And now for the swearing...

We belong to a homeschool group. We've been members for years. The girls and I both have many friends we've met through the group. We've been able to attend ornament co-ops, join Girl Scouts and learn about any number of things via our connection to this group. It has been a totally positive thing for us. And yesterday I was seriously considering leaving the group.

Why? Well, our group has grown tremendously over the years and now has ~140 families. It is experiencing growing pains which I find aggravating, infuriating and downright exasperating. Take yesterday for example. 20 families were signed up to attend the T. rex Encounter at the museum. How many families showed up? 8 families showed up. EIGHT!!!

Sadly, this happens all. the. fucking. time. People sign up but don't show up. Most don't even call or contact the organizer of the field trip in any way. Sure some have illness, or other legitimate reasons for missing, but the excuse I tend to hear is "we were so busy this week." Bullshit. If you are too busy, don't sign up to start with. If you or your kid is sick, you can still call or email.

In my opinion, if you sign up for something, it is no longer optional. This goes for short term and long term commitments. If I sign up for the field trip we go. If we sign up for Girl Scouts, we go EVERY TIME - with few exceptions that are communicated to those in charge as far in advance as possible. We don't decide we're too busy or lazy or whatever that day. Yes, I LOVE lazy days, I crave them. I want a pajama day more than anything right now, but we have commitments which we honor. If we have too many commitments, then we can re-evaluate and drop some. But we don't just stop showing up! Not showing up is ridiculous and rude.

Sadly, I've heard this is becoming the norm in more than just the HSing community. People think of non-school things as optional and show up when/if it is convenient. Is this a statement about society? Common courtesy, follow through, taking responsibility, those all seem to be in short supply. It's like the world is for YOU and screw everyone else. You see this in road rage, bullying, the sense of entitlement that oozes from some people.

How on earth do we fix this?! I don't know. I do know I can't change the whole world, or even the whole homeschooling group. I can only work on myself, my family. Our family's guidelines come from our UU Principles, the relevant ones to this situation being:
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
We have to respect others, treat them how we want to be treated. This goes for all persons. Whether or not we like them. Whether or not we agree with them. Whether or not we want to right now.

If only the whole world could think that way all the time, then there would be world peace. Of course, I can't do it all the time, obviously or I wouldn't be writing this post about how annoyed I am at these people! But if I try just a little more, maybe, just maybe, the world would be a bit happier.

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