Happy Monday

10 Aug

The sun has barely come up on a Monday morning and I’m already cranky, thanks to a human interest story on my local morning news. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had my second cup of coffee and I’m not thinking clearly, or maybe they were trying to fit too many ideas into too small a sound bite, but somehow, in 22 very short seconds, they managed to royally tick me off. Watch out, co-workers, I’m revved up and ready to go!

In a story about a community back-to-school event, instead of discussing the event itself, they expressed how the early morning start time of school is detrimental to minority children and causes them increased obesity because they are not sleeping well due to discrimination they suffer during the day, and therefore would benefit from a later start time. Uh… What?

That kind illogical conclusion is no different than saying, “This pill is purple, and this pill is poison. Conclusion; all purple pills are poison.” No! Not all purple pills are poison. And not all (or only) minority children need a later start time/suffer discrimination/have increased obesity/don’t sleep well at night. This is the all too common, lazy man/political compilation of unrelated facts, usually twisted in a way that ignites anger or fear, that passes as news these days and I’m really getting sick of it.

The way I see it, it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, male, female, old, young, rich, poor, Christian, Jewish, or Wiccan. Everyone needs more sleep. Everyone has suffered from discrimination or been bullied. And everyone has tried to eat, or drink, or smoke, or gamble, or shop away their hurt feelings. As long as we are human beings interacting with other human beings, we will have emotional reactions to those interactions. A later school start time will not solve this problem. What we need to do as parents and educators is teach our children by example and do everything we can to make sure their daily interactions are positive ones. It’s a very basic concept. In fact, we learned it once, back in kindergarten, and Sunday School, and at Girl Scouts, and watching Sesame Street…

“Be kind to one another.”

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