If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bad Dreams And Bullying

I dreamed last night that I was part of a group that was being honored on stage for some reason. I believe it was an academic achievement honor. Anyway, there were a bunch of us that were going to be part of this presentation and we were all backstage, in a dressing room together.

I was keeping to myself because, although I knew everyone there, none of them were friends. They weren't necessarily enemies, either. They were the popular girls.

So the popular girls and I were all wearing red dresses of the same basic style. Some just has slight variations. (Mine, for instance, had long sleeves with a polka dot pattern embossed on the material. That's how I knew it was a nightmare.) But, for some reason, they were all making snarky comments about my dress.

Logical Patwoman tried to reason with them. My dress was just as good as any of theirs. It was one of the dresses on the "approved list" we were given. I even bought it at the same store they bought all of theirs. Mine was the same red, the same style, and fit me the same as theirs. The pattern was neither too subdued or too loud. Why were they picking on me?

When I woke from this dream, I started me thinking about bullying in schools nowadays as compared to when I was in school. This dream? That could have happened when I was going to school, I guess. Except, I wouldn't have a dress bought from the same store. It would've been a cheaper knockoff version and I would've felt I somehow deserved the snarky comments because of it.

But still. Back then, there would have been snarky comments and then that would've been it. There might have been some random comments later about how Patwoman tried to pass off that cheap dress as the real thing and I would've gotten revenge by finding a way to demonstrate their intellectual failings in front of 30 other kids in class.

Now, there would be an organized multi-media campaign to not only make the girl with the wrong dress pay for her crime, but to cause lasting emotional damage. And, in many cases, as we've seen in the news, even more than that.

What's the difference here? Is it the ability to disseminate mean words so quickly to so many? Is it the anonymity the internet provides? Facebook makes it easy to say hateful things you wouldn't say to someone's face. Or is it that people are just meaner these days?

My opinion is that it's a little of all of that.

Let me clarify one thing, though. I don't think people are innately meaner than they ever were, but I do think they're meaner. The difference between the two is how they have learned. I see a lot of kids/teens/young adults every day and I've met a lot of their parents. Here's what it comes down to:

Parents who don't value other people, other people's property, or other people's feelings raise children who don't value other people, other people's property, or other people's feelings.

It's absolutely true. In every case where I've caught a shoplifter, the parents were unconcerned with the stealing. ("It was less than $100 worth of stuff. I'll pay for it and we'll be okay, right?") They were only concerned with the fact that the police were called.

Don't get me wrong. There are good young people out there. One young person I know told me the other day he was going to spend time with one of the new kids because he didn't think he knew a lot of people here and he wanted to make sure he had a good experience.

I'll bet you can guess where he learned that behavior.


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