Sunday was an eventful day for our family.
Our daughter turned three years old and graduated from one of the dangerous drop-side cribs to a big girl bed.
*We opted to bank on the fact that our kid wasn't dumb enough to stick her head through the rails, even though it wouldn't fit if she tried.
Over-protective nonsense aside, she is now the proud owner of a twin canopy bed that allows her to climb out and run upstairs every 15 minutes throughout the night. Hooray.
Anyways, the event I want to talk about happened when I was working solo in the afternoon.
While driving to cover an event, I came to a four-way stop right here in Maryville.
A car full of youngsters, all six of them, apparently thought it was a good idea to throw up that notorious finger placed between the pointer and the one married people wear rings on.
I'm still young myself, at least I like to think so - still deciding on whether or not I'll turn 29 again this year or give in to 30 - but really?
I understand teenage angst, and I understand that age group wanting to get out and stir up some trouble.
I've been there. All of us have in some way, shape or form.
What I don't understand is what younger generations are beginning to adopt as acceptable behavior.
I'll have to hold my tongue here before I go into a rant about reality television, but I truly believe what is shown on the tube now is far more detrimental to society than it was a decade ago during my impressionable years.
Pretty sure I've gone off about this in a past column or two, but this incident, along with shows I've seen that the wife watches just tears it.
I am not, nor have I ever been a model citizen, though I try my hardest to be. But at least I have learned to show some respect.
My wife and I try to teach that respect to our children, and there are serious repercussions if they don't comply.
Respect seems to be a lost concept amongst our youth.
And it has dire consequences.
I read an article yesterday about a 12-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who died due to complications from an alleged fight with a bully at school.
He was in a medically-induced coma since January 10. The students who allegedly attacked him were suspended. None have been criminally charged.
It makes me sick to my stomach to think about how we treat each other as fellow humans.
Seriously people. We don't have to agree, actually that's probably impossible.
Page 2 of 2 - But why do we have to attack each other? What good does that do? What problems are solved by lashing out against others?
For those following along, the answers to the previous questions are as follows; there is no legitimate reason, it does no good at all, and no problems are resolved with violence or harassment.
Hopefully that makes sense.
This is not only for the perpetrators of violent and unreasonable acts, but to the victims and their families.
Vengeance does nothing either. It only perpetuates the cycle. Violence begets nothing but violence, and it has to stop somewhere. Someone has to be the bigger person.
Call me what you will for saying this, but I truly believe that we can not move forward as a society until we work together.
Fighting and bickering in our federal and state government is only dragging our country further into a horrible situation that no one wants.
Little squabbles among our local government are drawing battle lines and forcing neighbors to pick which side they stand on.
I'm probably being a little dramatic about all of this, but seriously look at the situation.
One gunshot started a revolution - even though no one knows who fired first - because tension had grown to a boiling point.
I'll get down off of my pedestal, out of my soapbox, as long as people agree to start living by ONE rule.
The golden rule.
Think about it. If we ALL seriously treated others like we wanted to be treated, our country - nay, the world - would be heading in the right direction.
This includes parents. Realize that your children mimic your behavior, without the cognitive control that adults have. Also seemingly without the consequences that adults have.
Sad to say that with high-schoolers randomly flipping people the bird and beating up 12-year-olds, the chances are slim.
It's time to wake up and own up to our actions. I say YOLO to the youngsters (just learned that means "you only live once"), make it right, you'll be glad you did.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at