Saturday, January 28, 2012

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Today while driving in the car with my children one of my daughters asked me if she could purchase a song from Rihanna when we returned home (iTunes). For those of you who don't know who Rihanna is, here is a little info on her: famous singer gets beat up by boyfriend, doesn't really want to end the relationship even after her battered face is plastered all over every media outlet. She ends the relationship basically to save her career but now, apparently, has been seeing the abusive boyfriend in secret, doing some kind of code talk over twitter. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ok, mind you, this is all gossip that my morning news outlet HLN likes to share (not news but we all know today's journalism is yesterdays garbage). Anyhow, when my daughter asked about buying the song, although it isn't R rated, I told her she was never allowed to buy music from that singer again and I was asked why. My response?

It is a matter of principle.


Of course, my daughter is a 6th grader, not quite sure what principles are yet. So I asked her... does she believe a man should hit a woman (or vice versa). Of course, her response was no. I asked her if she thought it was strange that although Chris Brown beat up Rihanna he's still doing well in the music industry, she thought it was weird. So I told her what I believe to be true; Rihanna is a role model to a number of young girls whether she likes it or not, if she doesn't want to be a role model than she shouldn't be an industry that demands it of her. I explained that as a role model a lot of young people without guidance will emulate the choices a celebrity makes and if Rihanna chooses to forgive a man for beating her she was setting a bad example. My daughter asked "why should we care about her personal life, we just like her music." I pointed out to her that it isn't really her personal life I care about but more the fact that I don't want my dollars going to a woman who sets a bad example for young minds. Why should my money help create a lavish lifestyle for someone who is a poison to society. Which lead me to the Kardashians and a slew of other oddities in Hollyweird. The light bulb went off and my daughter understood.

I was impressed that my daughter understood so quickly the meaning of having principles. What I question now is, will she live accordingly.

So many people today, young and old, refuse to live by their principles. When I tell people that we don't like zoo's they tend to understand why. In fact, most people I talk to will agree zoo's are barbaric and criminal but yet they still visit them. Any time I ask why they still frequent the zoo the most common response is "it goes against my principles but I really like that my kids can see the animals up close."

I've had a whole slew of experiences like that. Everyone claims to have principles but they always find reasons to go against them.
Why is that? I believe that a lot of individuals, mainly Gen Y & X, have NO PRINCIPLES at all.

What happened the the late 60's early 70's anti war activists? What happened to the late 90's animal rights & climate change activists? Sure, some still exist but how many people who refused to use products tested on animals are now using Loreal, Clinique, or Lancome? How many people who claimed to believe in man's large contribution to global warming frequently use private jets or live in 20,000 square foot mansions?

It almost seems as if being apart of pop culture or should I say "modern" American culture one must profess to have principles but have a list of reasons for going against them.

I don't want my children to be one of those people.