Our Sorry Behavior Got Us Here, Now What

sorry does not cut it via @MissLoriI was paging through my old blog posts today looking for… I don’t even know what exactly; direction deeper meaning? Like so many people, I am feeling dazed and confused by the place our society is in, (Read the election, shootings, divisive social posts, broken education, locker room talk). This quicksand of hate and ignorance and.. you know, honestly, I don’t think words exist to accurately describe it.

We are in a time when dismissal of individual humanity is more common than “common sense”. (Just turn on the news.) I was paging aimlessly through my posts because I wanted to see from whence we came, tracking, at least, my own personal progression as a member of society, who has a platform and uses it. I came across a post that I wrote nearly 7 years ago. Reading it took my breath away because it is illustrates a clear prequel to the unapologetic, sound-bite driven society we are suffocating in today. Reading my old posts, as well as the “On This Day” historical Facebook posts that show up in my inbox each day makes clear to me, we didn’t just become this “anything goes because nobody cares” society overnight, or by accident. We grew to this with consistent effort by some, and consistent denial by others. We didn’t land here, we walked. We did this. We brought us here. And it’s time we stood up and got out.

Miss Lori says “Sorry” Does Not Cut it on the Soccer Field or in Life: an original CHICAGOMOMSBLOG post from November 2009

In addition to my public work as an entertainer, I am a mom, an athlete, and, very proud to say, a youth soccer coach. I have navigated the subject of sportsmanship in the heat of competition both personally and professionally. That is why when I learned the story of the female college soccer player in New Mexico I was appalled.

As I continue to watch the footage of the New Mexico University Junior Elizabeth Lambert committing heinous acts of assault on her fellow soccer players during a game recently, I am reminded of how far off the path of civility we have traveled. We as a society have made winning in competition so important that we have lost site of our basic code of humanity.

TV Commentator responses have ranged from outrage to a more tepid response of “that’s sports”. Some people close to the player have been quick to defend her, claiming that this behavior was out of character for the young woman. I don’t believe that. You don’t just wake up one morning and start yanking rivals down to the ground by their ponytails when you think no one is looking. That kind of instinct builds up over time. It speaks to your personal truth about right and wrong.

I found it particularly interesting to hear Serena Williams comment on the event on the Today show, considering her own episode of violent talk at a tennis match this Summer. Yes, she apologized, sort of, claiming that her tirade was spewed in the heat of the moment. But was that enough? Is it enough that this New Mexico soccer player claims that she was simply “caught up” in the heat of competition and is prepared to accept any punishment deemed appropriate? You see, I think that by absolving these women of wrong doing simply because they claimed to be “caught up”, have now hung their heads in brief shame and are claiming to be willing to accept the World’s condemnation, we are overlooking the underlying problem. As a society we are too okay with violence as a justifiable reaction to stress. “Sorry” doesn’t take away the stench of their acts. “Sorry” doesn’t erase the visual that is out there imprinting on our young people. “Sorry” doesn’t assure me that you truly understand the line that you crossed, why you crossed it, and that you will never cross it again. “Sorry” doesn’t cut it!

But it’s not just Serena and the young soccer player, this is a disease that is permeating all of society, quietly, but with great devastation. We have to put our foot down and start asking for, and expecting, more, and better. Where is the civility? Where is the innate sense of right and wrong? Where is the self-control? We all get “caught up” from time to time, but the real measure of who we are is in what we are wiling to allow ourselves to do in a state of upheaval. What do we say when we are seemingly unfiltered? What physical acts do we commit? I get angry. I get upset. I might yell or use a curse word when I wouldn’t normally. But even with my defenses down I don’t assault someone I am angry with. I don’t scream out racial slurs. I don’t articulate grave physical harm. No, I don’t. Because even “caught up” in the heat of an emotion I am still guarded by the fiber of my being, my deep seeded sense of decency and decorum. I don’t stray from that because it isn’t within me.

If I see or hear children, when they are squabbling with each other, step over the line and start attacking each other. Really being cruel. My red flag goes up and alarms go off in my head. Immediately I take the offending child aside and we seriously delve into that instinct to harm. Because unless we curtail such instincts early, when children are developing their moral compass, and hardwiring their instincts, they are likely to grow up and face difficulties in the future. We have to help children develop a clear gauge of what their moral line is, and internalize a sense of serious consequence for stepping across it. Especially since in our current society “consequences” seems to bear no more weight than a begrudging “sorry’, and a “tisk tisk tisk” from the peanut gallery. (Even more so if you have money or if you are worth something financially to the rest of the World.)

Sorry just doesn’t cut it. Do more better. Expect more better. Be more better. And Let Your SMILE Shine On!

ML

Yup, we walked here. Now let’s run the heck out, TOGETHER!

SMILE On!

Miss Lori

 

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