Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Vow to Lose Pieces to the Negativity Puzzle

I think I'm about ready to scream.

With this latest Chick-Fil-A social media storm, my head is about to explode. For those that need catching up, Chick-fil-A's President made an anti-gay marriage statement a few days ago. This really shouldn't come as a shock to anyone because Chick-fil-A is a company that still closes on Sundays because it's God's holy day. Put two and two together people.

I'm not here to argue gay marriage vs. straight marriage, or to even comment on the news story at all. That story was yet another piece of a puzzle that I've been slowly putting together lately. My mom's facebook status from last night about the current smear campaign commercials that each presidential candidate has funded right now is another puzzle piece, too. And an old episode of 'Trading Spouses' that I watched last night where a family sat around the dining room table for dinner and just bickered with each other, provided yet another puzzle piece.

What's this puzzle I'm putting together? Why is my head about to explode?

The Negativity Puzzle.

I'm sick of what the world has become. It's full of hatred, bashing other people, and asserting opinions that just breed negativity, hate and contempt.

To run the risk of sounding like a tree hugging hippie... wait, I am a tree hugging hippie... What happened to love? What happened to 'why can't we all just get along'?

And, as a small jab at the Chick-fil-A president and all of those who side with him, what happened to 'love thy neighbor'? It's in the book you all hold so dear.

If the US has come to a state where presidential candidates can't tell America why we should vote for them, but why we shouldn't vote for the competition, why vote period?

Why would a president of a fast food company come forward and give his opinion about gay marriage? What business is gay marriage of his? Was he proposed to by another man? What was the purpose in further
spreading judgment and hate by opening his mouth and asserting his opinion? Gay marriage was none of his business, and he should have kept his opinion to himself, in my opinion (there I go spreading opinions... at least mine aren't hateful...).

This is not what I want to teach my children. I don't want bickering at the dinner table like what I saw on a reality TV show. I don't want my kids growing up thinking that what's good for one set of people isn't good for another set of people. I don't want my kids hating people because they don't think the same way they do. I don't want my kids voting for a presidential candidate because the competitor is an even bigger piece of crap.

So, short of putting my family in a bubble with no contact with the outside world, I'm trying to figure out how to lose puzzle pieces to this Negativity Puzzle that the world seems hell bent on wanting to build, glue, frame and stick on the wall. I'm not here to change the world, just make my children better people in it. People that promote love and acceptance and being positive. How on earth can I do that?

I Vow:
I'm going to help my family
start building a Love Puzzle.
  • To teach my kids love and acceptance of all people, regardless of sex, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, financial status, etc. My kids were introduced to a lesbian couple that lives in our apartment complex the other day. My daughter had questions as to why she saw two girls kissing. I explained to her that love knows no boundaries, and these two girls loved each other. I'm proud to say that my daughter said she thought it was cute that one girl had cleaned a smudge off of the other girl's face, and was happy that they found love. Then she said they looked just like a couple that's made of a girl and a boy, only they were 2 girls, and she didn't mind that. Yes, this is the stuff I'm teaching my children, and will continue to teach them.
  • To keep my home a place of love, peace, openmindedness, and acceptance. If my children have questions, I will answer them. We will not judge one another, and will help one another in times of need. 
  • To tell my children I love them every chance I get.
  • To do my best to not raise my voice at my children, or Hubby, and if I'm frustrated, will deal with it in a calm, collected manner. If this means I need to go outside and cool my jets for a few minutes, I will do that before I yell and scream at my family. I will foster calm communication to get through any disagreement.
  • To compliment my children when they do well, and offer my advice or assistance when they fail. No belittling, negative comments, name calling, etc, from anyone in the house, even between the kids. If I hear my kids doing this to one another, I will stop it immediately and explain why.
  • To squash bickering as soon as it starts. It's annoying, does not promote anything positive, fills the house with useless noise and negative feelings, and wastes time. No more in my home.
  • To promote family togetherness through positive activities, conversations and working together to achieve family goals. Family movie night, game night, reading programs, shopping trips, etc all bring us closer as a family, foster positive feelings and behaviors, and help replace negativity with love.
  • To listen and be there for my children and Hubby when they need me.
  • To evaluate outside influences as they come into my children's lives and my life. If people or situations come into my family members' lives that are negative and breed drama and hate, we will come together as a family to evaluate whether that person or situation needs to remain in our lives. I lived a drama-filled life for so long, and didn't see what damage I did to myself and people around me at the time. Now that I've removed myself from it, it's easier to spot it and stay away from it.
  • To love myself, and teach my family members to love themselves. 
  • To be grateful for my family, for our positive actions, and for any blessings that come our way. I will teach my children and Hubby about gratitude, and share my gratitude everyday. 
Like I said before, I'm not here to change the world out there. My job is to raise my children to be positive members of society, so that's what I vow here today. If my vows inspire others to do the same, then maybe a small change will occur in the world. If not, at least my children will be able to have the negativity bounce right off of them.

Any vows you all would like to add below are greatly appreciated! And, if you decide to vow these same things with your family, leave a comment below. It can simply say 'I vow the same with my family' or add your opinions. I'd love to see how many people vow to start losing puzzles pieces to the Negativity Puzzle in their lives.

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  1. I've never personally sat down and written out vows (for anything other than my wedding), but I have to say that mine would be almost the exact same as yours. Thank you for putting into words the way we have chosen to raise our children. My parents always tell me I am a throw back to a different time of parenting. My goal isn't to be their friend and I don't take the easy way out. It is challenging, but I know it will be worth it in the end when they are productive members of society. Thanks for another great post!

    1. Thanks for your kind words about my post. I had never written them out before, either, but once I did (for the purpose of the post) I was glad I did. It helped put things into perspective and make them real (if that makes sense)... easier to follow that way! =)

  2. Good luck!! Those are some huge goals. I think that what you wrote out is what most of us aim for, at least I do. Except for the bickering. I don't care at all if my kids argue with each other. It's good for them. They learn how to stand up for themselves using words instead of violence. It lets them work out their own issues without needing me to fix everything, which in turn fosters problem solving skills. They also appreciate each other a little bit more each time they fight because I am quick to chime in and remind them that they are all they have. They are their only sisters. They are their first friends. That's special.