good intentions...

>> Saturday, September 5, 2009

some say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". and lately i'm beginning to think that people truly do believe it.

i have been trying very hard the past several months to keep my blogging topics far from politics. just recently when sharing an article about a friend and the healthcare system that has failed her, i second guessed myself. even though the point of the article is that the system can and does fail anyone regardless of what side of the political fence you are on. oh how i worried that someone, somewhere was going to be offended that ultimately i took that post down. i was asked to repost it which i did. but the more i think about it, the more i realize that i should write what i mean and stick to it. even if it does ruffle feathers. it has never been my intent to upset people. i've just learned the hard way that "friendly debates" are rare these days.

this time however i have some things to say. and i'm going to say it and stand behind it. that has always been important to me-to stand behind my words. censoring myself so i don't have to do that is not right, it's weak, and it's not me.

the big topic everywhere is the President's address to our children while they are in school this coming tuesday. and is it ever a big topic. why? well i can't exactly answer that because i think it's an awesome thing. kelley and bethany really got involved during this last election. they think that anything related to john mccain and barack obama is exciting. yes, both of them. and to think that either one of them would want to talk to them is in their minds pretty cool. but that is the innocence of children.

parents on the other i have really been stunned that not only are they upset that this is happening, but also the reasons why this is happening. there is the first argument that this has never happened before! oh my gosh...something new? well no, not exactly. Presidents have addressed our children in school before. check out my friend stephie's blog to read more about that and some of her thoughts on things. go ahead and read it, she says some things so much better than i ever could. and i'll wait while you do that...

stephie's thoughts were very good. i really had to stop and pause when thinking about how we view the opposite of our political preferences. in the past they were viewed as "wrong" and now they are often viewed as "evil". that is pretty deep, but i do see that. hopefully everyone who has read stephie's post will stop and really think about this because i truly believe that we need to change this thought process and encourage others to do the same.

back to the address that the President will be giving to students. i don't see what the big issue is. but i respect that it is an issue for some of us. i had the opportunity to have a friendly debate about this with some friends. yes i did say that these friendly debates are rare, but i am fortunate to have some great friends. one of the possible worries that was mentioned was indoctrination. i have to admit that i didn't know what this word meant so i looked it up. the synonym of indoctrination is brain washing.

brain washing!? is the true? is this something that people are really worried about? do they think that this address will be full of techniques to sway our children towards an agenda? should i be worried that when kelley and bethany come home from school on tuesday that they will be changed into little obama zombies? will they then take control and over throw us ala children of the corn? seriously? at the least consider this-when most of the children viewing this address are old enough to vote President Obama will be in history books and not on any ballot.

i am trying so hard to wrap my mind around this and try to understand the big deal. there have been past Presidents that i have not voted for and i have strongly disagreed with some of their views and actions. if they wanted to address our children in an address viewed at school, i would most certainly allow my children to watch it. if i had the opportunity to meet any of our Presidents, regardless if i agreed with their policies or not, i certainly would meet them. that would be an honor.

i'm going to be the "devil's advocate" for a moment. our President is also the father of two young children. could it be possible that he was inspired by them and thus all children, to give this address? to likely encourage his children and as our leader all of our children to work hard in school, to be good citizens and most importantly to remind them that they are our future? of course we all tell our children the same things all the time. but i know that kelley and bethany would really be thrilled to have those things also told to them by our President.

it is my understanding that the transcripts will be made available to read ahead of time. (i don't think that is a normal procedure for speeches so i'm am guessing that this is being done as a nice thing for those who have concerns). at the least, take a look at what is going to be said before you make the decision to keep your children from participating. and more importantly go to school and watch the address with your children. that will enable you to answer any questions, and to also discuss the message with your children. i don't know about other children, but kelley and bethany have watched speeches, debates, inaugurations and even most recently ted kennedy's funeral on tv with us. they enjoy being a part of our history. even after the fact bethany was so excited to read about ted kennedy in people magazine this weekend. i am pretty sure that lots of children are like mine.

it makes me sad to think that so many children will miss the President's address. i believe that even though some children are younger with shorter attention spans that they will catch the key points of the address. i believe that not only is this a great civics lesson but also a great thing for our children to be a part of. i hope that with lots of thought from parents that many more children will be able to have the same opportunity, to know that the President of the greatest country on earth has taken time to talk to them, just as kelley and bethany will.


Lysana September 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

Since I don't have kids that will potentially be watching this, I haven't really informed myself on this issue, but - although I have friends and family who feel strongly against their children watching the address, I don't think I have a problem with it. I didn't vote for President Obama, but that doesn't change the fact that, for better or for worse, he is our President now. I wouldn't have had a problem with any other President addressing our children, and it's going to take a lot more than one speech to "indoctrinate" our children, if that truly is his intent.

I definitely agree that if parents are concerned, they should read the transcript of the speech ahead of time, and if they can, watch the address with their children.

Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing your opinion! :)

Tracy September 8, 2009 at 6:48 AM  

We all need to respect the president - it's office and what it means to our country..and be proud to be American's no matter your political party - American first, not your party. I for one, would never speak poorly of our President to my children, no matter if I agree or not with him/her. I will teach them respect of our Commander in Chief. Ticks me off this has become an issue at all with this speech. wtf. Thanks so much for posting!

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