Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I for "If I ruled the world..."

I read a local newspaper story this weekend that was very disturbing. My sister’s murderer has been in maximum security prison for just over a year, and he badly assaulted two guards. This is his fifth disciplinary incident. After I read the story, I looked at his son, Li’l D, who was spending the weekend with us, and tried to control the tears I felt pushing at the back of my eyes. I wonder what his future holds. At almost four years old, he is showing signs of behavioral and emotional problems. We don’t know if it’s a result of the trauma of losing his mom and witnessing her death, because he was too young to talk about it when it happened, or if he has inherited emotional/mental issues from his father. It could be a combination of the two. We will most likely never know what he witnessed and what he remembers from that fateful day.

His temper tantrums and mood swings are way outside the range of what a “normal” four year old would do. Usually, the tantrums result from a perceived lack of control on his part. If he wants control and doesn’t have it, he melts down. We witnessed this a few times over the course of the weekend. Unfortunately for him, Music Man got the brunt of the kicking and punching that occurs as part of these meltdowns. Good thing Music Man is quite a bit larger than our four year old nephew and thus didn’t incur many bodily injuries. As Li’l D gets older and larger, however, this will become more worrisome. Best to get it under control now.

My mom and her husband have enrolled him in a special program that deals with kids who’ve experienced major trauma and have behavioral/emotional disorders. They were originally hoping to just get advice on how to deal with these meltdowns, but now we’re all hoping that they’ve gotten a good jumpstart on the problems that seem to be manifesting themselves in my nephew. He is the sweetest, smartest, funniest, most caring little boy most of the time, but when that temper rears its ugly head, watch out. It is in the latter moments that he looks exactly like his father, a mini version of the monster responsible for his trauma, and it’s sad and scary.

This all got me to thinking about how the world would be different if I ruled it.

If I ruled the world…

People would need a license to conceive children and to become parents. There are far too many people out there, members of my family included, who have children that they really probably shouldn’t have. If you cannot take full control over your own life and responsibility for yourself and your actions, you have no business shaping the lives and minds of our future generations.

Criminals would be punished in accordance with their crimes. For example, my sister’s murderer would be placed in a room or car that is then set on fire; he would not be strangled first, because I wouldn’t want him to get off that easily. Because I know that this isn’t realistic due to all of the extra appeals we’d now need to grant prisoners in order to be absolutely certain that they were, indeed, responsible for their crimes, I’ll amend this rule. Instead, I think criminals proven to be a danger to society should be fenced in with very high, very thick steel walls. No one should have to put their life on the line to babysit these monsters. Instead, it can be a free-for-all where survival of the fittest is the name of the game. They would of course be provided with food, shelter, and running water, but that would be it—only the absolute necessities.

There would be a zero tolerance policy on abuse against women, children, and animals. What kind of man (or woman for that matter) beats on something less powerful than himself (herself)? Children and animals are defenseless, so to be able to look at one and perpetuate egregious harm against it is unconscionable. If an abuser thinks he/she is so tough, he/she can prove it in the criminal compound mentioned above. Violence against any man, woman, child, or animal will not be tolerated.

It will be mandatory to have your pet, particularly cats and dogs, spayed or neutered (speutered). It is criminal how many homeless animals there are across this country as a result of irresponsible owner and breeder practices. Once shelters and rescue organizations are nearly empty, licensed breeders will be allowed to breed limited quantities of dogs and cats. These breeders will be held to strict policies and standards in regards to breeding practices and treatment of the animals in their care.

Prospective pet owners will undergo strict evaluation to determine suitability for pet ownership. Pet owners deciding to discard their pets as though they are objects that have lost their usefulness (for example, those who get rid of the dog when the baby comes along) will pay large fines. (Exceptions will be made in cases where the pet proves to have irreversible behavioral problems.) These people will not be allowed to own pets in the future without proving that their mindset has changed and that they are capable of being responsible for the furry life they are taking on.

