Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wear Purple Day
Much, much more to come on this topic later when I have more time, but here's a snippet for now.
Just yesterday I overheard a group of neighborhood teenagers engaging in an emotionally heated raucous, that seems to have stemmed from name-calling. Apparently one boy had called a girl a "slut". This eventually led to a dozen or so adolescents screaming and cursing outside my open window for what was the better part of an hour. After hearing derogatory names and swearing at a decibel appropriate for a race track, I went outside to them. I calmly reminded them that it was an absolutely beautiful day outside and I probably wasn't the only one with my windows open, and I had heard every word of what sounded like it should have been a private conversation. I then suggested that they had to be better kids than they were painting themselves to be in this argument, and speaking respectfully to others is never a bad idea.
As I walked back inside, I got a couple of eye rolls and a "buh bye", but after I was inside I overheard a girl say that "the lady's right, it is nice out" and continue to paraphrase my sentiments regarding respect.
My boyfriend wasn't too happy with my meddling. (I guess that is how you get your car keyed.) But, why is society okay with the disrespect and sometimes outright cruelty youth show to each other?
If the group I witnessed had not split and "taken sides", what would the bullying have escalated to?
If the girl being called names did not have friends showing loyalty, what would have happened? If she were being harassed because of her sexual orientation, chances are she wouldn't have had many fourteen year old supporters.
Allowing an "Us v. Them" mentality to flourish during pivotal developmental years only sets them up to be bigoted, egocentric, self-righteous adults. Fostering gratitude and respect for our uniqueness and diversity will bring positive changes and unity while fear of those things will fester into an incurable infection.
Ellen speaks out on teen suicides- http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=592846987806
As a way of promoting and participating in Wear Purple Day (see following link)
I've put together an etsy treasury of handmade yumminess in that most royal of colors.