Thoughtful Thursdays -You Be the JUDGE – Are We Teaching Our Children to Be TOO Critical?
American Idol, the X-Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, Cake Boss, and a thousand other shows are turning primetime television into a literal judge fest. And now even Disney is hopping on board with reality television and creating a Shake it Up dance fest featuring kiddos of all ages strutting their stuff in the public eye. And you guessed it. They will all be judged.
It’s almost ironic that just as we are teaching our children to “Judge, lest they be judged” – we are living in a society that likes to play armchair quarterback in nearly every facet of personal talent. We have favorite teams, favorite actors, and favorite people. We vote on whom we like best all the time and are being egged on by mainstream media to be the judge. Of everything. When people talk about the upcoming presidential election – people talk about who ‘they like,’ without really understanding the platforms or issues behind the candidate.
So, just what is all of this need to be in control and judge others really about?
I admit it (head bowed); I’m no better and actually was upset that Lauren Alaina lost to the oddly baritoned teen country heartthrob last season of American Idol. But I am conflicted about the message that I am sending to my children. Are we teaching them to become too critical? Shouldn’t we strive to be in more of a ‘live and let live,’ type of world? Is it even nice to say that some 17 year old who dares dances or sings on television sucks, especially when he or she has more courage than I do?
Truth is that we don’t even know these folks on television. We think we do, but we don’t. And few of us ‘regular’ people who prefer to sit on the couch with a remote in hand and make ourselves feel better by judging someone else – have the guts or gumption to stand in front of a millions of people and speak, let alone dance or sing. (In truth, the whole idea of it plays out in my nightmares!)
The momspirational side of me says that judging and being judged are part of life. I am sure that many of you would agree, this becomes truer once you become a mother than at any other time. We all have the desire to be right, to be accepted, (and appreciated) by others as well as the need to feel like we are doing the best we can. We want others to ‘judge us’ favorably – especially when it comes to our maternal skills.
Still, as we sit down and turn on the boob tube, and find it easy to judge others hastily and make statements to the good or bad about what kind of person they are, we need to remind ourselves that our kids are listening….and that we wouldn’t want people to treat us that way. Especially people that didn’t know us.
An incredibly smart person told me once, that what I don’t like about others and the things I am quick to criticize in those around me – are truly reflections of how I feel about myself, and I should use them as seeds for my own flower to blossom. If nothing else, it is food for thought.