Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Can't We All....

...just get along?!

Have you heard that saying before?

We had a friend many years ago who enjoyed saying, "Why can't we all get along?!" In fact, he said it quite often. So often it became a joke.

Today, I thought of that saying. It came to me after reading an article. The article had to do with homeschooling and parenting. The problem I had with the article, you ask? Well, thanks for asking!

The article, although well thought through and articulated, lumped a group of people together; homeschoolers. Stereotyped is the strong word which comes to mind. There were points I whole heartily agreed. However, it isn't just homeschoolers who have these issues. There are plenty, and I mean plenty, of those who are NOT homeschoolers who have the exact same issues.

I came away from the article disappointed, discouraged and a little enraged. The author of the article was a former homeschooling parent. It was his point of view from where he was sitting and looking at others. It would have been a much better article if he would have left the bias he felt about failing as a homeschool dad out of it! If he would have done that, an excellent article it would have been.

Maybe I'm feeling this way because of what happened with two of my children this afternoon. We needed a few groceries and dog food. Our twenty year old licensed-managing cosmetologist had the day off. She volunteered to drive to town for me. Her freshmen brother volunteered to go with her and help her with the shopping. I was pleased since I hate shopping. And, even more pleased they were doing something together...happily!

Something happened at one of the local stores. A cashier wondered why they were not in school. Our twenty year old told the cashier she graduated a long time ago. The cashier then looked at our son and he replied he is homeschooled. Usually that is enough. In fact, I haven't been asked that question in a very long time. There are many in our area who homeschool. There are many in the nation. Sadly, that wasn't good enough for this cashier.

She continued to belittle by telling them they look like they should be in school. And continued her own private investigation. Now, our twenty year old is petite. She actually cannot stand it when someone thinks she is younger than she is. I keep telling her when she is older, she'll love it. But, for now, it is an insult. They both felt insulted by this rude woman who apparently thought it was her duty to look out for truant children (which mine were NOT!).

What did I do? I called the manager...I very nicely told him our problem. He asked what the cashier looked like and pretty soon he was supplying her hair color. He knew exactly who we were talking about. He apologized. I told him would continue to shop for dog food at this store but didn't appreciate how our children were treated. It was insulting and didn't look well for his store to have an employee treating customers like they were guilty of something.

My point of this long post? Don't judge. Don't lump everyone together (stereotype) when you have no idea what another person's life is like.  Don't think you know it one does. Treat others how you'd want to be treated. Have a problem, talk with that person in love...if you need a few days to cool off, do will come out instead of frustration. Love people you don't like (I'm saying this one for me...oh, boy am I). Know God and believe in His love.

And, guess what. I have to work on ALL of those points above. All of them. Let's be kind to one another, okay?

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