On Being Nice

Recently, a friend shared this story over on the book of face

Today at <restaurant> while <child’s name> and I were eating a man started talking to <child’s name> about his stuffed animal.

Man: that’s an unusual dog. ( it’s a teddy bear)
Child: [looks at man. Does not respond]
Man: you aren’t gonna talk to me ??
Child: [looks away]
Me: no he isn’t .

A. You are a stranger . My son is not being “rude,” and there is no reason for him to discuss or chat with you .
B. We teach kids not to talk to strangers. Social niceties are not necessarily a good practice for kids
C. ‪#‎sorrynotsorry‬

Bravo, I say!

But, of course, there was dissent, this is the internet, after all. One commenter lamented that it was “sad” that she was “creating unnecessary fear” in her child. Another tried to make the argument that it wasn’t a threatening situation. Another implied that she was teaching her son to be rude and disrespectful.

All because she supported her son’s choice not to speak to a stranger. This is insanity.

As a society, we’ve developed this warped idea that not nice=rude. There’s space between. He was not impolite, and he was not rude. He has absolutely no responsibility to be nice. He should be, and I assume he is, kind where warranted, but he doesn’t have to be nice. 

No one has the responsibility to be nice. You do not have to speak to the stranger in the parking lot that just needs a bit of change, or gas money, or…Well, really that stranger just wanted to get close enough to grab your wallet or steal your car. Or worse.

Because of course you should be nice to the young man that wants to sit in on your Bible study.

Sure, she was right there. The risk potential of that situation was minimal, but what kind of lesson does that teach her child? If Mom encourages him to be nice to the stranger in the restaurant, how should he react to the stranger in the bathroom? As a parent, you have to think beyond the moment. You must model the skill set so your child can make appropriate decisions in the future.

My friend pointed out that later, her son approached the cashier and politely requested a refill of his beverage. This doesn’t sound like he’s being crushed by unnecessary fear of people. Instead, he is learning an appropriate level of caution.

Living in a polite society does not mean that you must be nice to strangers. Of course, one should not be rude, impolite, or unkind, but that does not mean you owe it to anyone to be nice.

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to the Duggar Daughters

I’m so very sorry this happened to you. That your trust and physical autonomy was violated by someone so close to you. It should never have happened, and no matter what anyone tells you, it was not your fault. It is something that happened to you, and despite the harm done, it does not have to define you. The guilt is not yours to carry in any fashion.

It’s okay to be angry about it. The news says that your brother asked for and received your forgiveness, and I hope that is true. Really and fully true. I hope that he came to you with humility and remorse and that you granted him your forgiveness out of a desire to release yourself from the anger, and not to save the very public face of your family. Your forgiveness does not excuse his actions, but it does release you of the burden.

You are not broken. You likely carry scars and sometimes they will flare up. I’m sure having your story broadcast to the world has reopened your trauma. I’m sorry for that too. Mostly, I’m so very sorry that your brother inflicted that trauma in the first place.

It breaks my heart to see your parents rallying behind your abuser with nary a mention of you. I’m sorry that your parents turned your lives into such a circus and present their faith as a grotesque caricature of Christianity. You deserve the support and protection right now. Just as you deserved it back then.

Unfortunately, yes, bad things happen even in good Christian households. Families participate in denial and cover-ups. It’s not because they are Christian; it’s because they are human. People without sin have no need of salvation. I hope this has not shaken your faith. It was your brother, not God, that let you down.

I want you to know there are people out there praying for and supporting you. That you are not alone.

Mad Max: Fury Road Is Not Feminist Propaganda

If it was meant to be, they missed the mark. I know, some people wanted so desperately for it to be that they twisted the story to match up with their pre-conceived notions. You know, because that never happens.

It’s a fire-breathing action movie with a power babe* and an excellent entry into the Mad Max franchise. Seriously, go see it. It’s awesome. No man or woman will be ruined by seeing it. At least, none that aren’t ruined already.

Yes, there are going to be spoilers ahead. This is your warning. It will be COMPLETELY FULL OF SPOILERS!

Ready? Don’t read if you plan on seeing the movie. I mean it.

Let’s just go on and throw a trigger warning here too since I can’t keep up with what upsets people lately.

Fans of the originals already know Max is a broken man just trying to survive in a broken world with no hope of redemption. It’s made him hard. The world hasn’t gotten any better. Shortly after the story opens, Max is overtaken, captured, and turned into a living blood bank in the Citadel.

Imperator Furiosa is a desperate woman. She’s learned that to survive in this man’s world, she’s got to be smart, and she’s got to be deadly. And don’t think for a moment that the world of Fury Road is anything but a man’s world. We don’t know exactly how, but she has worked her way to a position of responsibility under Immortan Joe. Probably because she’s good with machines. (If I may be so bold as to read between the lines, I’m going to go ahead and assume the shaved head was an attempt by Furiosa to minimize her femininity in such a heavily male dominated world.)

She drives and maintains a War Rig. She’s also smuggling out Immortan Joe’s breeders under the guise of a fuel run. Yes, Immortal Joe keeps women in sexual slavery in an attempt to impregnate them with his sons. Nothing is mentioned of daughters. His elder sons drink mothers milk which comes from other women being kept as dairy cows. Feeling empowered, ladies?

