October 22nd, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
I am not sure what Random Acts of Kindness actually means any more! I am ashamed to admit I think being kind to someone today is a lot different than it was in the past. Now, many kind acts can be misconstrued as interference which would negate whatever kindness that you thought you were doing. Don’t think that I am just writing the first thing that came into my head, because that wouldn’t be true. I have been thinking about those Random Acts for a long while and for an old woman to do, it is difficult, but I don’t think impossible.

Anyone can think of some little thing they can do for a friend or good neighbor. What is harder is to do something for a young person, unless of course it involves giving them money! Now if you read this column often enough then you know I have a solution on how to do those Random Acts of Kindness for your very own family. That is if you are wiling to try.

Here is one of those ideas. First, you have to make a very difficult decision or rule for your family. Are you ready? Well, you have to tell your children, regardless of their age, that they may not use any of their electronic devices at any table where they are eating! This means they will have to eat and talk to their family members, regardless of how boring they think that is. I think this becomes an Act of Kindness when you, as the older adult, has taught your children how to talk and how to interact with each and every family member. They might also find that in a shorter period of time they will learn about the world, their country and even their own family members. And this automatically becomes an Act of Kindness on your part. Think about it, can you imagine your child actually talking to you and/or their grandparents and actually learning to speak clearly and in English? Keep in mind that English is still the language of the United States, regardless of what you hear on the streets. Because you are willing to insist on family time and family speak, your children can join those who actually think that conversation and correct English are still worth learning and practicing.

I heard someone say the other day that computers, iPhones and iPads are killing our culture. And the more I thought about it, I think they were right. If you take a few minutes and don’t limit your watching of the younger generation to just your own children, you will almost never see a face or eyes any more. Nope, as today’s children walk, run, watch TV, or attempt to talk to family or friends, they are busily texting or playing a video game on their hand-held device. All you get to see is either the top of their head or the top of their baseball cap! And it really makes no difference if it is a male or female. All children under the age of about 20 are addicted to their electronics.

Because I am absolutely opposed to such behaviors, I feel that only the parents of today’s children can help them with this addiction. There should be rules on when and how much they should be able to stay on their phones, etc. All day and whenever is just too much. I did see on TV the other night a group of college students from a very prestigious college who were asked what was the name of the Vice President of the United States, what was the electoral college, and who won the Civil War. And do you know that only one of about 10 knew the answers! Can you believe that? And I am perhaps foolish enough to believe that if these same young people were told to put their electronics away and read a few books, that they might know those answers!

So this is my Random Act of Kindness for today, help your children and eventually our country to get back in the game. Don’t let your children become as fixated on their phones, games, etc. That they are unable to converse with anyone, particularly adults, will ultimately lead to a society that is so isolated that they will never recover. And neither will our country!

Of course, another Act of Kindness is to help an older person, whether they are handicapped or not, open that hard to open door or even carry their packages to their vehicle. And unless I am wrong, you will receive a smile and sincere appreciation for your kindness. And you know, that isn’t too bad!

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