• 27

    Sep

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Pull Your Trousers Up

Over the last six months, I have travelled to several states within the United States of America. During my journeys, I continue to be baffled and piqued by the fashion trend that is sweeping the nation. Young men and women of all ethnicities: Caucasian, African-American, Lainos, Asian, wearing their trousers in a vulgar manner. These individuals chosed to wear their trousers showcasing their underwear. Some of them even wear their trousers below the buttocks revealing parts of the anatomy which should always be covered up in public.
When and where did this fashion trend became so prevalent in our communities? I was told it started in the prison system with prisoners who because of safety reasons were not allowed to wear belts, so their trousers fitted them on the hips. Why then do young men and women wearing belts in their trousers still wear them below the buttocks? Have you noticed how these individuals walk? It is comical watching them walk while using one hand to hold their trousers up or strutting their legs to a wider stance to keep the pants from falling to the ground. Their strut reminds me of the way ducks move. And, no offense to duck lovers, but we all know how smart ducks are.

I don’t have the answer to this issue, but the behavior is so disturbing that a song, “Pants On The Ground,”  performed by a contestant on the widely watched  TV show “American Idol” created a world-wide rave. The song’s chorus admonished young men and women to “pull their pants up.”  Our collective voices must continue to impress upon our youth that most of the times in life you do not get a second chance to make a first impression. And, while it may seem hip to them to wear their pants beneath the buttocks, the majority of our society view this fashion trend as adding no value to one’s appearance and it projects a negative self-image.

So young men and women, pull your trousers up, please!

  • 20

    Sep

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/On Being Respectful

People utter the most awkward remarks at funerals and memorials. Over the last year, I have attended several funerals and memorials. Can someone please tell me the difference between what is a funeral and what’s a memorial? I am sometimes appalled by the posturing that takes place as “some speakers” at these very sensitive events attempt to impart to the audience their love for and friendship with the deceased. One of my mentors, who is now deceased, always said to me “tell me how you feel about me now, so I can appreciate your gratitude and thank you.”
I have attended funerals and memorials where speakers have said such things as “Your father (the deceased) and I had secrets that you all will never know,” “Come on people, you all know my name should have been mentioned in the Obituary,” and my all time favorite “Can we all just get along. Let’s stand and hug the person next to you.” I don’t know what it is about funerals and memorials that sometimes bring out bad behavior in people. Isn’t the deceased supposed to be Resting In Peace? I attended a memorial where an artist was called to the pulpit to sing a song he didn’t rehearse. Well, you can imagine what occurred, especially after he called another singer to the pulpit to help him sing the song.

I used to surmise that individuals who instructed their families on how their funerals should be programmed were a bit over the top, but with some of the antics I have seen recently – race, ethnicity, economic status, religion notwithstanding –  I have changed my mind. I believe when someone passes away, their funeral or memorial should be a respectful event that is void of  families and friends bickering. The family of the deceased should be granted the opportunity to mourn their loss in peace and harmony.

  • 13

    Sep

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Connecting North and South

Even though there is resistance to California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project, my belief is we will witness the unfolding of this rail system sometime in the near future. Some naysayers of CHSR are very reluctant to change their behavior to consider a viable alternative to their “iconic” cars, so the debate continues. Since leaving Brooklyn, New York to live in Los Angeles, California, I never thought that riding a rail system had the potential of again becoming a necessity in my mobility. But, recently after a trip from Pasadena to West Lake Village took over two (2) hours, a mass transit system doesn’t seemed that bad. California has 37 million plus residents and with all the chatter of the state being in depression, we are still the most populous state in America. Those of us who live in California love this state even with its current depressed economy.
CHSR and its potential to connect to local mass transit systems have been touted to bring communities all around the state together. It’s reported CHSR is an expensive project, but proponents remarked it’s one that is needed. If the Interstate Highway Act which reshaped the American landscape and way of life was delayed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1956, we would not have had 47,000 miles of remarkably uniform roads that revitalized Americans and the country.  Historians have said it was President Eisenhower’s greatest accomplishment of his two terms. We became connected city-to-city, town-to-town, family to family, as we had never been before.  They argued the same can be true connecting Northern and Southern California. CHSR will open up commerce like never before, bringing new opportunities for small businesses.  Farmers, who are mostly against CHSR, will be able to get their crops to market faster and cheaper due to the reduction in cars on the highways. Trucks will be able to move quicker through the accident prone California Grapevine (California residents are aware of this stretch of the US Highway 5). Businesses will spring up along the high-speed rail system route creating jobs for California residents. These are some of the  positive platforms. On the contrary, farmers and the agricultural industry complained of losing farmlands to the high-speed rail tracks.

Launching high-speed rail in California will certainly change our attitudes, values and behavior.  The question is how much the community, labor unions, environmental groups, businesses, media, the agricultural industry and politicians are willing to spend to create and build this massive and expensive transit systems?

  • 06

    Sep

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/The Right Choice

It is common knowledge that most problems can be solved once the appropriate actions are taken. There are studies which show reducing a child’s consumption of carbonated drinks will aid in preventing childhood obesity. Then why aren’t more children encouraged to avoid these drinks? Because it is sometimes difficult to convince a child not to eat foods which are not good for them, parents acquiesce and allow their children to indulge in unhealthy eating habits.
Since diet and exercise play an important role in curing childhood obesity, it is incumbent upon parents to be vigilant about the foods their children consume.  Parent should encourage their children to engage in outdoor activities. The rise in childhood obesity parallels the fear of parents reluctance to have their children play outdoors unsupervised. Gone are the days when a child could ride his/her bike or play stick ball outdoors. Over-hyped media reports of child abduction adds to the heightened fear parents feel. So, children are allowed to stay indoors at the computer with a bottle of carbonated drink, a bag of chips and left to their device.

I believe childhood obesity is a very serious health care issue which must be curbed immediately. I am advocating children should 1) eat healthy while enjoying the foods they consume 2) avoid fatty foods, foods rich in calories and cholesterol 3) exercise – at least three times a week 4) learn the childhood obesity facts 5) read the labels of the foods being consumed and 6) understand that self-esteem matters (I discussed childhood obesity and its effect on self-esteem in a prior blog post).

The biggest challenge parents will encounter is balancing the commercial interest of the food industry with what’s healthy for their children to eat. It is a challenge which should be embraced, because our  children healthy lifestyles depend on parents making the correct food choices for their families. Parents should set good examples – established healthy eating habits – for their children.