What Are We Teaching Our Children?

November 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Risking sounding like an old worry-wart, I do sometimes wonder what we, as a society, are teaching our children. That said, my faith is not lost on the youth – not yet – as I know many who are not only bright and beautiful but resilient and strong thinkers. And isn’t it the task of every generation to worry about the next? Our parents surely did at some point, and theirs before them. “What is the world coming to?” and “How will these kids become our great leaders, our future?” are probably timeless questions.

In fact, it’s not the kids themselves I worry about. It’s what they see, hear, and ultimately experience on a daily basis. What they’re “fed”. In near gluttonous levels.

Is it that any problem can be medicated away? Is it that violence is commonplace? Is it that hard work is for someone else? What examples do they have, within their families, within their communities, and within that great machine of celebrity? Are they examples with solid values at their core, or examples of shrewdness, coolness, false fronts?

I wonder. In lots of ways these are exciting times to be alive. But there’s so much coming at them, so much! ~ so much accessibility to just about anything and everything, so much information to filter and absorb and sort.

To be fair, within the “so much” is an abundance of good, right alongside the not so good and even the atrocious. And maybe because they grow up with it, their brains may adapt in ways we ~ who did not have so much-so much-so much coming at us in one continual thread of bundled energy sprouting a thousand tendrils ~ perhaps do not so easily adapt ~ or maybe we have more built-in resistors.

We remember what is was like to be bored without incessant distractions. Yet they are there, smack dab, and they are oh so attractive, these distractions.

Still, if you take that child to a farm for a week, or take them to the mountains where there’s no electronic reception, a marvelous thing happens: they do just fine. They don’t think they will. But they do. And that has to be good. Because there has to be room for the spirit to breathe some of the time. Just to “be”, to discover or just sense what’s driving the wondrously distinctive ship called you.

In any event, what are we teaching… ? Is it to be a good person, strive to do your best, have a sense of humor, care for others, build dreams? The art of communication? Or is it wanting what someone else has; their look, their money, their life. Glamour. Intrigue. Drama.

So you just hope you set a good example. A strong, good one. (And that more are setting that example than what we hear about.) You hope you provide enough stimulation and opportunity to get through the onslaught of stuff. Trusting and hoping that at the end of the day doing the right thing will win.

Okay, worry session over. Although I do wonder what they’ll say in 20 or 30 years. Maybe it’ll sound something like “Kids these days…. ”

 

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