I have so many thoughts running through my mind as a response to watching a recorded version of "The View" right after the Newtown shootings. There were two interviews, one specifically that was so poised and made such perfect sense, I was about jumping out of bed with agreement! forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner was talking about so many things, of course he brought up guns and mental illness, because those happen to be the "buzz" worthy arguments. Infact, there have been uncountable comments made about changes that need to be made. This entire time, I've been observing (and yes, doing a little bit of my own argueing) all of the finger pointing and activism. It was fast and furious at first, and now, as with typical pattern, the talk has waned, people have not forgotten, however, it is simply not being talked about quite as much. Everytime something horrific happens, it affects the entire country, we all weigh in and vow that something must be done, and then in a sense, we go back to our everyday lives. I'm willing to guess it's because as horrible as it is, we feel helpless. What if something *could* change. Something right inside of our own homes. Dr. Welner talked about it on The View and I couldn't agree more. We are a violent culture. Everywhere you turn, there are video games, movies, music, all "everyday" type entertainment that desensitizes us and dehumanizes our neighbor. None of it is real and most people can watch it without having it affect them in a way that would have catastrophic affects, so we keep allowing it to inch it's way into our lives. Infact, I have this battle in my own home. My heart changed a few years back, I started growing my relationship with God and in turn, I've stopped filling my soul with things that I find offensive. My husband grew up watching scary movies and he seems to love the gore of it all. He finds nothing wrong with laying in bed, watching these disgusting (in my opinion) shows and movies and gets irritated with me when I won't watch them with him. My argument is "it hurts my soul". There are many things in our daily lives that "hurt our souls" and if we tune in to those feelings and instincts and make changes in our own lives, we will breathe fresh life into those around us.
Long babble short, here is what I have pressing on my heart to share with you today:
Some small changes I urge you to consider making in your home:
1. Believe, teach and practice the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
2. Teach your children to value life. All life. No matter who, what, where, when, why, if it's living, treat it with care.
3. Examine the things you are watching and listening to in your home. This includes, music, video games, movies, TV shows. Set guidelines as to what is appropriate and better yet, what is NOT appropriate and stick with them.
4. Teach your children not to tell each other to "shut up" or call each other "names" or say "Oh My G--" every 5 seconds, there are better words in our vocabulary.
5. Teach your kids to remain calm, remind them to take a breath when they are frustrated and to think about what comes out of their mouth.
6. Listen to your children. Validate their feelings.
7.It's crucial to practice what you preach ladies and gentlemen. Kids are sponges. We are their first and best role models. Do NOT do things in your own life that you would not want your children doing. They learn from us.