Preschool and Politics

Over and over I get astonished at how some people conduct themselves. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. At my age it has happened over and over again, yet every time I am stunned and taken aback. I guess I expect people to have some degree of manners and scruples. I don’t know why I would expect that at this point.

I wonder over and over again how the lessons I tried to teach as a preschool teacher seem lost on adults. When you see the president calling people names in speeches (not even in the heat of the moment, but premeditated and multiple times) or being a bully, cyber and for real, when you see people in power using that power to hurt other people, when you see executives being unfair to their employees, you have to stop and wonder why we expect more from our preschoolers than we do from the adults in charge?

I saw a tiny, talented young girl win a big contest on television last night. She was by far the most talented of the contestants, and to be honest, I voted for her on numerous occasions. As I watched her on that stage, waiting for the winner to be announced, I saw a girl who had overcome shyness and who was now trying to hold it together. We expect a 12 year old young lady like that to be a gracious winner and to be able to handle the money and fame (and all that comes with it) in an instant. Yet we seem to be alright with politicians acting like petulant children when they lose and even when they win.

Furthermore, I am sick and tired of us normalizing lying. It doesn’t even seem to be just when something is questionable, it is when the truth is right there in front of us and we still act like the lie is acceptable! If we wouldn’t accept a preschooler doing it, why are we accepting it from adults? If our kid told us the sky was green, we would not believe them just because they said it, when we can see it is blue!

And don’t even get me started on bullying. We have zero tolerance in our schools and yet we all, including our young people, watch it regularly on TV. From our leaders, no less!

If someone tells you who they are, believe them! And call them out! If someone throws you under the bus, let them know that you know what they did. If someone lies to your face, call them out. Don’t be hysterical, but let them know that you are not going to accept behavior that you would not tolerate in a 3 year old. Just like a calm, yet stern adult can make an impression on a child, we need to get our act together and be unyielding in speaking up.

And while we are at it, the last time I checked, we are supposed to open our hearts and our doors as Christians, not build walls. If you want to put out an ad about wanting to help to build a big, ridiculous structure that will serve no purpose other than wasting money and making up for what ever size inadequacies you have, I wish you would quit following it with the word Christian. Last time I checked Jesus had nothing to say about building walls between “us” and “them”- in fact quite the opposite. So if that is what you want to push for, be my guest, people seem to want all kinds of ludicrous things. But associating those of us who are Christians with your follies is not OK.

I wish every time we heard a politician or big executive or even our bosses say things that are not honorable, that we would think to ourselves, “Would we find it tolerable if our preschooler did that? Would we ignore it if they lied, would we laugh at them for bullying, be OK with them excluding other kids in the playground for any old arbitrary reason?” Would we??

It is a shame that we are to the point that the standard we need to work on holding our leaders to is “what would a preschooler be expected to do,” but we are. Quite frankly, I would be satisfied if they could pull themselves up to at least that small benchmark. I am losing hope that they can.


Previous article“They Say”
Next articleThe Worst Thing
Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.