Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Manners maketh man (and woman)

So sorry - it's been a while since I last posted on here. I've just finished another children's literature assignment, and managed not to procrastinate too much this time. I'm getting pretty close to finishing my present courses: just three normal assignments and two big finales to go. That'll give me another 120 credits towards the degree. 120 more, then it's freedom! Two years until I can read whatever I want to, until I have my evenings and weekends back, and I turn back into a proper family member once more. 

Now, I know this blog is in danger of turning into a non-stop moan, but I read one of those narrow-minded facebook comments today. Not the 'I hate foreigners' one, or the 'men are idiots' one, although they do the usual rounds and I get the urge to delete the 'friends' who order me to share these bigoted statements. No, the one that wound me up today (sorry, I really must stop complaining. I do enjoy it so much, though...) was one that complained about young people all being 'bad-mannered, tattooed morons'. I dislike huge, sweeping statements as they're usually tailored to suit the speaker's prejudices, but being the owner, sorry, mother of three young people, this one particularly irked. Ok, so there are plenty of bad-mannered tattooed morons out there, but they are not, in any way, all 'young people'. And it doesn't figure that all three terms should go together anyway. 

Firstly, tattoo doesn't equal bad, and I'm not just saying that because I am illustrated myself. Most tattoos have a story behind them and are not as shallow as some people like to think. I have one which is a triple moon for my religion, one with the initials of my children and husband, wrapped in ivy (Victorian language of flowers, meaning the love you have for your family, I'll have you know) and a bracelet of forget-me-knots, partly in homage to my grandmother. I have been judged by my tattoos, although they are small and unobtrusive, by people who have also commented '...and they'll look awful when you're 90 with wrinkly skin.' To be honest, if I reach the age of 90, I think I'll have more worries than the state of my skin. So in my opinion, the tattooed moron can have what ever they like - it's a good conversation starter...

Next point - bad manners. Not exclusive to 'young people'. When I was a sales assistant in a book shop, many moons ago, most of the bad manners actually came from pensioners, who thought their age and experience meant they could talk to an 18 year old however they wished. The rudest person I have ever known may be younger than me, but is past the age of being a 'yoof'. She likes to do that 'talk to the hand' thing, so is nearing the age of being severely battered. 

Next time she does it, I'll draw a smiley face on her hand 
with an indelible marker pen. She'll love that...

To the haters on facebook: is it really so hard to try to like people? Ok, there are individuals out there that don't deserve the effort, but to paint all young people as being worthless says more about you than them, surely. I have several very ex students as facebook friends, and they're more likely to be posting angst-ridden statements about their lives (you just wait, it only gets worse...) than putting down other people. I have never seen a narrow-minded, prejudiced post from my teenage acquaintances but I've seen plenty from those who are my age. 

We had a great discussion at school last Friday on whether you can understand someone's point of view if they weren't the same religion as you. The consensus was: why are you even asking us this? How insulting and stupid. That evening, on facebook, an adult had posted a photo with a bigoted slogan that would have made those children shake their heads in disbelief. 

I know not all 'young people' are perfect, but I prefer them to an awful lot of adults at the moment...

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