Fly the Friendly Skies

By now everyone on the internet has seen United Airline’s faux pas with their passenger. What shocks me is the sheer number of people who blame the passenger. Let me clarify first by saying that even one person saying; he was to blame, is one person to many. However, it isn’t just one person, and the excuses run the gamut from, his past criminal history to the almost laughable “he must think he is entitled.” Entitled to what? What did he pay for? Aren’t  we all entitled to what we’ve already paid for?
I thought I would start there because it rubbed a raw nerve with me. Imagine if you will that you enter a restaurant. You order and pay for your food, and just as you are about to eat it, the manager comes over and informs you that someone else wants your food, that you paid for. Sure they offer to reimburse you, but you are hungry. You don’t want to wait for another table at another restaurant. You don’t want to order again and wait for fresh food to come out. It’s not the amount of money they offer; it is the notion that you already paid for the food in front of you and you shouldn’t have to wait for something else or settle for less. It’s not an entitlement, after all, you’ve paid for what you’ve received, and now they want to take it away. If you refuse, if you say no thank you or even if you say a less kind F off, does that entitle management to call the cops to rough you up?
Under the same scenario above, you’ve refused to give up your dinner for someone else, and the cops are called out. They rough you up and find out later that you are a convicted criminal who did your time and have regained your job and your life. Now after this incident at the restaurant it comes out that more than a dozen years ago you committed a crime, should that justify the actions of the restaurant manager and police?
Ideally, the situation would never have taken place. However, in our ever judgmental world of keyboard warriors, it seems easy to say how wrong the passenger was. We forget that if it could happen to him a convicted felon who did his time that it could happen to someone who has never broken the law, who simply was too tired to give up their seat or give up their dinner, and entitlement has nothing to do with it.


A Second Generation Home School Family

As a mother of three children, this will be my second experience with homeschooling. First as a student in the 90’s, when it was less than popular. And now teaching my children in 2015, when it seems like just about everyone I meet either home-schools or knows someone who is thinking about it. Now that I am a teacher and preparing three children to go on the wonderous journey of homeschool I wonder if I didn’t somehow luck out.
When I grew up, we were shunned. Homeschool students were made fun of, looked down on by society on a large scale. In Colorado, we had to see a psychologist, this was done in part to determine if homeschool was harming us in any way. I don’t know if the same laws still apply in Colorado. My mom and the moms of the 80’s and 90’s paved the way to make homeschool normal.
You could say that homeschool is in my blood. Except my sister who never homeschooled tried it with her kids before life interfered, and she had to go back to work full time. My other sister who was homeschooled also experienced life’s general interference and therefore never tried it with her daughter. Three of mom’s five children were homeschooled. She didn’t even know it was an option when her older two were school age.
We were ridiculed by people who clearly had no clue how homeschool worked. “What about socialization?” Give me a break we had a ton of friends. My brother excelled at track and football, my sister was a champion at showing horses, she also raised rabbits. We had a garden and the stand to sell our vegetables; we were quintessential “Little House on the Prairie”.
What about me, well I am glad you asked. At sixteen, I got tired of homeschool and decided to try my hand at college. I was in for a rude awakening. The deceit and backstabbing were new to me; I had no idea that someone would lie and try to get you kicked out of school just to have a private dorm room. The school was less than helpful. Well no, that is not completely true I had a pretty good idea that people were horrible I just wasn’t expecting the amount of terror that adult girls would put another young girl through. The admissions rep was awesome. He did everything in his power to make things right for me; the lady in charge of housing was another story altogether. Perhaps homeschool made me willing to stand on my own two feet; it gave me the courage to stand back up after being knocked down. Shortly before my 18th’s birthday during my sophomore year at college I transferred schools.
The new school was okay, but I had lost my focus. At 20, I dropped out of school altogether just one semester shy of my Bachelors in Criminal Justice. I met a man, fell in love and got married. Our son was born, and I started thinking about my life so far. I guess I didn’t want him to be disappointed in his old mama, so I went back to school, changed majors to English and walked in my graduation at 29.
I am not your typical homeschool story though. I like to think that most homeschool students who go to college are not met with the kind of deceit I was, and most don’t drop out.
My brother graduated with highest honors. He was the first student to graduate with all A’s from his program with a degree in AutoCAD. He works for a nice company now as project manager. We all take different paths in life, homeschool students, for the most part, are no different from our public school counterparts. We have the same interests and ambitions, what differs is our learning atmosphere. My good friends send their children to public school; they are smart, sweet, and successful. My good friends also homeschool their children, and they are just as smart sweet and successful. The choices that we make as mom’s, what is best for our family, is simply for our family. I would never tell another Mom that they had to homeschool or not, or that they had to vaccinate or not. We should respect each others choices when it comes to our families. Sure I can quote statistics on homeschool, how students excel, but the research is out there if you are interested. What I hope instead is that I presented a story of a second generation homeschool family that is just trying to figure things out as they go.

