Spreading Good News (Part 218 – Joyce Fields’ Published Editorial #1)

The goal of Spreading Good News is for readers to:

GET INSPIRED and/or GET MOTIVATED and/or GET INFORMED and/or GET AWE-STRUCK and/or GET A BREAK FROM ALL THE NEGATIVE NEWS!!

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DO YOU LIKE TO READ GOOD, SHORT BOOKS?  CHECK THESE OUT AND ORDER HERE: http://www.GoodShortBooks.com.

VIEW OUR CABLE TV AD HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AXHTT8NGT8

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TODAY’S QUOTE

DO THINGS THAT PUT YOU ON GOD’S “GOOD” LIST.  ~ Joyce Fields

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TODAY’S BLOG

In 1997, I wrote two editorials and submitted them to The Detroit Free Press. In 1999, I wrote one editorial and submitted it to The Detroit Free Press. In each case, they changed the title and published the editorial—verbatim!

It’s amazing how relevant these three editorials still are today—nearly 15 years later.

Here’s the first one, which was published on April 24, 1997.  I’ll post the other two in the next two days—one each day.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about then and now.

NOTE: Because the upload specs make the editorial less clear, I have included the full transcript first.

“Better examples help kids more than political remedies”

In a recent news report about youth crime and gang violence, state Sen. Dick Posthumus, R-Alto, asked:  “Why does a 12-year-old act this way?”  In an attempt to answer his question, Sen. Posthumus has created a task force on youth gang violence.

With all due respect to the senator, we don’t need another task force.  We need to start applying good, old-fashioned common sense to our problems, and we need to start eliminating causes instead of treating symptoms.

Twelve-year-old kids don’t suddenly decide to become “bad.”  As a society, we are training our children to accept, enjoy, and participate in violence and antisocial behavior.

Imagine a child in front of a television or movie screen.  What is that child likely to see?  We all know that violence and aggression will be a big part of the mix.

From infancy through puberty, our children—all of them—are fed a steady diet of violence.  And children are getting more violent because television and motion pictures are getting more violent.  It seems that each piece of “entertainment” must try to outdo the last in portraying bloody confrontations and general disrespect.

We cannot directly change the TV or motion picture industry, but we can talk to children about what they see on the screen.  We don’t have to let them think that violence and antisocial behavior are OK.

Our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins can hear from us constantly that they should never violate anyone else’s rights or property, that they should help people in their families and communities, and that they should be well-mannered and polite, especially to their elders.

People in every neighborhood can set good examples for children.  When we see a 5- or 6-year-old child break a bottle in the street, we can rush out with a broom and dustpan and explain why that’s not a good idea.  When we see a child committing violence against another child or an animal, we can explain to that child why violence is not right.

Remember the Golden Rule, and remember the past.  We can’t go back, but, through our voices and actions, we can re-create what was a better time, with far less youth violence and bad behavior.

Years ago, TV and movie villains did not kill anyone.  The worst that happened was a fistfight or someone getting shot in the arm or leg.  You never saw a child or young adult with a gun, and that attitude spilled over into real life.

When kids had differences, they fought it out with their fists.  Within the next day or two, they’d more than likely be friends again.

Children on television and in the movies used to be well-mannered and polite.  The media reinforced that notion, and society had zero tolerance for antisocial behavior, especially by children.  The children knew it, and they acted accordingly.

Today, not only are TV shows and movies much more violent and gruesome, even the “good guys” perpetrate cruel, vile acts against others.  Antisocial behavior seems to be the norm.  Our children are paying attention, and we must intervene.

We can change future generations of 12-year-olds.  Anybody who’s been around children and observed their behavior knows that they copy what they see and hear.  That’s how we all learn.

So if society does not want children to get involved in violence and to have disrespectful attitudes, society must not allow children to be entertained by them.  As long as this type of entertainment is around, we must become more vocal in counteracting it.

We don’t have to wait for answers from any task force.  Starting today, we, as individuals, can make a difference within our families, neighborhoods and communities.

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~ Joyce Fields

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About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of eight books (seven non-fiction; one children's fiction--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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