This is just a rant, so don't read it if you you're not in the mood.
I have held a complicated grudge for a while now. Not against people I just can't get along with, but against people that I cared for. No, I am not related to these people.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), I was taught certain things growing up: EVERYONE is a child of God, families can be forever, and Eternal life is achieved through a life of service, primarily. Now, as a member of the above mentioned church, I have gained a testimony of these statements, and I have had one for as long as I can remember.
I'm not trying to brag, I'm just setting the stage for what I thought was common-sense and common-understanding among other members of my faith. Because of my belief in those things, I have always tried to work towards becoming a better person. My goal has always been to get married in the temple, to be a mother, to raise a family, and to teach my children the gospel. And I thought that those were basically common goals to all members of my church. It wasn't until I moved to the center of the LDS universe (Provo, UT) that I became acquainted with some of the stupidest people I have ever met.
Disclaimer: I am in no way generalizing members of the LDS church, or those that live in highly concentrated "Mormon" areas. In moving to Provo, I have also become friends with some of the best people I could ever know, and am honored to know them at all. I am merely making an observation about certain "mind sets."
Having grown up in a rural town in Texas, it was drilled into my head that people are ALWAYS watching you. If you tout religious beliefs, people will call you on it if you screw up. And perhaps that's why I am the way that I am.
Back to Provo. After having had 14 years of living what I believed, moving to an area stuffed full of people who shared my beliefs was like a breath of fresh air. Finally I could relax. I didn't need to be a missionary to these people who were already converted. The next four years, that was my mentality. Not that I slacked off or anything, it was more I expected other people to behave the same way I did. I expected the same upbringing. Obviously I took my upbringing for granted.
High school is a time most people use to branch out, find their niche. Which lends itself to those adolescents making stupid mistakes. I get that, and I don't hold that against them. However, I do expect these people's parents to have laid the groundwork so that these kids don't screw up the rest of their lives by exploring, or not exploring, their options. My parents weren't perfect, but one thing they did well was stressing the fact that I was responsible for my future. It was my responsibility to put myself through college, and I WAS going to college. It was my responsibility to internalize my beliefs and become the person I wanted to be. They would be the example, and it was up to me to do what was needed for myself.
I think certain people I knew well didn't benefit from that same lesson. I realize that not everyone did their homework during high school. I realize that not everyone had a job then either. And that is fine. What I don't get is people not preparing. What I don't understand is just...doing NOTHING. I don't understand all the...APATHY I have witnessed, the lack of progress. I saw potential in these people during high school. That was 5 years ago. And several of them are in the same place. Yes, they may be in college, yes they may have a job one step up from the one they had in high school, but they aren't MATURING.
What is all for then, people? What is that Bachelor's, Master's, Ph.D. going to do for you if you aren't maturing? You want a better job? Why? Are you dating? Do you have a spouse, or children? You could get by just fine working for $10.00/hour at the call center if the only plan you have is to support yourself and have fun. Then you wouldn't have to waste all that time and money on a higher education. You want to make a difference in the world? Let me tell you a secret: Giving service to people on the other side of the world is going to open your eyes to the fact that you can only do so much by yourself. What it comes down to is building a stronger, better, future generation. What is going to make the MOST difference is going to be people staying home with their children--putting hours, days, years into instilling morals and virtues into the future. Don't get me wrong, service is wonderful. Like my dad would tell me, it's the most selfish thing you can do. The blessings received are more than we deserve for the service performed. But guess what. The FAMILY is the building block of society, not charitable organizations, and it isn't just the LDS church that says so. The best effort to fix the problems our world is facing will be to raise the best kids our world has ever seen.
After spending more time than I care to admit trying to figure out what I have against these people that I love, I realized it was that. I have always known that ultimately, building my family would be the greatest thing I would accomplish in this life. And somehow, my friends couldn't, or wouldn't, wrap their heads around that. THAT is the reason...for EVERYTHING! Life is short. What are you doing sitting on the couch, hanging out with your friends? I'm not saying that everyone should be married with a kid by a certain age, but you should at least be DATING by the time you're 23. Get off the couch, get out of the salon, and go on a bona fide DATE. Put the time and effort into making yourself the person you want to spend eternity with! I can't count the talks and quotes given by General Authorities saying this, and STILL, some people don't get it!
It blows my mind that some people don't realize this, that marriage--a family, is what it's all about. That is the center of the gospel. And they must not understand it, because, in my mind, they wouldn't behave the way they do if they did get it. Anywho, that is my beef. Moral of the story--Parents: teach your children what it's all about. And not just that, be their PARENTS, not their friends. It is just wonderful if you end up having a great friendship with them, but your responsibility is first and foremost to parent them, and you are doing them an ENORMOUS disservice if you don't teach them to take responsibility for themselves, if you don't teach them that having a family is what it's all about.
Grow up people. We aren't kids anymore.