Sunday, April 29, 2018

Today's child tomorrows monster

Image result for children in charge  cartoonHow we treat our kids today is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Nothing in life has a more profound effect on children then how the children are treated at home.  What we let them do, how often we let them do it and how intensive the behaviors that are occurring determine the eventual outcome of the child’s personality and future behaviors.

Think back when you were a teenager and what decisions you would have made, given the right to make them, as you saw fit at the time.  I dare say those choices would not be in your long-term best interest.

Even as a 25-year-old the tendency is to move toward short-term solutions that feed the now instead of the future.  For many of us, adulthood is only a number, an age reached that allows us to act like adults.  Life does intervene and in most cases, the child of our past is forced to adapt to the responsibilities that inevitably become our lives. 

Those lives have for many millennia innately understood the need to rise to the occasion and transform from child to responsible adult, grasping the horns of opportunity and holding on for dear life, knowing that by letting go those gifts of life, so dearly desired, would be forsaken and eventually forgotten. 

Life is a precious gift but when not understood it is a burden of such proportions that many have chosen to end their existence prematurely.  Suicide is ranked as the second leading cause of death for those ages 10-34.  The first is unintended injury, the third is homicide.  These are gruesome and troubling statistics that affect our youth, our children, our innocent little babies that were held in our arms.  We taught these souls to walk, to talk.  We dreamed of their lives being better than our own and now we are watching them flounder in a life we are supporting.

More troubling within the statistics is the further designation of young girls who commit suicide and the even more troubling fact that for every death there are on average 90 attempts, and yet we continue to stand by, sitting on the sidelines as those we presumably love and adore destroy themselves.

Statistics on depression for all classes and ages is difficult to determine but the rise in medication use is easy to track.  SSRI’s, like Prozac or Zoloft, have seen a steady rise over the last two decades and with it the rise in self-harming attempts.  Our society may not be spiraling but it is trending downward toward self-destruction.

There is no easy solution, especially since we have allowed the many factors of morality to be compromised and negotiated until the very definition of morality is nothing more than a state of mind, based on personal feelings.  It used to be a principle, a clear set of rules to follow but now it’s nothing more than a choice.  Morality needs to be taught and enforced and parents used to teach those morals that were universally understood.   

What is moral to one is now just a subjective idea for another, there is no basis, no foundation, no standard for our children to follow and worse, no parents to teach, to exemplify those essential characteristics that used to be morality.  We have allowed social media to substitute our parental duties.  We have allowed the schools to take the lead in teaching those personal lessons of life to our children and we have allowed the cell phone to rob our children of their individual identities just so we can pursue our individual goals and desires.

We have failed as parents.  We are losing our children because of our inability to stand for what is right and demand that they stand as well when they are young and impressionable.  How they stand is a learned behavior and one that almost always results in a posture that is akin to the parent’s stance. 
Because we have allowed them to chose for themselves, they have chosen social media, they have chosen a constant connection with the impersonal, a developmental misappropriation of the familial construct, they cannot stand straight, they have never been taught. 
Now we give them a voice and worse we listen to their rhetoric through feigned understanding, supporting what they say by our reluctance to act. We let them march and complain, we let them demand and petition without requiring they understand the basics of what they do or the consequences of their actions.

In Texas, a sixth grader was killed during the national walk out when he made the decision to leave the event.  It was obviously his decision but who is responsible?  The sixth-grade student for not doing what he was supposed to do or the school district for not making sure he was doing what he was supposed to do?  Therein lies the problem.  When do we hold those accountable for not doing what should be done?

In the Texas case, the student was under the care of the district, they will be held accountable.  From that standpoint, the responsibility to care for and watch over the children is fairly clear.  If it is clear in this case, then why is it not so for the parents of all of our children who have allowed their children to choose life’s paths prior to knowing enough about life to make good choices? 

The logic of allowing a child (this is a variable term indicating a lack of experience and understanding) to chose within the context of decisions that may have lifelong ramifications is ludicrous and unfathomable to those who truly want the child to grow and achieve incrementally.  We all should learn line upon line, by example and through the responsible tutelage of those who have come before, assuring a greater chance of success from one generation to the next.  What we have now is insanity…. 

Phones need to be limited or controlled, all social media should be monitored or removed from their lives and morals and standards should be taught and reinforced at home and at school.  Failure to implement these fundamental and essential parental programs will result in our society feeding on itself with no one being satisfied from the frenzy.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Related imageTo compromise is to make concessions.  Making concessions is giving up, relinquishing power or control and in many cases, beliefs are negotiated.  Negotiated beliefs are rarely beliefs and are only temporary foundational stances to enhance the process of compromise.

We have all been taught that compromise is essential to positive social interaction and continuity.  We have all learned that to promote the common good compromises must be made.  Driving on the streets of any city is a perfect example of conciliation; no one can drive unfettered from the rules that apply to all.  The chaotic effects of those who do not subscribe to the rules create a dangerous environment for all who want to drive. 

Many aspects of society are therefore regulated, making society a quintessential forum of concession.   Society would be impossible without the self-relinquishment of personal choice and desire. 

Beliefs, as opposed to politics, opinions and transitory views fall into a category that should be seen from a different perspective.  Beliefs proclaim the truth.  Whether true or not, provable or not the belief is the position of truth and should not be compromised.  Beliefs can change and often do, but when a belief is established, the proclamation to others is from a stand of permanence and stability. 
Do we compartmentalize our beliefs as strong or weak or is a belief substantial to such a degree that any variance from that supposed truth must be and will always be foundational to what we are, who we are, and will it provide the structural reinforcement to overcome the adversarial opinions that attempt to sway us from those beliefs?

I have a belief in God.  Should that belief be foundational, even if the country I live in chooses not to sustain that position?  The real question is, when do we decide not to compromise?  My simple answer is when we decide what to believe.

The 2nd amendment to the constitution reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
There is a serious debate over this issue but as it reads, not interpreted, we have the right to keep and bear Arms a right that shall not be infringed.  This is a belief in our constitution and the wisdom of the Founders who authored those words.  If you fail to believe those hallowed words, then the issue of citizenry comes into question. 

Of course, we all have the right to question but do we have the right to change what made us citizens, especially when those questions are intended to alter the substance of who we are, and what we are.
A similar question arises with the Radical Muslim or Radical White Supremacist who want to alter the premise of our constitution.  We are Americans because of our Constitution.  Our Constitution should not be up to debate. 

The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This Amendment states clearly that Congress shall not prohibit or abridge the freedom of speech but when one group is denied the right to speak because their opinions differ from those in control then their freedom to speak has been abridged, perhaps not by Congress but when one citizen has been so regulated are not we all?

The uncompromising aspect of the Constitution has had its detractors since the very onset of our Republic but the staunch adherence to those principles has sustained our union for over 200 years.  Compromises have created divisions that have grown into vast separations and ideological chasm left unchecked will destroy our Union and the Constitution and with it any semblance of what makes America great.

The immigration issue is a perfect example of compromise gone awry.  With many politicians espousing the rights of the illegal immigrant over the rights of citizens, the issue of citizenship has become a clouded issue.   The right to vote has been marginalized by many wanting illegal immigrants to vote, further compromising the role of those with legal and rightful status. 

This is about beliefs, this is about what is true and right.  For too long we have sat on the sidelines as others have forced us to compromise our beliefs.  With each compromise, we have less to give and less to lose as we slowly and inexorably give them the power over what we believe. 

And Joshua said unto all the people [of Israel], … choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:2, 15) I would add, we will serve the constitution and abide by its principles.