Number Worthy

As we get further from human contact with busy lives and social media, how will we get the valuable “first impressions” of people? Whether we like the idea or not, it is essential to have some kind of filter. Certainly, everyone doesn’t qualify for friendship, to be a trusted tenant or employee. It has become politically incorrect to judge other human beings on appearance, behavior, or even skills( Affirmative Action), but we have always needed to judge each other for many things. We do it and it is valuable.

At least, in the past, a sparkle in someone’s eyes and clean appearance gave them a chance. Nowadays, our society has chosen numerical scores to apply values to people.

It wasn’t very long ago that grading and testing were considered unfair and unclear. We have forgotten that many of our greatest entrepreneurs and inventors, dropped out of school, and off of that grid, yet we continue to weigh numbers so heavily. Why?

When it comes down to it, numbers cannot ever measure human value to each other and society. We all know, as well, how often numbers can be manipulated. Most of us, forget that fact, and wave them around as “proofs”.

The urban legends of “Numbers don’t lie” and “Everything in print is true.” are alive and well, my friends. Try making a “tongue in cheek” remark on Facebook if you doubt me.

My most recent pet peeve is the BMI (body mass index) applied to people in an effort, for some, to calculate health risks. The greater hidden agenda is about health care costs, period. In a doctor’s office these stats may be useful. In the public domain, they will discriminate and foster feelings of inadequacies rather than help. Our schools are about to apply a value (their explanation is , to teach.) on our kids. It’s surprising that in our modern information age, anyone who cares, could possibly remain uninformed about diet and exercise but the schools believe we are not informed. I think they consider us dumb. Furthermore, I believe the healthcare industry is scrambling to get health care stats out in the open. One way would be to allow schools to start collecting data. Hmmmm…tricky?

With my argument voiced, I could not help but find some humor in the revolution of numerical stats as a measure of human worth. I have a few ads we may see soon:

“You could be my sweetie-pie if not for your BMI.”
“I think that I would love you more, if you improved your credit score.”
“You may think outside the box but I hate your choice in stocks.”
“Popularity begins and ends, with your number of Facebook friends.”

Numbers are no way to measure the worth of anyone, yet, we are beginning to use them that way. Let’s not allow them to carry too much “weight”.

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Making Better Choices ?

sheepskin finally arrived
sheepskin finally arrived (Photo credit: G A R N E T)

There is an under tapped resource in our country. Hundreds of thousands of people are never considered for jobs due to the fact that they have no college degree.

Just because someone didn’t have the interest or funds for a college education, should not eliminate them automatically from high paying and creative job positions. Creative minds are often born in the world of society’s “underachievers”. After all, these folks have followed their own paths which, seems to me, one fine first creative step.

When will our country separate the concept of intelligence from that of formal education? They are not at all one in the same. There is a discrimination at a grand scale going on. Our country’s future, as an innovative force in the world, is falling victim to an over played devotion to titles and credentials.

It’s time that those doing the hiring do their job and LOOK for talent rather than expecting to find it in a file.

What IS a bully?

English: A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Be...
English: A Bully Free Zone sign – School in Berea, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My sister and I just had a conversation about bullying which made me realize what a complex subject it is. The discussion began, as most bullying discussions do, with a specific example of a kid she knows who is a “victim” of bullying.

Now, you may ask why I put victim in quotation marks? Well, it seems in cases of bullying often there are many players and the victim just may not be easily identified. Don’t shake your head. It isn’t always the big scruffy kid and it rarely is totally one-sided.

No, it is not alright to pursue and badger someone incessantly.

No, it is never okay to hit someone.

How can we be sure that they, the “bullier” and the bullied, are victims of the purest form? Are we to believe that in our society the preponderance of bullying involves one weak, unsuspecting victim and one mean spirited person who picked them at random?

C’mon.

There’s a quote from the 60s TV show Adam-12 that seems appropriate here. The two hero/police officers are standing beside their police cruiser after a day of crime fighting. One turns to the other and says, “The only thing that is black and white in our job is this car.”

Kids who are small, girls who cry, people of minority status, people with physical infirmities, etc. start off with the sympathy barometer needle tipped on their side, and they are aware of it. It shouldn’t matter that much because we are all aware of their “edge” but it has become a powerful tool in our modern, politically correct society.

Example:

Once upon a time, if Earl was an unfriendly sort of kid who tormented others, Earl would not get invited to Birthday Parties or be asked to play games. Earl just might have a chance to see the error of his ways by the natural course of things and learn to play nicely.

Nowadays, Earl must be included. Many Kindergarten classes insist that all kids are invited to play, no exceptions. The natural order of consequences are disturbed and Earl realizes he need not get-along at all. If anyone attempts to straighten Earl out, and Earl has a special need, he realizes he is ALL powerful because, after all, the kids are automatically (Get the black and white deal?) discriminating against him. Earl is not stupid and learns that he need not even try as long as he can use the “D” word. Ah, discrimination is the most powerful word.

I know! All you can imagine are poor special need kids or minority kids huddled in a corner abused and forgotten. We must make sure that they are treated fairly! No we don’t. Their siblings and friends will be there. The only kids who need protecting are those with the inability to learn social lessons, such as, autistic kids.

Little kids are not like that and I maintain, the Big kids without compassion were once little kids who never learned the social lessons. I trust little kids more than anyone else (except for dogs) to have compassion. Small children almost always like anyone who plays nicely. Don’t forget, minority and special needs kids are capable of being brats. Being excluded for bad behavior would be the best medicine for any and all brats. Besides, the perceived weaklings are more than their disadvantage alone. By considering them disadvantaged we label them as disadvantaged!

Gosh, I remember being protected from getting hurt on a baseball field because I was a girl. I thought our society was interested in equality. Wearing labels just works contrary to that, don’t you think?

As for bullying, this blanket protection of the crying and weak has a direct hand in the increasing incidences. To step in when kids are “at odds” keeps them from learning the social lessons they will need. Which are:

  • play fair and consider the feelings of others or you will not get along and have friends.
  • being too sensitive doesn’t work and it’s your own job to get along. (Just this morning, one day care child kept telling me another wasn’t “being nice” to her. Upon investigating the crime, I realized, the child who was complaining just wanted the other one’s attention. My answer was, “Well, invite her nicely to play.”)
  • a person’s character is who they are, not any other variable.
  • Everything is NOT always fair and that is a fact.

While I am making this old-fashioned and controversial presentation, I want to add another insult to the politically correct utopians. Yes, there are varying degrees of being a victim too.

WHAT? <GASP> A victim is a victim!

No…a person who leaves his/her keys in their car and has it stolen is less of a victim than one who has their car hot wired and stolen. Stealing IS wrong and shouldn’t happen. NEWS FLASH…it does happen.Take some responsibility people.

And if you swim in a canal in Florida, there’s a chance an alligator may bite you too. What a world, what a world! 🙂