Choices Matter.

Growing up, I would to worry about my eldest brother, when he deployed while in the Marines, first to Vietnam and many places further a field. When my brother’s sons aged into men, my concerns included his eldest son, who followed in his father’s foot steps and my second cousin, Vinnie Paul, also joining in the family legacy of Marines.

Everywhere, I looked and went time seemingly expanded to include my ever-growing and consuming concern for friends from ccollege. Men and women, who were serving their ROTC commitment from Penn State at a time which started this nightmare of aggression for my generation in mid 1990’s.

I remember being newly married, freshly relocated from Pennsylvania to North Western Indiana watching the first Gulf War, Desert Storm explode…I remember the troops who died in the terrorism barracks explosion. Those kids were from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania, one was an acquaintance/classmate from college.
I watched in horror as I realized my newly enlisted 18-year-old nephew was going to be part of this event. A job he loved as like his Dad.

Then the day before my child’s 3rd birthday, I was nearly 9 months pregnant watching those planes hit the towers, staring in horror as more terror unfolded on the news. Hearing another plane went done in Somerset, PA not far from my husband’s neck of the woods. Wondering where my eldest retired Marine brother now a government employee was in his flight intenary for travels at that moment in time. Frantic calls between sister to my sister-in-law.

I remember hearing within days my eldest nephew, that Marine mentioned, was deploying with the 26 MEU within days of 9/11 renewed start of terrorism.
I remember being stressed as those victims names were released from the multiple terrorism events of 9/11. Early labor was no longer able to be held off. Hello, Nathanael, welcome to this world.

I remember the world was never the same for my generation as like my Mother’s generation of WWll, or for my 4 eldest brothers’ generation of Vietnam. The Vietnam war affected most the eldest and second brothers who were in the Marines and Army respectively. The eldest made a career in the Marines, early career spent tours in Vietnam.
The second did not remain in the service and made a civilian life suited to him. We will just skip rehashing the demonstrations, protests, etc…the shame of Americans disrespecting servicemen and women from that event.

I remember telling my best friend, the reality tv trash out of Hollywood is undermining our culture. I remember thinking those who were valued were living lives of questionable action but were being held in high regard. Directing political consciousness, an irony to me as they made money from questionable films, sitcoms, etc.
Suddenly, media said, we couldn’t this or that in our homes with how we raised our children without facing shame and sanctions from Parenting magazines perpetuated by the development of those soon to become “the helicopter Moms” preaching a new kind of rearing.

Schools could no longer expect the parents to step up when Johnny and Suzy were brats, bullies or classroom terrors. Parent’s are raising feel good at all times, everyone’s a winner and gets a trophy kids; because goodness gracious, why should Johnny or Suzy feel disappointment and learn to adapt and adjust accordingly.
Suddenly, classroom time was being devoted to raising those kids, disciplining those kids or putting concessions in place to balance the scales so their behaviors were tolerated at the expense of curriculum.
Not surprisingly, Mrs Johnny’s mom doesn’t understand why her son isn’t making a certain grade…it must be that teacher’s fault. Oh, hello.

Hello, Helicopter parents. Hello discipline issues. Hello dumbing down a another generation because no one wants to step and stop the insanity.
So, I remember as a school volunteer wasting my time catching little Johnny’s on the playground and redirecting HIS bad behavior with no repercussions laid. All this and a recent few past generations of parents tied the hands of educators, police and I remember thinking: I am afraid for my sons’ future. Schools are getting soft on discipline because of stupid feel good laws and rules brought about by my generation’s of peer equal parents’ questionable ideals. (I am not the age of my typical peer parent. I am much older.)

I remember thinking this country is going backwards because those in this current generation, who they revere are those dictating political correctness. Masses of people are following those who have an agenda to look good for movies, plays, sports contracts, sitcoms and advertisers but they don’t live the life they preach?! Are they truly living a life of a hard, admirable work ethic with unimpeachable values? And those who do? They are being held in contemptuous scorn by trash digging media and society.  Media outlets seeking to undermine and discredit their values because it doesn’t fit the agenda of terror and civil unrest which is news worthy. It doesn’t fit in the platform for politicians to advance their agendas. Both of these perpetrators of “truth” have an agenda, funded by their supporters or advertisers with their agendas for financial gain.

A new domestic terror of our own making. I remember it spiraling out of control, spreading to our neighbors, schools, churches, social groups, just spreading like a disease. No one really gets how insidious it really has become and no one can tell you where it started and how?! Really?

I challenge you. Go backwards to your parents, or further to your grandparents, in my case, my mother is equal in age to my current parenting peers’ grandparents generation. Remember their values think about those rules, the freedom without media perpetuating fears, the constant stimulation from on demand information guiding your thoughts, controlling your reactions and changing your behaviors.

Think about the freedoms from worry, think about the accountability, think about the truth of where we are now in family relationships to where “we were” then. Think how far off course, we have become in this path we all walk now….think about those men and women who advocated change with dignity and respect. Many paid the price with their lives and the world was still a place of wrongs needing righted but the wrongs need accountability not mass hysteria.

Stop listening to media, movie stars, leaders of agendas INSTEAD listen to your church, the kind neighbor, the parents of children worth emulating, grandparents with lives of regard. Stop the segregationist in their agenda by separating us and them by color, religion, race, ethnicity or groups…it comes down to you to stop the insanity.

Everyone matters. CHOICE MATTERS in conscious decision-making, be the author of your own ideas, THINKING FOR YOURSELF MATTERS. Exercise respectful actions, CHOOSING to think, react, and execute actions for each and all is the only thing which MATTERS in stopping a runaway freight train of disregard.


Joanne Roth Marino

True colors and politics: jumping on the hypocrisy train.

I feel like my sons when they were riding along on trip and impatient to arrive. Peppering the silence with questions marking miles. So, I feel like I’m trapped between hypocrisy riders in this political quagmire. I hear the questions repeat in my head, is it over yet? Are we there yet? Is the political year in America over yet? May I please step off this train of hypocrisy that I  have been swept onto as a bystander? I do not want to take part of the impending train wreck and it will definitely be a train wreck in politics.

Politics just shatters my perceptions of people. It will unequivocally decimate the illusion of them by exposing their true colors of hypocrisy. I am not referencing the political candidates but rather generically, the fb friend, coffee house regular, the school teacher, the congregational member from church, or that man on the street the everyday average Joe.

You can’t shove the big bad attitude Genie back into the bottle after the election people to cover yourself in the illusion of prior perceptions, once exposed always exposed. Think first. Carefully, choose your words, exercising actions wisely before you jump into the fray spewing your righteous sanctimonious true colors.

You’re entitled to opinions. You’re not entitled to assume without research. You are not allowed to be spiteful while expecting to keep your illusion of a dignified pious person. People, we will watch you bleed your hidden colors.

We will take note of  your choices, your carelessness will change the hue of our perceptions, shading what was once seen as a bright aspect in your personality into the visually choatic muddy mess of grays. Once the sham falls, you will reap the change from your actions, those additives of white, blacks and grays is what is left from political fall out, not just a newly elected official but a tarnished you as well.  Rant over.
Joanne Marino