Tag Archives: retail

To An Anonymous Parent…

The retail store where I work recently received several photocopies of a letter placed over the front of several magazines in various displays throughout the store. These letters covered over such diverse titles as Shape, Women’s Health, Vanity Fair (yes, that one), and others. Oddly though, not Cosmo or Maxim, but maybe these were just missed (or they ran out of flyers).

The letter said this:

PLEASE consider carefully how your placing these sexually alluring photographs affects the lives of those coming into your buisness. They plant seeds of curiousity in children and in spouses, altering families. Your leadership in our community should be used to better the lives of others, not steep them into a life of bondage with promiscuous and sexually explicit pictures. As a parent it deeply concerns me about the lack of responsibility for our future generations and their sexual purity. PLEASE DO NOT place these images in full view of my childern. You are encouraging the idea that a woman is a sex object. She is much more than that…she is VALUABLE!”

(bold, underlining, and misspellings are all the author’s.)

Seeing as how these photocopied letters were left in stealth and anonymously, neither I nor the retail store have any means to contact this parent regarding their concerns. Therefore, I have chosen to respond here:

To the anonymous parent who left photocopied notes over our retail store’s magazine section:

First off, let me say that I personally agree with everything you have written. I, too, am a parent who is very concerned with the pervasive culture of sexuality within our society today. May I add that I am a recovering addict and victim of this culture as well, having spent many years under the bondage of pornography and the very images you are rightly concerned about.

In other words…I get it. I truly do.

In that vein, I have a couple of thoughts for you:

First–planting “seeds of curiosity in children…” is not a bad thing. Yes, the slippery slope of material which you are addressing is questionable. But, prevalence of this material also provides many opportunities to engage your children in an age-appropriate dialog over what is being shown, why it is appropriate/inappropriate, and better alternatives to express the same intent this material is wishing to provide. If you do not think this material is appropriate, tell your children why—in a constructive, non-judgmental fashion. Or, simply tell them about what is being shown, eg: “That woman’s name is Jillian Michaels. She is a fitness expert, and she is showing that through exercise and a good diet, you can be an awesome athlete, like she is.”

Do you know what your children will probably say?

“Oh!” followed by, “…hey look, pool toys!”

Second, turning this material around in its placeholder, or putting photocopied condemnations over the covers, only serves to heighten a child’s curiosity. They think that now they’re missing out on something. That Mom’s hiding something. Something controversial. Something shocking. Something “adult”. As a result, of course they’re going to want to see it! Only now, you’ve added the additional stigma that it is “bad”, lurid, and taboo, which somebody probably told you it was, once upon a time.

Is it? Possibly.
But no more or no less than that same child can see during any given day at any given public beach, or in any afternoon at a local fitness center (or, occasionally, standing in line at your local retail store).

I also agree regarding the “lack of responsibility for our future generations, and their sexual purity.” However, your target of blame on exactly WHO is responsible is somewhat misplaced.

Would it help if our nationwide retail establishments did not carry such material? Undoubtedly. But, we live in ‘Murica, where capitalism reigns supreme and the almighty dollar is the language of choice. God Bless the U.S.A. If you want to protect the future generations, how about we start by raising up that generation of future consumers NOT to be driven by such provocative sexual imagery?

That all sounds well and good, right? But, do you know where all of that starts? In the home. Not in the retail store, not in the publishing business, not with the clothing manufacturers, et. al.

Do you want to discourage the idea that a woman is nothing more than a sex object? Do you want to teach your daughter or son that a woman is more valuable than that? Well then….

It starts (and ends) with YOU.

It starts with education.

It starts in conversation.

It starts with engagement, not by turning a cover around. Not by chastising a retail establishment via anonymity. All you’re accomplishing by doing this is promoting fear and cowardice within yourself, and curiosity and temptation within your children. The most effective thing that can be done, the bravest thing that can be done, is that which is going to have to be done by you.

Talk. To. Your. Kids.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day.

~ Kent

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When Faith Fails

I’ve been vacillating between a couple different topics over the last week or so. Things that have been on my mind but, for the most part, things I haven’t been able to put a positive or constructive spin on…

Basically I’ve just been bitching about things and stuffing them into my Word files.

Then I went to work on Friday. Continue reading When Faith Fails

A Short ‘Thank You’ to My (400+!??) Readers!

Wow!

I just noticed that I passed the 300 mark for posted articles on Spiritual Drift!

SD was started in August of 2011 as a way to catalog my (mis)adventures in attempting to reconcile my faith to the world of retail customer service.

Spoiler alert: I failed! Badly! And as a result, left the wild jungles of retail (after ten years with Barnes & Noble!) in January of 2012.

I’ve learned so much in the last 2 ½ years…much of it cataloged within the blog pages of SD. A few of these knowledge nuggets?…

  • The priority of family.
  • The vast differences between “want” and “need”
  • And, in the grand scheme, when given fair consideration, Jesus really did know what he was talking about.

Funny ol’ thing, that!

Though, as a family, we may be (temporarily) poorer in worldly goods, we are much richer in spirit, in character and, most importantly, in relationship with one another and those friends who’ve chosen to walk with us on this adventure.

The world thinks we’re weird.

I think that simply means we’re on the right path!

Thank you, my readers, for tagging along.

…and the adventure continues.

WednesDevotionals ~ On Being a Counter-Inspiration

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
(Isaiah 55:2 ESV)

It’s been a year now, since I stepped out on faith; on what I called at the time “The Great Adventure”; walked away from a job that was lucrative by the world’s standards but was draining the very life out of my family, myself and my soul.

Recently, I was told by someone in our home group what an inspiration my wife and I were for doing this ‘stepping out on faith’ thing like we have.  After all, when I decided to give my notice at work, I had nothing to go to; no back-up plan; nothing but the hope in the steps we were taking were the steps God was asking us to take.  We had no idea where we were going.  Only that we were being asked (told) to go.

“I don’t feel like an inspiration,” I think was my response.  “ ’Cuz I have no idea what I’m doing!”

Maybe that’s the point, though.
Maybe God’s answer is, “Yeah, but I do!”

Often, what appears to be so counter to the world’s way is the exact path God is asking you to walk.

Go figure!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”  (Matthew 16:24 NLT)