passing of The Mrs., as a widowed man, I still viewed Facebook the same.  But I started to learn that some guys using Facebook for a hunting ground for potential mates instead of just appreciating graduation photos and similar pictures.

So, being the inquisitive guy that I am, I started to ask women about the Likes that they receive on certain photos.  Not all women pose with booty shots and a lot of skin showing.  There are some respectable women out there who dress nicely yet still attract unwanted attention because of their looks.

To those women I ask: how many Likes can you get from a guy before it becomes creepy?

Does it matter who the guy is?  Does it matter if the Likes comes between midnight and 4 AM?  What determines if a dude is a weirdo or not?  Comment and let me know!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CPS Investigates Will & Jada #Parenting

As seen on IG
Will and Jada are under investigation by child protective services?  Who would have guessed it?  Actually, as sarcastic as I'm being with that statement, I didn't actually expect it.  Mainly because I don't expect anything along the lines of discipline when it comes to celebrities.

Will and Jada give their children the freedom to choose.  Some people actually think that it's good parenting, but I think that a majority of people don't like it.  Regardless, they have the right to do whatever it is they want to do (or don't want to do) when it comes to their kids.  Well, at least until Child Protective Services shows up.  They tend to frown upon 13 year olds laying in bed with shirtless 20 year olds.

There have countless incidents that have made people buzz on Twitter and ask the question, "what are Will and Jada doing?"  Personally, I don't know, but it's not the way that I would consider raising my kids if I had any.

There's a reason that people have to be a certain age to do things like drive, vote, enlist in the military, drink, or even get a hotel room or a rental car.  It's because with age comes maturity.  Sure, some kids mature faster than others, but realistically, you really don't see the real world until you're out of your parents home and supporting yourself.  That's when adult life lessons begin.

The Smith Kids, Willow and Jaden, are probably bright and worldly kids.  But, they are still kids.  Despite the fact that they've made more money than me in their young lives doesn't make them smart.  It makes them fortunate enough to have rich and connected parents to go with that budding talent.

I hope for the best as far as the outcome of the CPS investigation, but I also hope that it's a wake up call for Will and Jada.  Parent your kids like you want, but keep that stuff in-house.  Don't let Instagram be the undoing of your household.  That would just be plain stupid.

Oh, yeah, and to the guy, Moises Arias, in the photo with Willow: you may get a knock at your door, too.  Not from CPS, but from COPS.  They frown upon 13 year olds laying in bed with shirtless 20 year olds, too.  "17 will get you 20," but 13, dude?

Do you believe that kids should have free will to make their own decisions?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Does Your Doctor Listen?

We've all been there. You go to the doctor and you walk up to that Fort Knox of a setup that the receptionists have. "What are they doing back there?" you wonder.

You knock on the glass only to be greeted by some pimply-faced college student who acts as if you disrupted a brain surgery in progress.  She pushes a clipboard towards you full of the same forms you've filled since you were old enough to visit a doctor on your own.

You sign in and you sit down in some chair only fit for those under 150 lbs. and you wait. The television is playing at a low volume with Closed Captioning scrolling to prevent you from reading the CNN news ticker (FOX News if you're in Mississippi).

You play Candy Crush until your lives run out. You surf Facebook until you get to yesterday's timeline. You flip through a People's magazine so old that Dudley Moore is on the cover. An hour and a half later, the nurse calls you back.  "Finally!" you say under your breath.

Now you're in the back and sitting in a cold room on top of a table that has about 24 square inches of real estate. It's more of a tray than a table. The rustling of the paper under your butt aggravates you to no end.  "At least I had a television to watch and magazines to read in the waiting room," you think to yourself.

15 minutes later the doctor strolls in as if you've only been waiting a few minutes.  He has two people come into the room with him.  He greets you and introduces the interns who are "shadowing" him for the day and then asks you what's wrong while he looks at some notes (probably for his next patient).  You respond with whatever your ailment is and he nods in agreement while he checks your ears and breaks out his trusty stethoscope.  "Breathe in....  Breathe out..." he says while staring into space.

He grabs his prescription pad and scribbles something for you that should get rid of your problem in a few days.  Just as quickly as he arrives he's gone.  The room gets so quiet so quickly that you start to wonder if he was ever really there in the first place.

You hop down from the table and accidentally pull apart half of the paper sheet that was underneath you.  You make your way to the cashier area to settle up on your bill.  The amount you pay depends on your insurance, but we'll just say that it's $30.  Almost two hours later you're back in your car wondering where you day went.

Has this happened to you?  I'm sure it has.  There's so much pressure on today's doctors to see patients that it lowers the level of care people receive from them.  The doctors generally get paid per patient, so if they don't see so many an hour then they don't do all that well in regards to salary.  Some doctors can see as many as 60 patients a day.  60!

I don't have a permanent doctor at the moment.  The last one I saw was actually at an MEA Clinic when I had lower back pains.  She was very nice and seemed more interested in me as a whole instead of just someone looking to push some drugs on me and get me out the door.  She has her own practice, so it's likely that I will give her a try soon.

Because when it comes to our bodies we should want someone who is truly interested in us.  Would you take your car to a mechanic who rushes through work?  Absolutely not!  Yet everyday thousands of us are putting our trust in doctors who may have good intentions, but don't have a lot of time.  Something needs to change in regards to how doctors are paid.  If someone needs 30 minutes of care and consultation then it shouldn't be the same pay as someone who may only need 10 minutes.

We're a long way from doctors who used to make house calls.  If you want to maximize your time with your doctor then be prepared before arrival.  Make use of that time in the waiting room and have your questions ready for when you finally get to see "Dr. Flash."

How can your doctor truly give you the care that you need if they're always in a rush?  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vote for an Anti-Bullying Campaign!

Please SUPPORT! 

My nephew is trying to win a $25,000 grant from State Farm to start a anti-bullying program in Mississippi.

The program is called "Sticks & Stones" and is one of 200 grants written (only 40 will be chosen).

If you could please help him by voting with this link on your PC or laptop.  Mobile devices click here.

Deadline is May 17th. 

Please share!


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