Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

New Year’s Revolution ~ Rae

on December 31, 2012

holiday 2013 

Worst apocalypse ever.

Well the Mayans were wrong; the end of the world did not occur on December 21, 2012 and now we must go on. It’s a little strange, isn’t it, how we spoiled Americans almost looked forward to the end of the world?  (Do me a favor. Play in your mind the song “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” by REM. One of my friends perceives that life would be enhanced if there was theme music constantly playing like it does in movies. So my piece today includes multiple themes songs.)  I think we sort of wanted something drastic to happen to shake us out of our comfort zone and make us step up into action. Many of us have become so complacent that we have forgotten what is important, what we truly stand for and what we really believe in. We want life to MEAN something and we hope that we will contribute to its meaning but we feel at a loss at how to make that occur.

So here comes New Year Day 2013. New Year’s is another event we like to add significance to. In reality is it just another day. Yet it symbolizes a new beginning, a chance to start over, and an opportunity to improve ourselves and our lives. To commemorate this occasion people customarily write a New Year’s Resolution List. This list contains elements that individuals want to change about themselves. I bet I can guess what item 99% of people put as number 1 on their list: This year I will lose weight. It is sad that when given the chance to think about what we really want to transform in the world the first matter that comes to mind is the way we look. I am sure there are other items on these lists but come on—these lists are often selfish, prideful, self-serving and in actuality—they are rarely ever carried to fruition. These lists end up signifying nothing!!!! I am over them.

I want to write a different kind of list, a collective list that we can all take part in and hold each other accountable for. How about instead of a New Year’s Resolution list we make a New Year’s REVOLUTION List and we DO something about all the issues in society that concern us? I have some ideas about what this list should include. (Theme song- Revolution by the Beatles)

Rae’s 2013 New Year’s REVOLTION List:

