Identifying | Mark’s Remarks

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It never ceases to amaze me how the rumor mill works in our small communities.

In my opinion, people don’t have enough to do.  Or, talking about others and discussing “what they’ve heard” makes them feel alive and vital.  

I have some advice for those people who run their mouths for sport; those who aren’t able to carry on meaningful conversations but find that every word out of their mouth is a slur or a comment about someone else: get a hobby, volunteer for a ministry, or find someone you can help.

And by all means, shut your mouth!  

The latest load of patootie I heard is that local schools are entertaining the idea that some students identify as animals.  

Yes, that’s what I said.

This started because some girls had “cat ear” headbands on and were walking around the playground after lunch, meowing and licking their paws.  Some were getting down on all fours and slinking around like a Siamese.

Hey folks, they are kids!  They do strange things and giggle about the bizarre.  They. Are. Kids.  They are still growing and changing. And sometimes, they do silly kid things.

In our screwed-up households these days, kids are absolutely screaming for attention.  They are hungering for boundaries to be set. They would kick and fight if parents took electronics away from them, but in the end they would be grateful they have a parent who cares about them and is in charge of their life.  

Parents are too caught up in their own lives and too concerned with the frivolous that they have little to no interaction with their children.  

My point is this: kids will do just about anything to be noticed and get some attention. As I said, they are screaming for it.

Kids hear other people talking about people in our society “identifying as an animal” and they naturally decide they might be able to cause a ruckus. Therefore, they put on cat ear headbands and pretend to be cats.

This causes kids to go home and tell their parents, who in turn talk it up at the grocery store and most likely call a school board member or an administrator (because, that’s what we do in small towns when we “know everyone”).

“I heard they are putting litter boxes in the bathrooms of the school.”  

Mercy.

When my parents were in high school, the fashion of the day for some ladies was to wear a style of glasses called “cat eye” glasses.  Remember?  

I wonder if those gals of the early 1960s ever thought they might want to start walking around meowing and shopping for a little bell to wear around their neck? Maybe they thought it would be fun to start asking others to call them “Puff” or “Snowball” or “Tiger.”

I told my wife that if people were going to start identifying as animals, I was going to identify as a kangaroo. I’ll start hopping around and once in a while, I will rare back with my powerful legs and kick people as hard as I can.  I won’t get in trouble because I will just hop away. Plus, who can blame a kangaroo for protecting his territory?

Folks, our kids need us desperately. We have to allow time for them every day – even when they are moody teenagers who act as though they don’t like us. 

We have to find ways to connect with them, have conversations with them, and check on them. We need to look at our lives and see what we don’t need so that we can clear out that space and use it for our kids.

I don’t think we need to treat the kids who are searching or experimenting with any less love or understanding than any other kids. Of course not. All kids need to be accepted and loved. Find ways to talk to them and somehow connect. Even the most difficult and eccentric children can have something they will talk to you about, some shared interest or passion that they want to go on and on about.  

They need someone to just talk to them and care about them. It’s not rocket science.

A little more advice for you people who think you need to identify as an animal and jump (or gallop, fly, hop) onto the bus to go to school.

Animals don’t go to school.

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