Rose in Spanish Harlem

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem, A red rose up in Spanish Harlem, It’s a special one, it’s never seen the sun, It only comes out when the moon is on the run, And all the stars are gleaming, It’s growing in teh street right up through the concrete, But soft and sweet and dreamin’ ” Aretha Franklin

I now have nieces and nephews on Facebook. It’s such an odd phenomenon to have children who’s bottom you changed, who’s first steps you watched, who’s first words you overheard… to now see them as young adults, with free spirits, and the desire to speak out.

I’m huge supporter of free speech. But I’m not so big on teenagers cursing, flipping people off, and using bad grammar; especially when they’re the teenagers in my family.

Are these the type of world leaders we’re breeding these days? Children with so much anger, resentment, know-it-all that the only way to express themselves is through self-aggrandizement?

Right now they think it’s cool to take pictures of themselves: booty shots, low-cut tops, tongues out, middle fingers up… why? Why is that acceptable? Why is that even cool? How does that revolt against authority?

I think it would be different if they were self-sustaining. Not needing their parents funding to make every little step, then I wouldn’t mind so much the very public displays of punk-hood. But it’s tacky to “uprise against the man” and the next moment ask for money to go to the movies with your friend?

I wish I lived closer. I would take each one aside and say: Do you know how pretty you are? Do you know how smart you are? Do you know how expansive your future will be? Can you even imagine the possibilities? Then why are you lowering your coveted innocence by “growing up” so quickly? Why are you spurning the thoughtful reproaches that guide you to the right choices? Why are you tarnishing your imagine with vulgar images of yourself?

Do you know that these images that are cool, stylish, popular now will eventually make you feel shameful? Once it’s out there you can never take it back… it’s now someone else’s property. You’ve literally signed over ownership of your image to someone who could literally use it against you.

And, my darling nieces, you are so much better than that. These so-called friends that encourage this type of actions don’t have your best interest at heart.

Let your light shine respectfully. Be an individual Be ahead of the generation that’s encouraging you to be ignorant.

Place thorns around your precious flower to protect you from the idiots that wish to pluck away your beauty.

But since you probably won’t follow anyone’s advice, we still love you.

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