A good work ethic would be instilled in all members of society. If you want something, you have to work for it. Nothing in life is free. The attitude that jobs should just fall into your lap, or that money should just be handed to you because you deserve it, would not fly. Thinking that someone is lucky because they can afford a new car or a house is a sign that you have a problem, because these things usually aren’t a result of luck; they are a result of hard work, planning, and patience. The entitlement mentality that is far too pervasive in today’s society would fall by the wayside.

There are those among us who genuinely need help. Perhaps a family is struggling to get back on their feet after the recession. Maybe a woman has left her abusive relationship and is faced, for the first time since having children, with the task of finding a job and taking care of her family on her own. We would all pitch in to help these people, because compassion would be more prevalent than selfishness.

Tolerance of others would be the standard, so hate crimes would carry severe punishment. Hating someone else because of their race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., is just not acceptable or logical. Many people fear what they don’t understand, so education programs would be available for individuals who need or want to gain understanding on the lives of others. We are all human beings, and we should treat each other with dignity, respect, and common decency. Live and let live!

Any adult could marry any other adult of his or her choosing. I see absolutely no valid reason to limit marriage between consenting individuals. Love is love, and those who want to express their love by making a lifetime commitment to their partner would be entitled to do so. I know a few gay couples who would have better, stronger marriages than some of my heterosexual friends and family members have.

In tandem with the previous decree, any adult fitting the appropriate criteria (i.e. financially sound, not a pedophile, not a convicted criminal, etc.) could adopt or foster children. There are many children out there in need of good homes, so I see absolutely no valid argument for limiting the options for these children by not allowing homosexual couples to adopt or foster them if they choose to do so.

If one is old enough to die for their country, i.e. enlist in the military, they are old enough to drink an alcoholic beverage.

There would be a large reward for the first person to find a cure for stupidity and ignorance. In addition to accolades from around the world, there would probably be hospitals, universities, or even whole cities named after this amazing individual.

In addition to these big policies, there would be smaller rules enacted in order to just make life a little more pleasant for all of us.

Restroom Stall Buffer Guideline:
It would be mandatory that, when entering a public restroom, one leave at least a one stall buffer between themselves and any current restroom occupants. In cases where this is not possible due to high volume of restroom usage, the guideline can be disregarded. This rule would be highly enforced in my workplace. I can’t stand it when I’m in a restroom stall, and the new person entering the restroom decides to sit in the stall right next to me. WHY?!? There are 10 other stalls to choose from, and you need to be right on top of me?!? REALLY?!! This just irritates me to no end. WHY do people do this? Why wouldn’t you want to leave a buffer if you could?!

Siesta Statute:
Should they so choose, every person would be entitled to one midday nap. Naps are just as good for adults as they are for children. I love a good nap; I find them rejuvenating and think they’re good for the soul. Workplaces would be encouraged to provide comfortable facilities for employees to nap in, but that wouldn’t be mandatory. Of course, there would have to be timing guidelines. Nap hours would exist from noon to four each afternoon to allow for individual timing preferences; maximum naptime could be set by each workplace as long as the half hour minimum was enforced.

Rudeness Regulation:
The phrase “excuse you” would be banished. One definition of the word excuse is “to make apology for” or “to remove blame from.” One should only make apologies on their own behalf, and one cannot remove blame from another when the fault lies with them self. The phrase “excuse you” is typically used by those who should be saying, “Excuse me,” because they were at fault for doing something like running into someone or blocking an aisle in a store. It irks me to no end when I hear someone say, “Excuse you,” because it is very rude. Depending on my mood, it can make me feel quite stabbity (yeah, another made up word).

Martyr Maxim:
Individuals wishing to play the martyr will be directed to facilities in which they may climb up on a cross and hang out until they are ready to rejoin reality. I hate when people constantly play the victim. I do not feel sorry for you if you chose to have children that you now regret. I do not feel sorry for you if you cannot afford to put gas in your car or food on your table because you decided to spend your money on video games, movies, or any other frivolous thing. I do not feel sorry for you if you married an unsuitable partner expecting them to change once the ring was on their finger.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a right to complain now and then; however, if you carry around the belief that you should be worshipped because you chose to take on the burden of parenthood, for example, you are a martyr. It’s a sometimes thankless job, and it’s hard work; we all get that. There are people who do it every day without expecting statues to be resurrected in their honor or the world to revolve around them; you can too. No one gets to play the victim as a result of circumstances they themselves created. There is enough drama in the world; we don’t need the martyr’s running around creating more.

