At school, I am constantly saying to students "mind your own business" and "worry about yo'self" to defuse all sorts of inter-student conflicts and minimize classroom disruptions. Then, in my free time, I browse through my zombie-mind-control-personal-mobile-device and realize:
The children growing up in our electronically obsessed world think that all the things on that little screen represent REAL LIFE. On those zombie-screens, everybody is meddling inside everybody else's business! I'm willing to bet my right boob (which I've spent considerable effort saving) that many children/teenagers (and adults) spend more time staring at those little screens than they do sleeping. Of course they can't keep peacefully to themselves!!
I didn't watch the political debates last night, but everyone is picking apart the words of Donald Trump today. And, ala The View, looking for their next comment to screech about or for a screen shot to meme on.
Speaking of The View, they made a derogatory comment about nurses the other day. I know this because all my nurse friends were outraged on social media. Don't get me wrong - I love nurses. Given my life-circumstances the past 10 months, I literally owe nurses/medical professionals my life. I appreciate them to no ends. But did Joy's comment really have to blow up the internet? The fact that I know Joy's name off the top of my head is silly. It doesn't matter.
Or how about KSU's Marching Band scandal. So. Many. Ridiculous. People. It doesn't matter. I had a dentist appointment today and my hygienist brought it up and we laughed about all the silliness, and she said "It even made Jimmy Fallon!" So I looked it up and watched his monologue. He showed the clip and spent all of 9 seconds talking/laughing about it. 9 seconds. Regionally, Kansas was in an uproar over it for 4 - 6 days. It doesn't matter.
You know what I like about Jimmy Fallon? Laughter. All the ridiculous things that happen in the media and otherwise, instead of getting upset and ranting about it, he makes it into a joke. I know that is his job, but it appears so natural that I think he's that way outside of his work.
And then there's Ahmed. The boy who built a clock and brought it to school and was arrested because they thought it was a bomb. His arrest has been "sharply" criticized. Obama even commented on it (which I loved his response! - Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.) But people are so upset at the teacher for taking precautions. Especially given his nationality. What IF it had been a bomb!!?? Thank you, teacher, for reporting it. Fortunately, it wasn't. It was just a very intelligent young man using his brains creating something awesome. But Ahmed is so offended by the whole thing that he wants to switch schools. What? *shaking head* I laugh. Because its FUNNY! And it doesn't matter!
In the end, I'm really just a hypocrite, because I'm sitting here being outrageously offended by all the offended people everywhere, and passing judgement on what's important and what isn't. haha... But, no, really. Want to know what I ACTUALLY find offensive? The amount of people in the last 10 months who have looked at, touched, and sliced open my breasts. The amount of eyeballs that stare at me when I'm not wearing my hair. Offended that cancer decided to infiltrate MY body. Even then, I choose to be calm, happy, accepting, grateful, and push through and heal anyway. All that other stuff.... Let it go. It doesn't matter. I'm a fan of intelligent debates and conversation. But do we really need to get so worked up about everything all the time? Unless you have that darn whip and nae nae song stuck in your head. Now there's a legitimate reason to be upset!
If you put any stock into the Myers-Briggs personality categories, my biggest affliction is that I'm an INFJ. All the crap that people project out when they are unhappy about something - I soak that right in. That young man who I asked to pull his pants up in my class yesterday, and he sulked for the rest of class: I soak that in. That disgruntled teenager angst. And it stays with me much longer than it should. I gotta stop doing that.
Composting. Giving all that stuff back to the earth to be recycled into something good.
Or, the Zen approach. Noticing feelings and emotions, but letting them roll right on through you, like waves in the ocean.
Let it go.
Media doesn't let anything go. However, if I committed to an If-you-can't-beat-'em-join-them approach, who can I bribe to say something stupid about #workyourproperdutyday and have that go viral!?!?
I know I'm writing in circles here. And what matters or doesn't matter is relative to the person. However, what's important, and I hope my words and actions portray this in my classroom everyday, is that we treat each other kindly and do our best. That we are accepting, grateful, and contribute to each other's healing, instead of the opposite. And what matters or doesn't matter, doesn't make a difference in embodying that approach everyday.
In closing, here's something that matters to me. On The View (of all places, given all the offended friends of nurses), they invited on 2 teachers and a group of students because of a video that went viral on social media. (Using the power of social media for good!!!) Its a teacher who was diagnosed with breast cancer, around the same time as myself. Her colleague, the music teacher, put together a student performance of Martina McBride's "I'm gonna love you through it", which is about loving someone through the trials of cancer. They told her story and sang it to her again on The View and Martina McBride showed up too. It was pretty neat. And I'm glad I had the day off today (due to my dentist appt) and happened to watch it. I felt her experience parallel to mine. We ended chemotherapy in the same month. We started radiation at about the same time. We both had amazing colleagues and students "loving us through it". Very touching. Grab your Kleenex box!!