Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stupidity for DUMMIES!

Hello Fans:

I'm sorry I missed last Saturday's post and it was brought to my attention, so I realize more than ever, that some of you are definitely paying attention, so thanks for asking what happened last weekend.  I haven't been feeling writer-ready and was in a very dark place for a minute, and I did not want to bring too much of my negativity to my readers.  So this weekend's post is going to be a good one.

I've noticed a very devastating trend sweeping our nation and our world as a whole.  There isn't a Hollywood director alive who could produce this frightening, yet engaging monster that I'm speaking of.  You've seen it lurking around you at work, at home, while traveling out on the road, in stores, on television, in the movies, etc.  In fact, this monster plagues every aspect of your life, and although you shake it off and wonder, is it just me, you forge ahead with your life.

This monster has a name.  It's called Ignorance!  Although Hollywood does manage to produce some of the most ignorant movies known to man, what bothers me is that this thing is everywhere.  I'm not sure how many of you have ever seen Jay-Walking on The Tonight Show.  Jay makes light of how stupid and ignorant people are with the most simplest of things.  He once asked some viewers on the street, "who's buried in Grant's tomb?"  And the answers he received blew my mind and made for some great laughter, but it got me to thinking, this really isn't funny.

Recently, I was speaking with a group of young people, let's say in age from 19 to 22, and the topic of discussion was about our local government.  I quickly learned that these youngsters had no idea who the mayor was of their city, they couldn't tell me the Governor's name of Pennsylvania, and some weren't even sure of what county they actually lived in.  Umm, something is seriously wrong here!  But they could tell me Chris Brown is coming to town with his tour.  They could tell me all about the drama on Basketball Wives, and they knew all the latest talk on Facebook and Twitter, but they couldn't tell me anything of value regarding their everyday lives in our own state.  Wow!

A good friend of mine told me she used to work with a woman who thought the human organs could grow back, if you lost one due to illness or if you donated an organ to a friend or loved one.  Really?  I grew up with a girl who thought the yeast infection she had was her period, and had the nerve to wear a pad because she said the smell was bad.  Oh my!!  I heard of another horrific story wherein a woman was going to give birth and she was terrified, not for the sake of going through the motions, but the fact that she had no idea which hole the baby was going to come out of!  Ummph, ummph, ummph!  Are you getting my point here!

You've all watched the news where the reporter is investigating a story, and they decide to talk to the spectators out on the street.  And instead of the reporter seeking out the people who can speak and sound the most intelligent, they always seem to gravitate toward the most ignorant person.  You sit there and go, wasn't there anyone else they could have asked?  What about a person being interviewed who considers themselves speaking intelligently, and using words in the wrong context and sounding more like an ignorant fool? 

Have you been to the bakery lately?  God forbid you ask for a baker's dozen!  The store may have to close down due to the clerk not knowing what the hell you just asked for.  I overheard some people conversing on the bus years ago, wherein one young lady was saying to another that her and her boyfriend was getting bucked naked!  Umm, funny, cause I always thought that was called butt naked, but maybe it's just me.  Or how about you're in a restaurant and you hear someone order schrimp.  Not sure what this most sought after creature of the fish family is?  Yeah, that would be shrimp.  Never knew shrimp had a "c" in it!  But apparently it grew a letter over my lifetime.

As much as it pains me to say this but I never thought I'd run into so many people who are just downright ignorant about their bodies, politics, lives, and food.  I'm certainly no Einstein, but damn it, I'm not a Baby Huey type dumb either!  To not know the basics about how the human body is constructed nor its functions, is sad, just plain sad.  And the saddest part of it all is, this monster doesn't discriminate against age.  There are some old school folks out here just as dumb and ignorant.  You deal with this monster each and every day of your life, and maybe you've become oblivious to it, but I seem to get a headache trying to make sense out of why are so many people uneducated?

Which brings me to a discussion I got into with a group of people on Facebook.  Basically, it was a question asking who's responsibility is it to educate our children, and needless to say, I was alone in my answers, but I held my own.

To put it simply, I stated that a child's first teachers are its parents.  A child's first role model is its parents.  By the time your child reaches school age, they should already know the basics of what they need to know and then it is the teachers job to reinforce what you have already taught your child(ren).  But I was met with some strong opposition to this.  There were many who commented that it's the teachers job to educate our children (which I do not dispute), and how many of these commentators gave props to their teachers for a job well done.

Don't get me wrong, I have some teachers who were my favorites too, but if I'm being real, which is what I pride myself on, my parents were my teachers and role models, and I give the praise to them!  Granted, I had excellent teachers and I thank them for the education I received, but I was born to my parents, not my teachers, so by the time I was ready for Kindergarten, I was ahead of my class already!  I could read, write, knew my colors and numbers, and I'm finding many young children don't know these things at all, and then the parents expect the educators to perform miracles and some get downright irate when their Little Johnny's and Suzie's aren't doing so well.  Aaah, parents, what the hell were you doing?  So, quite naturally when I posted my comments on how I felt about this, I felt as though I immediately came under attack.

What I found most interesting is that most of the comments came from people whose parents didn't home school them first.  So I was striking a cord with many.  But what really got me is another discussion I was involved in regarding education wherein a parent told me that it's the communities responsibility (as a whole) to educate our children.  Well, folks, you know me.  That most definitely wasn't going to fly.  First off, you didn't invite me to the party when you were conceiving your child, so continue to treat me as an uninvited guest.  I'm not down with this whole 'village' mentality.  I don't mind helping anyone, but to tell me it's my "responsibility" to take care of your child or children, I got a HUGE problem with that!  It is your responsibility, as a parent, to ensure that your child(ren) receives the most out of education as they most possibly can, that's not my responsibility.  And to take my realism further, I don't have any children, so I don't feel I bear any responsibility to these parents, nor their children.  If I so choose to help a person out (which I have done), that's my prerogative, but don't tell me what I must do, because again, you didn't invite me to be apart of making those children, so I say continue to keep me outta that loop!

At the end of the day, I'm really tired of people pointing the finger at me and people like me who feel the way we do!  I chose not to have children and that was my right, just as much as it was your right to have the child(ren) you have.  But to tell the community we have a moral obligation/responsibility to help you educate your child(ren), I don't agree with that and I never will.

There's no secret that I don't like the world we live in today!  In fact, I absolutely despise what this world has become, but I have learned to deal with it as best I can.  Ignorance plagues our lives day in and day out, and I ask the question, who's responsibility is that?

Until next weekend, Use the Internet for Its Intended Purpose. . .Educate yourselves, and Crack Open a Book and Read!  There's a world of information out there at your fingertips, so there ARE no excuses!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet