Usually I read meaningless drivel and move on.Â Today I found it impossible not to get riled up about a "news" entry I read this morning.Â The "writer" discussed her role in the PTO as being one of the "popular" crowd.
I refuse to link to the article as that may drive traffic to it.Â However, this mother seems to take pride in gossiping, forming a select "group" that texts in traffic about other mothers and acts in an exclusionary manner.Â She even admonishes others for not fitting in according to "their" terms which include owning the latest Coach handbag.Â Can you say shallow?
It is unfortunate some people never grow up then produce spawn who will learn the same infantile behaviors.Â We wonder why bullying and intolerance seem to be on the rise, despite campaigns to educate people about unity, appreciation of differences and acceptance.
The same PTO mothers gripe about a lack of volunteers.Â Nobody wants to be talked about, left out and treated poorly for giving their time and hearts.Â Many parents work long, hard hours and don't have time or energy for such trifling behavior.Â Others are wise enough to avoid being lemmings that follow along with no thought to the ultimate result.Â Some struggle to function everyday with health issues.
Sadly, these narrow-minded people are role models for our children and help create policies that impact everyone.Â We need to talk to our children about avoiding these behaviors and daring to stand apart from the "sheeple."Â Avoiding involvement is not the answer.Â This is exactly what they want.Â Then they can continue to make themselves feel more important than others and do what they want with no scrutiny.
I remember facing this as a PTO board member who refused to engage in this wasteful behavior.Â Regardless of the actions of others, I stood apart to introduce meaningful ideas such as healthy eating, tolerance, accountability and anti-bullying programs amidst the gaggle of "everything is fine just the way it is."
After getting into the "inner circle," I soon discovered how vile some of these volunteers were.Â One even wished another volunteer with cancer would die.Â I detached myself from these "friendships."Â I spoke out at meetings, talked to pertinent personnel about real issues and did the work without petty exchanges.
I did the same in college two decades ago when there were fights on campus.Â Working to organize the first local "Unity" brought together all the "outcasts."Â I had them speak to everyone about their "differences."Â These brave people helped make a change.Â People started to recognize what they had in common rather than putting others down.
When we don't say anything, it is wrongfully deemed to be intimidation or acceptance.Â No select group has a right to define everyone else and put themselves on a self-created pedestal.Â Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, values are defined by individuals and poverty is not a crime.
It's not fine the way it is.Â When we walk away because of a group of nasty people with poor attitudes, the children suffer.Â They are our future.Â Be strong, stand up to these bullies and show your children how it's done.Â Everyone remembers these people from high school, who are still running in place with the same friends and the same tired perspective.
Maybe someday "the good guys" will finally take over and push these self-serving, egotistical people into their rightful positions.Â Either way, everyone is equal and has a right to be heard.Â A mob mentality should never define our actions or the actions of our children.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons