Stand Up

I believe that you all know that I go to great lengths to stay out of political and religious discussions. Especially at work. I work with a lot of VERY conservative people. And there is nothing wrong with being conservative. I’m pretty conservative myself, although a little more left leaning than most conservatives.

I have listened to tirades about the things those damned democrats are doing to ruin our country, the way that same sex gender marriage is going to ruin the institution of marriage, not to mention that being gay is  of the devil and immoral and sinful and unnatural. You’ve heard it all before.

So I stay out of those conversations. They can rant and rave all they want and I just peck away at my computer and ignore the conversations.

The other day we were talking about how this generation is so entitled. This is a topic that I’m all too ready to jump into because I see it with some of my children. The idea that they are owed something. We were pretty deep into the conversation and one person was really on a roll about the newest generation. I reminded him (he’s a huge history buff) that Socrates had the same idea about the youth of his generation:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

Then he asked if I wanted to know what he really thought the problem was. Mistakingly, I said that I did. Well, I was not prepared for what came next. I can’t quote him, and I’m not even going to try, but the premise of his statement was that it was all these people who believed in evolution. They didn’t believe in God, therefore they didn’t feel the need to be accountable to anyone but themselves, therefore they were selfish and entitled.

I’ll give you a moment to process that.

Maybe another minute? I’ve got all day.

OK, I’m joking. I don’t have all day. It’s almost my bedtime so I need to get this written.

There were about a thousand thoughts going through my mind. This was doomed to go directly into a religious discussion that I work very hard to stay out of.

This would normally be the point where I turned tail and hid in my computer. But over the past few years I have met some of “those people.” People who don’t believe there is a God. People who believe in evolution. People that I admire and respect because they are caring, loving people. People who are in no way, shape or form “entitled” to anything that they don’t work for. People who feel a great responsibility to the earth. Our environment. Those who are less fortunate than themselves. These are not people who do not feel go through life feeling like they have no accountability. How could I not stand up for these wonderful women? These women who have become my friends, even though I have a different belief system than they do? People that I admire for their intelligence, their warmth? I had to say something.

I looked him dead in the eye and very calmly said, “I disagree.” I may as well have slapped him on the face. He seemed stunned. I’m not sure whether it was because I disagreed with something that so clearly to him was the truth, or if it was because I was entering into a religious discussion. Hell, I don’t even know if he realizes that I steer clear of religious discussions. We had a few words. I said my peace. He said his peace. We agreed to disagree. And it was done.


5 thoughts on “Stand Up

  1. Perfect way of putting it! I would have thought of that myself but, I didn’t. I have a feeling we think very similar regarding this.

  2. I’m glad you followed your heart and did say something, and also glad it ended well, with you guys still being nice. I always say I’m infinitely tolerant until I remember I’m totally INtolerant of people who are intolerant of other people’s beliefs. Wow, bad grammar I’m sure lol. Oh well. Anyway. I believe a kind of hybrid version of evolution/creation but his theory would have gotten me all worked up as well.

    • I’m more of a “the bible is metaphorical” type person, so it’s not difficult for me to reconcile the two of them. Creation and evolution can go hand in hand. Whatever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just have a problem with blindness to the world around you. And intolerance of the people in it.

  3. Good for you! I don’t think that God has anything to do with people feeling entitled. I think that not having to work for anything and just being handed everything they need and/or want makes a person think that they are entitled.

    Every single generation wants their kids to have a better life than they did and we have reached the point where the current teenage generation has been given so much that they no longer see the need to work for anything.

    There is a line in the movie “The Descendants” that says “Give your children enough that they do something in their lives, but never give them so much that they do nothing with their lives”. I think I paraphrased that a little, but you get the idea.

    Derek and I are thought of as “mean” and “strict” because we hand our kids very little. We don’t buy them cars and we won’t pay for college. I refuse to have my adult children living with me and if that means that they sleep on somebody else’s sofa, that’s not my problem.

    • I was always the “mean mom” too. When Matt got into a ton of trouble we made him work off the money that his damage would have cost. He got so mad because the guys he was with…their parents just forked over the money. Mark just goes, “Wow, we’re sorry that his parents don’t love him as much as we love you!” Kids don’t get that we are “mean” because we LOVE them!!!

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