A-Z Survival Guide to Life
Y – Yo Momma’s Rules
This is the twenty-fifth installment in the A-Z Survival Guide to Life I am writing for my boys.
This isn’t a post all about Yo Mama jokes. Honestly, most of them are pretty awful and I don’t think anyone should insult another person’s Mom. Although I do like the one about Yo Mama is so pleasantly plump, when she steps on the scales it says “to be continued”. I had to insert the “pleasantly plump” because “fat” is a three letter word that is not to be spoken in our house. The word “fat” is kind of like Voldemort off of Harry Potter, he who shall not mentioned. I remember when my oldest was just about 4 or 5, he was looking in the fridge one day for something to snack on and he asked me “If I eat these carrots, do you think they will make me pleasantly plump?” I chuckled at that and still do 15 years later.
Actually this post is about rules (according to Yo Momma) to guide your behavior throughout your life and keep you safe and out of trouble. And if you don’t remember anything else you have read in this A-Z Survival Guide to Life, please remember these.
And the reason why I mention these, is because yesterday I was watching a show on “20/20” about a group of football players at an elite school on the East Coast. One of the football players I believe had just arrived at the school, he was a promising young lad, with a bright future, and a shoo-in for going pro. He made some really unwise decisions, involved other members of his team, and his best friends in his home town (he sent them videos of the incident, which he later asked them to destroy). This one poor decision, followed by a slew of increasingly worse decisions had such a ripple effect and irrevocably changed, and destroyed the lives of a huge group of people. The boy with the promising future is now looking at spending decades in prison. His friends from his home town will most likely spend some time in prison for tampering with evidence and his team mates will also spend a substantial amount of time in prison.
When the verdict was read by the Jury Foreman, guilty on multiple charges of aggravated assault, the camera panned over to his parents who were in the court room. His father let out such a harrowing bellow of true agony and anguish, upon hearing the verdict. It was heart breaking to see. The entire time I am watching this show, I am saying to myself, what on earth were these kids thinking? How could obviously disciplined boys, stellar athletes and undeniably pretty smart (for having been accepted to such a venerable school) make such stupid decisions? Was it their parents’ fault? Did they not guide them, teach them about right and wrong? But when I saw that Dad, just groan and visibly deflate at hearing the verdict, I knew that was not the case. And this made me pause. Because when you watch shows like this, you always try to put up a defense against your own parental worries, by saying “Oh it must be the parents fault” in order to protect yourself from worrying that your own children, who you think you have guided and taught right from wrong, will never be in a situation such as the one I saw on 20/20.
And I am sure these parents did everything in their power to make sure their boys grew up to be fine young men. So how did things go so horribly wrong? Like I have said before, I think a group mentality takes over, a group of people involved in a certain situation, get carried away, and lose any ability to rationally think. We have talked about this a million times and like to refer to this type of group think as “The Lord of Flies Mentality”. A group of well-educated boys become involved in a situation and forget what they have been taught about social mores, the acceptable ways to treat others and themselves and the situation just escalates and escalates until tragedy strikes. At that point there is no turning back, things can’t be undone.
Having said all of that – here are the rules, the basic guidelines on how you should conduct yourselves, and I think this will keep you safe, and out of trouble and you will be able to accomplish those goals you presently dream about and are aiming for.
Yo Momma’s Rules for Life
- Never objectify anyone – We have spoken a great deal about this, when watching TV shows and movies. No one has been placed on this earth simply for the amusement, entertainment or pleasure of others.
- Women are just as strong as men, treat them with respect – They may not be as physically strong, but they are stronger in different ways. Nothing drives me crazier than hearing someone say, “You whine just like a girl.” As far as endurance goes, women are much stronger. Who are you more intimidated by, me or your Dad when we are mad? Me. I am a formidable foe and I don’t forget. Besides I don’t think anyone whines better than a man with a simple cold.
- Don’t become involved with people that don’t respect themselves – Keep away from these types, because they will pull you down, bring you to the level at which see they themselves.
- Just because you think you can get away with something, doesn’t mean it’s right – If you are thinking of doing something because you think you won’t be caught, obviously there is something not quite right with what you are about to do.
- Do the right thing even when no one is looking – Live your lives with integrity. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, even when unwitnessed by others.
- Do not drink to excess – unless you are in the safe confines of your own home. Being drunk is not a good excuse for any type of bad behavior.
- Pranks can backfire – Even the most seemingly simple, benign pranks can backfire – just don’t become involved in them.
- Follow the laws – Laws are there for a reason, they are not there to be broken. If you are ever called on your behavior make sure that it is irreproachable, that way you won’t have to scramble to explain why you didn’t follow the laws.
- Never get sucked into a group activity going awry – Avoid all activities that seemed to start out just as “fun” but appear to be escalating and becoming out of control. Walk away as fast as you can. If anyone accuses you of being a “pansy” or a “whimp” just smile and wave good-bye. Better to be a pansy or a whimp outside prison walls, then a fun-loving group participant inside prison walls.
- Never betray the trust of loved ones – I believe complete and undeniable trust is a one-time privilege. Once that trust has been broken, you can never bring it back to its former pristine state.
I spent a great deal of time thinking about these guidelines. I read them to one of you and this was the conversation that ensued:
“What do you think of these guidelines, do you think they are attainable and easy to follow?” I asked.
The young man slowly shakes his head, raising his eyebrows just a bit and says, “They are boring.”
Rather taken aback I say, “Boring…hmmmm…they are not supposed to be exciting or entertaining. This is important stuff.”
Then I proceeded to tell him the story about the football players at the University over on the East Coast. He listened intently, slowly shaking his head.
“Man, that sucks for the victim, and really those guys deserve what they got.”
“So if you had one guideline you could really live by, what would it be?”
Without hesitation he said, “Bottom line – don’t be a prick.”
Well, there you are. I think to myself, my son is a person of few words, and he said in 6 words, what it took me 1200 words to say.
Photo credit: thinkinbasic.com