It's Election Day in the US. The midterms, let's be honest, are about very little unless you want to get excited about the Senate switching hands for a couple years until 2016. It will be 2 years of Obama veto while we wait around for Hillary. We have a close race for governor here in IL, but the pollsters are putting it about 60% chance our Democratic incumbent will be re-elected.
So in a race about nothing, it's become a good time to talk about bigger philosophical issues. Those stubborn people who refuse to vote despite generations fighting and dying for that right. Partisanship in various places and how it's changing...yes, Texas is turning blue but not that quickly. And it's a good time to talk about the angry, cynical, ignorant American electorate.
The Mama and I have been talking a lot lately about badly behaved adults and the relationship to teaching our children. As parents, we're firmly in the developmental stage where The Basics are a daily struggle for us. What's frustrating, however, is that many adults are still working on these Basics 40 years past kindergarten.
Only use nice words.
Don't touch things that aren't yours.
Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Every time we get annoyed at having to tell our 3 and 4 year old these things, we try to remind ourselves that there are grownups who still struggle with the finer points of being a civilized human. Watching an election play out is usually ugly these days...it showcases the worst side of society. But not all that far removed.
It's easy to see why and how the simple things from preschool get ignored by otherwise mature adults. People need frequent reminders. I'd say children are an excellent reminder since we're so involved with their daily struggles for decency and kindness under The Basics. But, let's be honest, some adults have no business around children for the very reason that they can't follow the rules themselves let alone help someone else learn.
The other day I was on my bicycle stopped at a red light when a car--with children in the backseat--stopped to my left. The driver inched forward, looked left, then turned right in front of me. I caught the driver's eye and shook my head "no" and mouthed the words "NOT LEGAL" through the window. Maybe they didn't know. Maybe they did. Who knows whether they'll think twice before doing it again.
But it's never the wrong time to get a few reminders about basic courtesy, respect, ethics. Whether you're 3 or 99.