Immortan Joe learns of the betrayal and rallies the war boys to follow him into battle to retrieve his property. Yes, he considers these women his property. He also admonishes them not to harm a single hair on their heads. Yep, they are just pretty things with wombs. Rah! Rah! Sisterhood!

Mad Max gets chained to a war boy so he can continue to bleed for him and strapped to battle vehicle. Epic battle ensues. Explosions, madness, chaos. Max is pissed that not only are they stealing his blood but they’ve got his car as well.

Somewhere in the midst of the first battle, we get a glimpse of the breeders. They are whining because they are uncomfortable. Nevermind that Furiosa is risking her life for them. They are uncomfortable.

More explosions and we reach the pause in the first battle. Max has gotten free of the battle vehicle, but he’s still chained to and bleeding into a war boy. He comes upon Furiosa and the breeders. Yep, they are pretty and scantily clad and playing in the hose. They have bolt cutters, but they are too weak to cut Max free from the war boy. In fact, even though Furiosa catches a few good openings, Max still beats her in hand to hand combat while chained and bleeding. The war boy, thinking he can now return in triumph with the wives, cuts Max free. Yes, it required a man to cut the chain. Max commandeers the War Rig.

Ah, but Furiosa is not so easily beaten. She’s smart enough that she saw it coming and had wired kill switches. She talks her way back into the truck and is soon telling Mad Max that she ‘needs’ him. They soon form a tenuous partnership and fight many more epic battles. Yep, she’s the better shot. No, she doesn’t take the rifle, he hands it to her because he knows he can’t make the shot. A man’s got to know his limitations.

And, believe me, they are epic. Flame throwing guitar and mad crazy drummer truck epic. Pay the extra for the 3D.

In the end, it’s still Mad Max that wins the day and finds his redemption. And in true hero fashion, wanders off into the sunset away from the glory.

Yes, the bad ass power babe couldn’t have done it without the man. Totally feminist.

*You know, like Ripley, or Sarah Connor, or Tank Girl, or…. Yeah, Imperator Furiosa is totally groundbreaking and will single-handedly suck the testosterone from society .

(Edited for typos)

She Has Overcome

 

10296634_765089633525106_5060874179762599544_nI have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

That’s the verse printed on the inside of this bracelet. It’s been on my wrist almost constantly for the last year. I took that picture April 30th of 2014. It’s in support of Amy. I’ve told you about Amy.

Early this morning, she ran out of tomorrows. She is cancer free now, and she has overcome this world. And this world is a colder, darker place today.

She leaves behind a devoted husband, 2 young girls, two siblings, her mother, father, and countless friends whose lives she enriched.

 

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Her daughters brought her this flower. I understand she held it until the end.

Amy,

You were truly a gift from God. A light that shone too brightly for this world. I am blessed to have been a part of your life and heartbroken that your role in mine has come to an end. I know, my tears will dry and I will be left with only the blessing, but today is not that day.

Claim your crown and your new body. Rest in the peace you so richly deserve.

Stay Vigilant

Miguel over at Gun Free Zone has some points we should consider in the aftermath of the failed terrorist attack in Texas.

Funny as hell, but also wise: We have several innings to go and they will come back to the plate. We cannot expect they will remain dumb all the time.

Their next target will be researched ahead of time, scouted to look for security and planned to create the biggest amount of killing.  If they happen to get a couple of lone wolf idjits with some brain matter, the only thing they have to do is research mass shooters to get ideas.

Go read the whole thing over there.

I agree that this will not be the last incident, and the next one could happen in your backyard. Or at least in your neighborhood or church. There is not a law on the planet that would have stopped these guys.

And before anyone says anything along the lines of, “It would never have happened if they hadn’t held that event,” don’t. Unless you also want to explain to me what horribly offensive picture these 21 Christians drew that deserved beheading them over. Was the event rude and insensitive? Damn straight. At least for now, we’re still free to be rude and insensitive. But do not be deceived, your very existence offends these people. Or at least mine as a Christian woman who dares speak out of turn does.

Mom of the Year? Er, Not Quite

I’m sure you’ve all seen the video that has been all over social media of the mother smacking her son down for joining the rioting. And really, kudos to her. I applaud her actions.

But ‘mom of the year’? Yeah, I don’t think so. How about all the moms that raised sons that never pulled on masks and started throwing rocks? How about the moms with their arms wrapped around their frightened children while trapped in their homes because their city is burning? Or the moms anxiously waiting by the phone just hoping to hear their son’s voice because he happens to be a pharmacist in Baltimore?

Parenting is a tough job. It’s not for the weak. And sometimes, you do the best you can and your kids still make bad decisions. It happens. Baltimore mom, you have my respect, but you do not have my vote for mom of the year.

Required Reading if You Are Headed to Nashville!

WizardPC has a run-down on things you should know about Nashville

And some additional advice from his co-blogger, Oddball.

My Picture In Print!

Hey! That photo on page 35 of this week’s OKGazette looks mighty familiar.

Gazette

If you’ve been following me for the last year, it should look familiar to you too.

Here’s the original

Ash1

Don’t worry, it’s being used with my blessing. Keep your fingers crossed that I can catch more awesome images like this one this weekend at Super! Bitcon. Come out and say hello.