By Christy Barritt
Parents Value Grades over Kindness
A new study by a researcher at Harvard has found that parents value grades and athletic success more than showing kindness.
Rick Weissbourd and his colleagues surveyed 10,000 children from across the country and asked them to rank various values in importance. Eighty percent of the children said that their parents care more about their achievements than they do their kindness. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed with this statement: “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member.”
Despite all of this, accomplishment doesn’t lead to content children. According to Weissbourd, the pressure to achieve can have many negative results. He also said that living up to this standard causes stress and depression, whereas teaching children about caring can enrich their lives.
City Council Bans Event Because of Chick-Fil-A
Government officials in the Canadian city of Nanaimo refused to allow a leadership conference to be streamed into its facilities because it was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A.
Leadercast is an annual conference that’s streamed to 800 North American cities, aimed at providing thought-provoking speakers who help build up a generation of viable leaders. The conference does not address controversial subjects.
However, the town of Nanaimo took issue with the event because the owner of Chick-Fil-A has a “rich history of homophobia and other divisive practices.”
Some called the cancellation “shocking bigotry.” One councilman who opposed the cancellation said that the city would demonstrate its own leadership by not accepting acts of hate and allowing the event to be held there on the property.
The city later said that they reaffirm that men and women of all faiths are guaranteed the fundamental freedoms of religion. Some are considering taking legal action.
IRS Fined for Leaking Information
The Internal Revenue Service will pay $50,000 to the National Organization for Marriage after leaking confidential tax documents on the organization to the Human Rights Campaign. NOM filed a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming the agency improperly disclosed confidential information.
The documents, which were leaked during the 2012 presidential election, eventually were published in The Huffington Post and also included a list of donors. Under federal law it’s a felony to publish confidential tax documents.
While many applauded the fact that this decision meant the IRS had admitted to the leak, others said that this action should have led to harsher penalties to the IRS employees involved. The IRS admits that releasing the documents was a mistake.
Media Has Distorted Relationship Expectations
A study by the University of Michigan suggests that TV shows and movies have affected their students’ perception of romance.
Researchers asked 625 college students how often they watched various romantic movies and relationship-oriented sitcoms. The respondents were then asked to fill out a survey. The results proved the hypothesis that media may be teaching viewers what sorts of beliefs to have about romantic relationships.
The study’s lead author said that it’s possible that frequent exposure to relationships in the idealized form of romantic movies could lead viewers to adopt equally idealized notions about relationships in the real world. In contrast, fans of sitcoms were less likely to believe in soul mates, leading researchers to conclude that viewers internalize the messages heard on TV or in films.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.