Where have all the good manner’s gone?

Look around, you may wonder why there is a huge lack of manners. Whether we are discussing adults or children, there is simply a lack of manners going around. Most people no longer hold the door open for others, offer up kind words like please and thank you. Are parent’s not teaching manners? Were they not taught manner’s themselves? There was a time when children were taught to say “yes sir, no sir, or yes ma’am, no ma’am.” These common courtesy were not just common but expected. Now rather than shock at not hearing pleasantries such as these we are shocked we do hear them. The other day a young girl responded to a question “no ma’am,” and the adult who asked stuttered asking first who said that and then congratulated the young girl on her manners. It showed effectively how far we have come from manners being expected to the mere shock at anyone who still uses them. Showing respect for your elders, answering people when ask a question, have become a thing that some take for granted, while it is lost on others because they never had manners.

Almost on a daily basis I see children who ignore adults. A parent asks a question, and the child ignores him or her. A teacher requests children stop talking in class, and the conversation goes on. Running, yelling, screaming, shouting, all take place in our churches and libraries, places that used to demand respect from all who enter are now simply buildings where anything goes. It is not just children who are disrespectful, no in a lot of cases I watch and see adults carry on loud abrupt conversations with themselves via cell phones in the library or even at church. Who is shocked when a cell phone rings during service? Who appreciates that there is a conversation going on in the stacks next to you at the library? I even find it a little bit embarrassing when people carry on loud abrupt conversations with themselves in the public restroom. I watched the other day as a child was rude, blatantly ignoring the adult when asked a question, and I began to wonder, are all children like this? Is this the world that we are going into now, where Manners are missing from day to day conversation. Where children can and will be brats because no one speaks up and demands respect.

What happens when we lose respect for others and ourselves? Do we grow as a nation, as the world? Are people able to live, and thrive in a land where there is no respect at all? Are respect and manners the same thing? I believe they are; that to show respect you have good manners. Someone cannot be rude and show respect. The two go hand in hand.

What are some examples of Good Manners

You should always look someone in the eye when talking to them. When asked a question, one needs to answer politely; polite responses should include sir or ma’am. Simple things such as saying please, thank you, and you’re welcome, show that you have good manners.

Another example of good manners is to speak to others as you would like to be spoken to. In other words, if you are negative then you should not only expect people to be negative to you, but also be completely okay with that. However, who is okay with being treated badly? No one. If we are honest, we want to be treated respectfully, regardless of how we treat others. Remember that manners are the golden rule of life.
Parents, who do not teach manners, aren’t doing their children any favors. It might be easier to not correct bad behavior, but by doing so you are hurting more than helping your child. So where do children or adults learn good manners? Children can learn manners in the home; parents should not expect anyone else to teach their children manners. Adults can teach themselves manners. Good manners lead to better employment opportunities, people who are polite to their bosses, and customers are more likely to succeed than people who are rude. It doesn’t matter how good you are at a job if you are rude to your boss or your customers you aren’t going to last.

Good table manners at home will translate over to good table manners out in public. I remember being taught as a child which side of the plate to put the fork, spoon and knife. I remember being taught to keep my elbows off the table. We had a lot of different rules growing up, and we knew how to behave in public. It doesn’t seem that children are being taught the same things. Children do not know how to react at a restaurant, which suggests that they do not have good table manners at home. You might not care if your child behaves themselves at your table, but teaching them how to behave at home will guide them in how to behave in public or at a friends home. Good table manners are important because when your child grows up him, or her, will be eating at a boy friend/girl friend’s house or their bosses house. It is important to know how to react, especially when they are looking to impress someone. Its never to late to learn. If you are an adult who lacks manners, and can recognize the fact that you lack manners, you are on the right road. Figuring out that you lack manners, is the first step toward making things better.