Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Almost writing about politics

So, I am a tad out of touch with the big world beyond our walls, and I had no idea that our President was delivering his final State of the Union last evening—until I turned on the TV and managed to catch the last 15 minutes or so. It was about what I’d expected in both topic and tone, and luckily George W. has the sense to keep it short (unlike some of our former, more verbose leaders). The most annoying thing to me, aside from the ridiculous up-and-down clapping performances that have always seemed so cloying and phony, was the fact that Nancy Pelosi was apparently reading something the entire time George was speaking. Not only was she rude enough to read as he delivered this important speech, she wasn’t even subtle about it; she made no effort to hide her boredom.

Now, if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that one’s professional demeanor reveals quite a lot about one’s personal behaviors. Her behavior, in very broad view on national (and international) television, tells me a lot about ol’ Nancy, and none of it’s good. I’m slightly embarrassed on behalf of the American people for placing a disrespectful person in a position of such authority—a very visible and vocal position, to boot, and one from which she platforms way more than I’d like.

I hear so many people bemoaning the state of our youth, how they’re rude, how they’re quick to spout their feelings without restraint, how they don’t consider the feelings of others, how they never ponder the future consequences of their actions. Why should they? I’m afraid Nancy is not alone; there are countless adults behaving in ways that they’d never teach their children, not just at work but in their own families and circles of friends. In many cases, young people today are simply modeling what they've been shown.

And sadly, if I step back and recall with truth and honesty, there are plenty of times when I’ve been a bit Nancy myself. I’m not proud of those times. I need to constantly remind myself about that plank in my eye before I go picking at the speck in someone else’s. And I need to remember, too, that any change I desire begins not with my changing someone else, but by my changing myself. A friend of mine reminded me about a great verse (thanks, Cari!) and I think I will write it here to further imprint it on my memory:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Keeping that in mind, I will now put Nancy and her undesirable behavior behind me. She deserves no more of my attention, aside from examining myself in light of my reaction to her—so as to ensure that I don’t behave in a similar fashion.

Sometimes we forget that what we’re putting into our minds and hearts is what comes out; what we’re entertaining in there, mulling over, spending time on, eventually consumes and becomes us. And looking at the world around me, I want to be pretty careful about what I’m letting in and what I'm dwelling on—for my own sake, and for the sake of anyone who may be watching me.

(Since this blog is really just an extension of my mind, I’ll be sincerely trying to keep it true, noble, right, pure, etc., for the very reason quoted above—those are the sorts of things I should be thinking about.)


Anonymous said...

Nancy was no doubt reading the printed copy of the speech that all Congressional members received earlier in the day. Yes, she seemed a bit snooty, but not really too bad, considering what I've seen in the past, and just how much she loathes the prez. Lots of others were reading too. Its passe anymore.

Mel said...

I think it's kind of rude, regardless. I know they all had copies of the speech, (that's what everyone was getting signed afterward, right?) but still--it's in poor taste to read anything while someone is giving a public address. Unless it's the occasional checking a word or something--but it's not as if he was speaking really quickly, or heatedly, or didn't wait for applause to mostly stop before he began talking again. Just another example of how what once was seen as undesirable behavior is now acceptable. I don't like it.

Mel said...

and not to harp on this, but she had to know she'd be in plain view for the entire speech! she knew where she was sitting! she knew where they'd be training the camera! people just don't think--or simply don't care.

Cari Skuse said...

I thought the very same thing about Nancy when I saw her reading. And just because everyone else may be doing it, does not make it right! I tell my kids that all the time.
Speaking of child-rearing, have you heard of this book:
Parenting with Love and Logic http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Love-Logic-Updated

It makes you think about what you are teaching your kids and how to make them responsible for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I, too, noted Nancy's demeanor, even though I only watched the "highlights" of the address on the news. I know they are on polar opposite sides of the fence, but there should be such a thing as graciousness and respect in politics (and everywhere else), particularly at these highest levels.

Mel said...

Haven't heard about that book, Cari, but it sounds like a good one. I definitely am reminded daily now by Marcus that everything I do and say is being absorbed by him. And Lord knows I need some logic to deal with him when he's being so 2!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yeah, Chris, I hear you--I know that our entire congress is pretty much divided down the middle and NP is on one side while GWB is on the other, but knowing that the world is watching and you're sitting in a very noticeable seat should cause a person to behave in an appropriate manner. It doesn't mean they all agree on everything--but man, in these days especially, we really need to be a united front for the world to see.