Being around my people should be an uplifiting experience. It should bring a smile to my face and fill me with pride. I think.The other day I was passing by the Orange Room and heard someone jovially yelling obscenities across the Quad. As I looked over at this person, who I immediately deemed ignorant, I saw a little boy no more than 5 years old looking up at who I assumed to be his father. He was just soaking in the bad example this grown man was setting for him.Once while babysitting, a precious child placed her doll on the floor and lay on top of it as she hunched it. After all, this is what she saw Mommy and “Daddy” doing.While at the mall I heard an angry, irritated woman screaming at someone to get their a- in the car. The shrillness of her voice muffled the other foul words she uttered. Over my shoulder I saw a young girl saunter in the car, apparently unaffected by the tone or choice of her mother’s words.This girl, this young woman, so often heard her mother’s voice raised to such a level that this was nothing new. This was normal, as it would become for her. As I watch my people, I sometimes have to wonder – where is the pride I am supposed to feel? Where is the pride in the people I observe?If we can’t identify a sense of pride in ourselves, how then can we instill it in our children?These innocent ones, who are learning right from wrong, become the victims of our wrongdoings. They watch us curse, make crude remarks about the opposite sex and threaten violence to all those we feel have wronged us. In their minds, there are no consequences. The ones that they see, aren’t severe enough to dissuade them from repeating the same behavior.When this behavior is repeated, the blame is placed on everyone and everything except the person pointing the finger. It’s race. It’s a certain city. It’s anything that keeps us from realizing that the greatest influence on our children – is us.”Our children” does not mean only those of our loins, but all children. We are quick to point at children and shake our heads because of their language, behavior or attitude. But they observed it, before they mimicked it.When will we realize that somewhere out there a child is mimicking you. When you see this child, will you be filled with pride – or point and shake your head?
Danielle Wright, 23, is a senior theater student from London, England. She is The Famuan’s managing editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org