Saturday, April 23, 2016

Profiling..... we all do it. I do it. And I abhor people who judge based on what car you drive or judge your intelligence based on what clothes you wear.

In fall, we wrecked our van. Well, a very large deer ran out in front of us and did some Olympic quality gymnastics over the top of our vehicle. So.... we began driving our old vehicle, a 1998 Saturn. But it is on it's last leg. So... we are driving the van again. It now has a beat down hood that ties shut.

We stayed late to view my daughter's art at the 6th grade art show the other night. Upon leaving, my daughter realized that she would not make the commute home, she needed to visit a restroom. So we stopped a reputable grocery store. And I waited in the car. As I waited, the security guard makes sure to pass back and forth in front of my vehicle and he actually stopped and waited until I looked up and he could make eye contact with me. Just making sure I knew he was watching me.

I was furious. If I was driving an SUV without any wrinkles.... But I wasn't. As my fury subsided, I realized that I do this all the time. Cars with a different color panel (fender, hood, door), cars that have been wrecked that haven't had body work done, cars that smoke..... I chunk those poor souls in the drug user category immediately.

Every day I learn something about myself. Sometimes it's not so pleasant or comfortable.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sometimes "aha" moments are not that exciting or liberating

I'm very passionate about education. And giving kids second and third and so many more chances. I was part of a community meeting this week to discuss this very thing. And it was a great discussion. Most of the people involved in the justice system want the same thing, to see these kids make positive changes and to have a chance at life as an adult.

Then I came home. And I pulled into my driveway. Facing the litter strewn mess that is my neighbors yard. Knowing that the frequent visitors are not stopping in just to say "hi." The constant stream of a traffic and profanity is discouraging at the least. Aggravating and frustrating for sure.

I don't feel the same about this situation. I have some very uncaring desires for my neighbors. I would like to see them locked up and never be paroled. My desires are purely selfish. If I would teach those kids, I would automatically shift my focus and realize that I cannot expect them to behave in a way that has never been taught to them or introduced to them.

So why do I expect this from their parents? I know a little about the situation. I know that no middle-class values were ever taught here and that the kids who are parents now were probably targeted by teachers and law enforcement as "bad kids" and have probably never ever had a caring adult pulling for them to get clean or live a socially forward life.

But as the nieghbor of a drug dealer and hoarder's house, I don't feel compassionate. I want this blight to disappear.

Today I am aware of my hypocrisy but I do not know the answer or how to solve it.