Now you know I hate gossip. Whether it is done by 1 against 1, or whether it is done by a whole TV show. I also don’t like “Reality” TV. If I wanted reality, why would I sit down in front of my TV? Wouldn’t I go out into the world and meet people and go places? Then there are the commercials. If you don’t want those awful wrinkles, you should use this cream. If you want to appear successful, drive this car. If you want to be beautiful, subscribe to this fitness program. We will fix what’s wrong with you. Which would be EVERYTHING! I’m not educated enough, I can never have a meaningful job unless I go to this community college. I’m not thin enough, I should have muscles that show through my shirt. I’m not handsome enough, I need one of those suits. What if I’m NOT smarter than a 5th grader? But you also know that TV and social media also target corporations, city/state/country governments, people groups. This corporation is bad because the CEO makes a lot of money. This political group of people is evil because they blow up everything. Every member of this group thinks the same way. Detroit is evil. It didn’t save the jobs and has let our services drop to nothing. Mississippi is evil, they don’t provide for their teachers to teach their kids. America is evil, it always does the wrong thing. It’s leaders are stupid or radical or afraid to do anything, or doing anything but the right thing. We’ve become victims. We’re also the assailants. The criticism we hear on TV and ignore, is broadcast around the world and the people that read or watch that criticism think EVERYONE in the US has the same opinion…That is if there’s anything wrong in the world, the Americans caused it, then they made it worse by trying to help, then they threw money at it, and then threw up their hands and gave up. We take these assessments as gospel truth. Victim mentality is not known to improve morale. People look for ways that they have been oppressed and then complain. Years ago, when the people were oppressed, they LEFT and came to a place where they were in charge of their own destiny. Where could we go from America? The moon? We ARE in charge of our own destiny. It’s easier to be victims with no recourse. Someone bigger or more powerful than we are puts us and keeps us where we are. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are Americans! We solve problems. We innovate. We improve. We have a different perspective. If our educational institutions are so far behind all those in the world, why do people come here to go to college? Easy degree? No, it’s because of our perspective. They get immersed in our thought processes…if this doesn’t work, try this, or this, or that, but don’t quit. We need to hold on to that. Take a look at Detroit. We know it’s a lost cause. The news stories said so, so it must be true. Thousands of abandoned factories and houses and businesses litter the city. I would encourage you to go to the Detroit website. Do you see despair there? Nope. You see a link to Opportunities where they have jobs, education/training for work, community improvement… They are working to solve a problem, to turn a bad situation into a good one.
My recommendation? Turn off your TV. Now we get to the “Instead” part. What’s that you might ask? Take a HS student under your wing, teach him love and respect for his fellow beings, then take him to a homeless shelter to volunteer his service. Take another HS student and do the same, and pretty soon you have 5 or 6 helping out at the services. Have one of them write an article to be submitted to their school news paper. Do this instead of watching who will survive the stupid stunts and the back stabbing in the so-called “Reality” shows. Improve the morale of the folks around you and have your students do the same. Give your initial group a title or name so the people involved can latch onto it. You could even have a song. Watch the morale go up in your students, in the shelter volunteers, in the guests. Get the word out to the media. “Look! See these kids doing what everyone could do!” Pick a charity or a cause that is near and dear to your heart and give of your time and resources.
I went to a movie, “Tomorrowland” with George Clooney. There is a scene in a HS classroom where the teachers are going on and on about how bad the situation is with global warming and homelessness, and bad nutrition, war, greed, etc., and each time the little girl holds up her hand and asks innocently, “Can we fix it?” We have to be like that little girl. We need to improve the morale of our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country. We need to have that attitude that we don’t need someone to do something about … We are the someones. If you don’t like something, change it.