We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

20 January 2007

Bullies and weak minds..

My son wants to start Tai Kwon Do and even though he went for a sample class a couple of months ago, and cried, he has matured a fair bit in that time. He was kicked and knocked down at school the other day, and although he seems to have really shrugged it off, it was a nasty, unprovoked incident and we worry about the start of bullying. My husband's view is that if it happens again, my son should punch the kid in the face ..not to fight, but to nip it in the bud, you see he believes that's the only way to stop a bully from carrying on. But my son is not really like that, he's just not. Watching the kids on the playground its amazing to see how different each one is. Some are rough, some are quiet, some are performing, some are oblivious.

When I think about them, I visualise two gardens growing side by side. One is carefully tended with good sunshine and water and sometimes the extra treatment of compost and fertilizer. The other garden, also gets the basic water and sunshine but not much else. Both gardens grow, as life finds a way. But the somewhat neglected garden is a pale shadow of its neighbor. It is spindly and slightly weak. The weeds creep over and infiltrate. Our kids are one part us (genetics), one part environment/influence (not parents), one part our influence and attention, and the rest is completely their own karmic path.

The key to martial arts is to instill inner discipline. To have inner discipline is very important, to be able to still and control your own mind is the key to a truly happy existence. If you are a slave to your random thoughts and emotions, you will be thrown this way and that like a tree branch in a hurricane.

Enter Big Brother. Now I don't intend to write about tv stuff with any regularity what so ever, but if you are here in the uk, or in India, you are probably aware of the controversy going on about one contestant, Jade Goody's behaviour toward another, Shilpa Shetty. I have watched some of it, and yes it is car crash tv, but its also a social/psychological experiment. Here are alot of people with no mind control at all. I was surprised to find that Jade supports an anti-bullying charity (from which she has been dropped due to her actions). She is a classic bully. She shouts people down rather than communicate, gets in their face, is aggressive, manipulating and insecure. All of this can be seen pretty clearly. The thing is, they say living in such an artificial atmosphere brings out the worst in people. It certainly has on these shows.

But I've been in retreat.. in a situation I chose (like the contestants chose to be there), with limited stimulation (no tv, radio, telephone), and have never acted out like they do, nor encountered anyone like that either. On the show its a case of not thinking whatsoever before you speak--Even though they know they are being filmed 24/7, again awareness just slips away.

Shilpa to her credit, is dignified, strong in character and not at all insecure. She is also a better actress than Jade. But then that's what made her famous in India, her acting. She is actually an A-list celeb, while the rest are what, C-list?? Why is she even there? I suppose she feels its about personal growth and experience.

So why am I taking about this? Well its made the politicians talk, they are worried that this show will represent England as a bunch of xenophobic racists. And well, if you believe the media, then I'd say the country is heading toward xenophobia, but then a show like Big Brother certainly doesn't attract the cream of the crop so to speak. People desperate for fame (except this time, its celebrities trying to rekindle their fame), no matter how belittling, and also for money (don't know how much is offered this time), will do anything it seems to get it--quickly that is.

But its not just Big Brother that we should be concerned about..in my opinion its the whole slew of 'reality' tv shows coming out. Even for children, on CBBC there are game shows, and 'reality' competitions that take up alot of airtime..which means aside from going on the show and actually taking part, most kids are just sitting at home watching someone else do 'something', its not even entertaining. What happened to the kids shows we grew up with..animation, claymation, puppetry etc.. is it just too dull for kids today? oooh am I still ranting??

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