I’ve been thinking hard about how I could relate my blog to Blog Action Day 2008.
A fellow Twitter user had linked to it and I’d been convinced that it was a good idea. Hey, anything that draws attention to world poverty can only be a good thing. So, I’m all signed up, got my promotional banner up and got a nice little image for the bottom of this post. Thing is, I can’t think of a single tenuous link between my blog and Blog Action Day 2008 that doesn’t sound trite and patronising.
What is Blog Action Day 2008? Read What It’s All About here.
So, I’ve opted for a personal little story related to my adventures in the world of online TV. I don’t own a TV. This is not due to miserliness, avoidance of the license fee, destruction of family conversation, gratuituous violence/voyeurism, lowering of broadcasting standards or any pious nonsense about it being harmful to the soul, though I’ll heartily propound any or all of the above truths at any given moment. We simply never bought one of our own when my husband and I bought a new house and thus it has stayed. We do not miss it.
However, as with all things, I began to wonder if I was missing something. I am now hooked on The World’s Strictest Parents. Not being a parent and being somewhat enthralled and afraid to look/listen at any given moment, I’ve been glued to the screen watching with a view to seeing what modern education/careless parenting/amoral society/liberal government policy has done to our young people. Not much positive it seems.
The basic premise of the show is that young people, whose natural parents/guardians have all but given up trying to turn them into responsible/capable/respectful/useful citizens turn them over to a family somewhere far from home.
Is it the (quite often Christian) strict values/standards, intolerant attitudes towards typical Western notions of teenage-hood, maintenance of the innocence of childhood pursuits, mutual love/respect/praise/encouragement or is it the close proximity to extreme poverty? I’m undecided, though it is clear that those teenagers who come face to face with poverty are – without fail – changed for the better. Their petulant demands to be able to wear feather earrings and tight/revealing clothing seem to disappear. Pettiness dissolves in hard work at soup-kitchens. Prima-donna types are broken down by the everyday reality that belongs to someone else.
In these foreign temporary families, Britain’s teenagers learn respect for elders, respect for each other and respect for blessings. They learn politeness in the home, politeness in school and politeness to hungry strangers. They see that our Western, privileged socitety where healthcare is freely available and education is the right of all and mutual understanding has been hijacked by political correctness is not the only reality.