Blowing Smoke

October 23, 2013 by Trina Bartlett
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I have a message for all the adults who complain about the behavior of children and teenagers: they aren’t the problem. We are.blowing-smoke

Most adults are hypocrites.

We tell our children that labels don’t matter, and then we buy name brand items because we aren’t sure that the generic brand will measure up. We tell our children not to judge others, yet we gossip with our friends. Worst of all, we spend valuable educational hours on anti-bullying curriculum when adults are the worst bullies of all.

This past weekend, I observed adults at our worst. Ironically, I was sitting outside my church at what was supposed to be a family friendly event.

The Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival was in full swing, and I was performing my duties as a mom. Since both of my children were in the annual parade (my son with the marching band and my daughter with her theater group), I joined hundreds of other parents, grandparents and small children to cheer, applaud and encourage all that is good about our community.

Dance troupes danced and marching bands played patriotic music. Scouts marched and church groups waved from floats.  The Shriners rode their tiny vehicles and beauty queens smiled.

As always, a few politicians used the event as an opportunity to shake hands and kiss babies, but one political group went too far.

The “Constitution Party” had created giant paper mache replica of President Obama’s head that reminded me of the Wizard of Oz.  While a recording of President Obama’s voice boomed and smoke bellowed from its mouth, a man stood inside the head smiling as he manipulated the thing.

It was completely inappropriate.

My complaints about “the head”  have nothing to do with political affiliation, and I am a huge proponent of freedom of speech.

But I am an even bigger proponent of treating other people with respect and behaving with decency.

Decent people don’t belittle others. Decent people don’t abuse public opportunities to spew venom. And decent people don’t disrespect the office of the President of the United States.

Decent people do take into consideration that young people are watching their words and actions.

All of us have extremely different opinions, and we certainly have the right to express them.  But when we forgo having real conversations and dialogue about issues and instead choose to make fun of people with whom we disagree, we are no better than the bullies that we warn our children about.



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One Response to “Blowing Smoke”

  1. Paula HoachlanderNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Trina, When we first moved here we wouldn’t miss the parade for the world…now we get out of town as fast as we can Friday evening and try to miss the whole thing all together. At this point the only reason I would go is if Eldon was in it and so far so good. Nothing he’s into right now draws him in that direction…thank goodness!!! You don’t live far from us but we are in the heart of it all and the whole MSAHF. People hang out at the end of our street all the time but the increase of people on that weekend is unbearable. It is a big draw to some of my neighbors but I want no part. I agree with your bully comments (and all others) and we have the biggest bully family in town right next to us. We stay here because we cannot afford to sell the house and we could never rent less than our current mortgage. We have been here eleven years and downtown Martinsburg has really changed for the worse…now I’m getting off the subject. I want you to know I try to read all your blogs and the ones I do read I want to comment but I end up feeling I don’t have the time to respond. We missed our last Daily Grind get together because of my job situation but I hope we can arrange for another time very soon. Keep doing what you are doing and kudos for doing it.

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