And this, dear reader, is what the world would look life if I ruled it. What would it look like if you ruled it?

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  1. I have no words that would adequately portray how sorry I am for you and your entire family.

    That being said, I am so sorry.

    And I would love to live in a world where you are in control. It sounds like a great place.

  2. I would add (thank you facebook groups)that drug testing would be mandatory for those wanting to get welfare, or any other program where tax payers are responsible for supporting you and your family for that matter. If you are truly in need, do you need to take illegal drugs?

    In addition, let's see about actually finding you a job ... that way you can pay taxes too, therefore paying back a little of what you have been so graciously given.

    While we're on the subject of taxes, just because you are a single parent, doesn't mean you deserve a HUGE tax refund. It's almost like you're being rewarded for having kids out of wedlock. Those of us who did it the "right" way deserve the same bump that you get.

    As far as adoption goes, let's see about getting all of the children in our country adopted before we worry about other countries. I'm not going to pretend I know all the numbers but this is just simply common sense.

    I'm sure I could go on and on but I'll stop here. :)

  3. I agree with this post.

    And picking out the light one to really comment on... the bathroom buffer. It's as bad if not worse then standing in line to pay for something and someone is so close to you they are leaning on you.

    I really like your blog. Following now.

  4. I am so sorry for what your family has gone through. However, I think the best thing you can do for the little one is exactly what you are doing-being aware of what may be causing his problems, and doing your best to work through them. Best of luck doesn't even come close to quantifying how much I want him to be okay.

    And seriously-I agree with every point you made-I will be your campaign manager if you ever decide to run for World Leader!

    Thanks for an absolutely fantastic and thought provoking post.

  5. You have an award over on my blog!

  6. Elle, you have basically expressed my feelings....from the big stuff to the small stuff. It all seems simple and logical to me.
    I wrote a post a little while ago about the the ASPCA and how ridiculous it is that they want $20 a month for bandaids...just get rid of the culprits...duh!

    And dear, you already know how I feel about the rights of LGBT everywhere, and all the ways they are NOT treated equal. It boggles my mind! Amen to your words.

    Oh, and the bathroom thing-yeah, there should definitely be a law! LMAO...or at least add that lesson to the kindergarten curriculum. :D

    People suck. Maybe not all, but in general. And that would be the majority. I still like to kid myself into thinking that there is good everywhere, but then I just open my eyes and look around. It's simply not true. It's a good thing I can pick and choose who's in my immediate surroundings, on the daily. It makes everything more tolerable, somehow.

  7. WOW. I don't know quite what to say. I applaud you for being so direct and honest about how you feel, especially in a public blog.
    It is not always appreciated nor valued by others. As the mother of a "special needs" child who has been through a lot of trauma I have to remind myself not to compare my child to other children nor look for signs of a "problem"
    I have to tell myself that she is only two and often two year olds behave this way. It could be normal. It could also be just her temperament. If there had been no trauma and loss of a birth mother and other care providers, no time spent in an orphanage would I be searching for something to "explain" her behavior? Or would I see and allow her to a normal kid. Your nephew is lucky to have you in his life. I am sorry for the loss of your sister.
    Have you had your nephew evaluated for a sensory integration disorder?
    That could explain his behavior and is also inherited. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest and thanks for visiting my blog!

  8. just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog...

    your views are largely my own...
    but enforcinge them would be hard, to say the least.

    The bathroom stall buffer should be posted immediately in all public restrooms!

  9. I think I could happily survive in a world that you ruled. It seems that we take a lacadasical approach to dealing with criminals - especially those who comit the most henious of crimes. I'm afraid of what it is going to take to open our eyes and see that we are providing them something that even the general public struggle obtaining on a daily basis - shelter, food, water, free time... I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. Your nephew is lucky to have you in his life watching out for him.


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