The Bears lost. The Packers won. This is a big deal in Chicago-land.
We only saw it extremely fitting to have a lesson about peer pressure with the middle schoolers on the morning of the big game. While most of the kids are Bears fans, there are a couple Packer fans in the mix. As middle school goes, there is teasing and testing of lines and boundaries … and sometimes, feelings are hurt in the process.
So we had a pretty decent discussion about how we can have a rivalry without pressuring our friends. We can have friendly competition without disrespecting others’ opinions, thoughts, actions, and choices.
Then today’s game happened. Cutler was hurt and didn’t play a good portion of the game — and the Bears ended up losing. The response from the media was skeptical, but the responses I saw on facebook and twitter stunned me. Hurtful things being said about this guy and various things that he should’ve done. Not nice things to say at all.
…and it made me wonder…
Should we have bothered to teach this peer pressure lesson this morning? Did it make an impression at all? We tell the kids all the time, in church and in school — to not be pressured into doing things that you don’t want to do or aren’t right for you. We tell them to know what’s best for them and stick to that. We tell them to be nice and tolerant of their peers.
So are we saying one thing and doing another? We might be. How do we expect our kids to make wise and decent decisions in this world when our first reaction to a football game’s QB is to rip him apart out of our own disappointment? Why do we bother to teach them about tolerance and love and friendly competition when we, ourselves, don’t act on these so-called beliefs? Are we building up our sisters and brothers, or teaching them that blame is the name of our game?
Perhaps we need to take our own advice and lessons to heart. Be mindful and intentional about what we are saying, whether it’s a facebook status or a comment made in passing. Our kids are listening to our conversations and our actions, and perhaps we should give them the same respect we demand.