  1. 1.       Anti-Bullying Revolution:  We must not put up with bullying in any shape, fashion or method anymore. We cannot accept it on our playgrounds, workplaces, internet or even in secret behind each other’s backs. Want to know the best way to stop bullying? Call the bully out on it. A bullying situation always includes three parties: the bully, the bullied and the audience. And guess who has the most power in the situation???? The Audience! If you witness bullying you demand that the bully stop. You take the side of the tormented. You take the bullied away and you ignore the bully’s need for attention. Does that sound too simple? It is and we can do it. So let’s. (Theme song- “Don’t Laugh at Me” by Mark Wills)
  2. 2.       Human Interaction Revolution (but I would really like to call it Put Down the Gosh-Darn Phone): I looooove me some technology but I also know how annoying it is when in a conversation the other person checks his/her phone 500 times. I also hate when families sit down to dinner and all parties including the kids have to have their phones nearby. Furthermore, I witness meetings all the time where no one is paying attention to the proceedings and the majority of attendees are playing on some sort of device, sometimes including even the presenter!   I myself am TOTALLY guilty of this, but frankly it’s rude and there is a super easy fix. Put your phone down. There is no need to check emails in the car at every stop light (that’s for me). There is no text message that can’t wait. Limit your kid’s time on the computer. We are missing out on so many moments of human connections. I do not want my kids to miss an opportunity to spend time with their grandparents because Facebook seemed more important that actual quality time with another human being.  (Theme song- Weird Science by Oingo Boingo)
  3. 3.       Social Networking Revolution: Speaking of Facebook, I seriously do not need to know when you are in the bathroom. Society has become infatuated with posting every little detail of our lives on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. We take pictures of our food and leave hints about calamities in the hopes of getting some comments. It feeds our self-obsession and makes us become the star in our own little show. On one hand I thoroughly enjoy seeing pictures of my friend’s kids and I love finding out the major events that are going on in my family’s life in Texas. For that, Facebook I thank you. But hearing a play by play of someone’s life including all the drama… nope, don’t need it or want it. We need to get over ourselves. Please think before you post.  (Theme song- “You’re so Vain, you Probably Think This Song is About You” by Carly Simon)
  4. 4.       Literacy Revolution (but I would really like to call it Read a Dang Book): Sorry, I know it’s the English teacher in me but I really suspect that numerous problems in society could be fixed by better literacy. If a person can read then he can follow directions, he can apply for a job, he can choose to go to college or he can decide whether information presented to him is credible or not. Possibilities open up when literacy spreads. Plus on top of all that reading IS fun. I have traveled all over the world; I have had endless adventures; I have faced countless trials, all without ever leaving my living room. Yeah, yeah, I know the movie version is great, but you just watch a movie. When I read I EXPERIENCE the book.  (Theme song-“Paperback Writer” by the Beatles)
  5. 5.       Marriage Revolution: Close to 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. That suggests that half of the people who said “I do” really didn’t and “till death do us part” really implies “till I just don’t want to anymore”. I know that sounds pretty harsh and there are always exceptions. If there is abuse, adultery, or addiction then divorce should be an option. But if the statistics reveal that 50% of marriages fail, that exposes the flaws with the institution. If there was a grade attached to the marriage success rate in America, it would be an F. Something is extremely wrong. Maybe people should be engaged longer, or maybe there should be a class taken first before a marriage certificate can even be applied for. I don’t know exactly what should be done here, I just know we really need a relationship revolution. Promises should mean something and divorce should be the exception not the rule. (Theme Song- “Never Gonna Give you Up” by Rick Astley {BOOYAH you just got Rick Rolled!})
  6. 6.       Parenting Revolution:  Have you heard the witticism, “I am afraid of a world ran by adults who were never disciplined and got trophies just for participating”? Sadly, there is some truth in it. Ask any successful teacher what it takes to run a classroom full of 35+ students and she will tell you, “clear expectations, clear consequences, and firm, fair, consistent treatment of students.” The first few weeks of any year a teacher spends most of the time establishing the classroom climate and we parents need to do the same in our homes. We do not need to be our child’s friend; we do not need to worry about whether our kid likes us or not. You cannot keep your son or daughter from getting his or her feelings hurt and you cannot expect your children to get everything their little hearts’ desire. Instead we should be teaching our children how to deal with hurt feelings, how to learn from mistakes, how to be a gracious winner and how to accept defeat. We have told our kids they can be anything they want to be but we forgot to one part of the equation. We should instead tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be IF you work hard enough to get it!” Because of our prosperity as a nation we have a generation of children and adults who act entitled to everything. Kids as young as 8 behave as though they deserve an iPhone and an iPad. REALLY? Being a parent is HARD work; I am by no means an expert and struggle constantly. However, if parents don’t work with a child when he is small what kind of teenager do they end up with, and what kind of adult will that child turn into? This should be a parent’s motto: “my job is to raise an adult not a child”! (Theme song- “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by Will Smith)
  7. 7.       Service Revolution: It seems as if humans by nature are very selfish beings, but conversely, I am never quite as content as when I assist others. Imagine (now don’t start playing another Beatles song in your head quite yet!) what the world would be like if we ALL helped each other out. My daughters and I recently participated in the 26 Acts of Kindness Campaign in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Tragedy. As a mother and an educator I had been greatly disheartened by the tragedy and needed a way to deal with those emotions. Helping others is the best anti-depression medicine there is. By honoring the victims I was able to turn those sentiments of grief, anger and helplessness to productivity, positivity and grace. It did not make the tragedy go away but service to others helped with dealing with the tragedy. There is a colossal amount of tragedy in the world and we can cope with it by giving of our time, talents, and actions. Everyone has something to give. (Theme song- “It’s Just Another Day in Paradise” by Genesis)
  8. 8.       Spiritual Revolution:  There has to be meaning to life. If a person doesn’t discern that she has a reason to be on this planet then she doesn’t have a reason for anything. I believe that we are made up of three parts: body, spirit and soul.  The spirit needs to stand for something and needs to know there is a purpose for the body and the soul; otherwise there is a spiritual hole in our beings. I choose God. Believing in God fills the spiritual hole in my life and gives me a reason to exist and an understanding of what happens to me when I die. People need to fill their spiritual holes or the holes will expand and we end up with individuals who do not value life at all. Sound familiar? Everyone needs to be able to answer these two questions for themselves: 1. What do I believe in? 2. What do I stand for? (Theme song- “Give Me Something to Believe in” by Poison)
  9. 9.       Love Revolution:
  10. 10.   Even MORE LOVE Revolution: Yes, I know I listed love twice but that is because it is the most important revolution we need. Without love for our fellow man none of the other revolutions are possible. There is a tremendous amount of pain in the world and the only solace that can ease pain is love. There is anger in the world and the only salve that calms anger is love. There is even evil in the world and the only real weapon against evil is love. There is death in the world and the only thing the can outlast a life is love.  Love for other human beings is what keeps us going. We need to love our spouses; we need to love our children. We need to love our friends; we need to love our neighbors. We need to love our enemies; we need to love the downtrodden and we even need to love the person in front of us in line at the grocery store no matter how long she takes. What is real love? It is not simply saying you care for someone, but it’s ultimately in how you treat everyone. I have stated this before LOVE is an action verb not an abstract noun. (Theme song- “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love” by Jackie DeShannon)

Are you ready? Will you join me? Would you add any issues to the Revolution list? What would your theme song be? Can we start a revolution for 2013?

Hey and think about it. If you don’t make a New Year’s Resolution about your weight this year –that means you can eat all the cupcakes you want!!! At least that’s my plan….

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,

No not just for some but for everyone.”

 


3 responses to “New Year’s Revolution ~ Rae

  1. […] of loving our neighbors seems so bizarre that we NEED this holiday. That is also why we need a love revolution. We need to be reminded that love is a verb and  by demonstrating it we can cause it to be […]

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  2. […] the world a better place. We want to try to realize that Love Revolution that Rae discussed in her New Year’s Revolution post. Our “Love is a Verb” campaigns will show up on the blog not to seek recognition, but we […]

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  3. […] walk because Love is a Verb and what doesn’t kill me makes me […]

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