By Delilah McMasters
My grandmother was a hard woman. She had a set of beliefs and stood up for what she believed. A spade was a spade, a good egg was a good egg. Mind your business and she would mind hers. She didn’t suffer fools: Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and everyone puts their pants on the same way, one leg at a time. And there was never an excuse for bad manners. Never. There were unspoken rules and etiquette about behavior, and we all knew we would get our butts beat for breaking them! No lying, cheating or stealing! Keep your mouth shut if you don’t have something nice to say. I think grandmothers must be extinct, it’s the only explanation I have for all the bad behavior I see these days.
When did it become obsolete to have good manners? When did it become OK to bash someone for being different or to call someone names? Label others with monikers only used by people who once upon a time would have been considered “not raised right” or “ignorant,” so you had to forgive them? Now it’s the norm to try to discredit someone for having an opinion different from your own and acceptable to try to demoralize them while you do so. Who decided instead of having constructive criticism it was better to be rude and crude to get your point across?
For some reason, I thought once one became an adult it was our responsibility to be open minded to other’s freedoms of expression, political views, religious preferences and backgrounds and then mediate and understand how we all should respect those things. Aren’t those the things grandmothers and schools taught us was great about growing up in America?
Somewhere along the way having freedom of speech and being entitled to an opinion made the majority of people believe they could bully or not tolerate others’ same rights. Being empathetic or trying to understand different perspectives or standing up for others has become a sign of weakness. How did this happen? Is it a generation thing? Have we been led to believe our opinions are the only ones worth listening to? Did social media platforms make us comfortable in spouting out disparaging remarks without any regard as to how hurtful they could be? By hiding behind our phones and computers with plenty of time to whip up the perfect response to harm someone, does it make us less liable for our actions? Ridiculing someone’s interests, lifestyles or creativity should not be in vogue!
Don’t get me wrong, my grandmother wasn’t perfect. The woman was known to bring her kids and grandkids to their knees with the right stare and a few words. The Bible was kept on the kitchen table the older she got and thumbed through daily, more than likely looking for loopholes because she was scared she was going to end up in hell before she found one. Yet the one thing she ended every conversation with was, “I love you. Be sweet.”
Maybe that’s what so many people need to hear. Maybe no one has ever said those words to them and they don’t know how to love or be sweet. Or maybe they never had a grandmother beat their ass for being ugly.
I love you. Be sweet.
Delilah McMasters is a local resident and the mother of six. Reach her at BlessYourHeart76063@gmail.com
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.