Posts Tagged parents

Work Is More than a Paycheck

scan0004Recently I have been thinking about how hard my parents worked to see to it that my sister and I had what we needed to have a good life. They both worked hard both at their jobs and then at home. They never shrank from work. There was not man’s work and woman’s work. There was just work. They both pitched in on whatever needed doing. They never complained about it. They just did it. They both dug out the dirt to create a basement room in our newly acquired house. They hauled that dirt in a wheelbarrow to make a wider front yard and as a foundation for a much wider front porch. Each had his or her own lawnmower. Mother’s was electric. Dad’s was gas powered.

Consequently, my sister, Jean, and I grew up with a good work ethic. We were taught by words and examples that all work if it is legal is honorable.  While serving as a graduate assistant in the speech and hearing center’s program for young adults at the University of Alabama, I learned firsthand how motivational the prospect of being able to get a job and earn money was for the clients. These severely impaired young women and men tackled work related vocabularies with gusto. They discovered as did I that working feels good and is good for both body and soul.

Once I said to my late wife, Liz, when our children were younger that I would like to be a beach bum. “Go ahead,” she said. “I can’t,” I said. “I have you, Suzanne and Michael.” “Oh no buddy, you can’t pull that one. You can’t be a beach bum because your make-up will not allow you to do nothing. It is not us. It is you.” I had to admit that she was right as usual.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both talk about bringing back jobs. Neither of them talk about how meaningful work is to the mental health of the worker. They never talk about how important work is to the dignity of the worker. Work is more than a paycheck. Middle class Joe Biden gets it. Sure, a paycheck is great and necessary, but that is not the end of the story.

I never thanked my parents for all they did for us. The dignity of work was one of their greatest gifts.

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We Teach Children That Incivility Is Rewarded

Mitch Carnell
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 12:00 am

We Teach Children That Incivility is Rewarded | Mitch Carnell, Bullying, Incivility, Abuse, Behavior

Our airwaves are filled with innuendo and disrespect. Recall Rush Limbaugh’s rant about the young female law student …. Bill Maher is … just as disgusting, Carnell says. (Photo credits: Nicolas Shayko, left, Angela George)

Our country and much of the world has expressed shock and horror at the verbal and physical treatment meted out to a 68-year-old grandmother and bus monitor in Greece, New York.

Karen Klein tried to maintain her composure while her tormentors continued their assault.

Many adults have reacted by sending her money as if a few dollars can erase the hurt that these foul-mouthed children inflicted. Their parents have expressed surprise.

We are not surprised. It is the behavior we encourage and reward.

Remember Congressman Joe Wilson whose single claim to fame is that he called the president of the United States a liar during his State of the Union address?

Most listeners had never heard of Wilson before that incident, but they rewarded him with thousands of dollars for his re-election campaign. He was re-elected.

His party made excuses for him. He was offered speaking engagements across the country simply because he had shown extraordinary poor judgment and incivility.

Our airwaves are filled with innuendo and disrespect. Recall Rush Limbaugh’s rant about the young female law student, Sandra Fluke, who testified before a congressional committee.

Glenn Beck fills the airwaves and his personal appearances with half-truths and derogatory language. His audiences encourage him to be even more derogatory. He rakes in millions of dollars as his hate caravan rolls across the country.

Bill Maher is more vulgar than liberal, but he is just as disgusting.

During my years as a practicing speech language pathologist, a child whose speech was barely understandable would color the air purple with his limited vocabulary.

The parent would look at me and mumble, “I don’t know where he heard that kind of language.”

Maybe the parent didn’t know, but I knew. Speech is learned. Behavior is caused.

Two North Carolina pastors have waded into the language swamp. One wants to put all the gays and lesbians in an outdoor pen and watch them die.

The other is urging the parents of young boys to break their sons’ wrists if they show any signs of being effeminate.

There is one glimmer of hope. The Wisconsin Council of Churches has called for A Season of Civility.

They reason that the recent recall election has so polarized the state that desperate measures are required.

Thirty-five members of the clergy representing different religious groups have asked their fellow clergy to join them in preaching and teaching about civility.

The incident on the bus in New York has amply demonstrated that Wisconsin is not alone in its need to rekindle an atmosphere of civility. Churches cannot do the job alone. They require our help.

Parents can monitor the TV programs and websites their children frequent. All electronic devices have off switches. They can complain to advertisers and refuse to purchase the advertisers’ products.

Schools can teach respect for authority and common decency. They can require compliance at least during school hours. These activities can and will have some effect.

Absolutely nothing will be as effective as grown-ups modeling the behavior we want. Seeing adults who are consistent in their respectful treatment of others will plant the message in a way nothing else can.

Resolve to see the best in everybody and everything and to reflect that in your speech.

Realize that you will be ridiculed for such behavior, but be firm in your resolve.

We are all responsible for the atmosphere around us. This is a problem that no amount of money can solve. The only solution that stands a chance is personal resolve and involvement.

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My Birthday Devotion

“Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24 (NIV)

            Today is my birthday and it is a beautiful day. I have already received an overflow of well wishes and I can hear the birds singing outside as I write. Tonight I will teach my class of graduate students. To quote Norman Vincent Peale when he was ninety one, “I still have work to do.” God has blessed me beyond any measure that I could have ever imagined or hoped for. He has given me two wonderful, loving wives, two children and three grandchildren. He has brought so many wonderful mentors, associates and friends into my life. I live in one of the world’s most beautiful cities and worship with a congregation that loves and serves God.

            I was born to loving parents and grew up in a small town that instilled lifelong values and in a church that encouraged my growth in every way possible. I have a sister that would breathe for me if that were possible. I graduated from wonderful Christian colleges and found devoted Christians in my graduate programs in large state universities. I was privileged to work in a profession and in a work setting that were both challenging and rewarding. When life’s inevitable tragedies entered my life I was surrounded by a loving community of family and friends. As the years passed I have been made more and more aware of the need for encouraging those around me and for promoting a softer tone in our political and religious rhetoric. God keeps expanding my vision and giving me more meaningful work to do. The Bible never speaks of retirement.

Dear God, I am reminded day by day by your generosity to me and most of all by the grace given me through your son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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