Saturday, July 21, 2012


Insane or just plain evil?  That is the question.  The massacre in Colorado reflects the state of our current society.  I was born in 1944; during my childhood in the 50's, nothing of this magnitude was ever played out at least not in my neck of the woods.  I'm not going to try to pinpoint what spurs this type of aberrant behavior; that's for the shrinks to tackle.  But, I want to focus on the philosophy  of past parenting with today's thinking.

At the age of 3, my dad was killed in a work-related accident.  My mom became a single parent over night.  We lived with my maternal grandparents and a single uncle.  Mom got a job as a janitor, left the house at 5:30a.m. and returned at 5:00pm.  My grandfather and uncle also worked.  My grandmother was immersed in church activities.  So my brother, age 5, and myself were left to take care of ourselves most of the daylight hours.

Today that would be considered criminal.  Then, it was necessary and what was expected was that we accepted responsibility for ourselves and our actions.  Even at such early ages we understood that we had to make good choices.  We didn't always choose to do the right thing and suffered the consequences. But because we had so much practice at making our own decisions, eventually we became good at it.  Thus less punishment.  I was about to say more praise, but we were never praised for doing what was right; that simply was the expectation.

Today's children are not given those opportunities.  They are coddled and shielded from making their own choices, and when they get the chance and screw up, a parent is right there to make excuses for them.  Someone or something is always to blame.  The children never experience the appropriate consequences for their actions and as a result, the only thing they learn is that the bad choices they make give immediate satisfaction without any negative results.  So they continue to do the same thing over and over again.

Think about what I'm saying.  You'll be doing your children, your self, and our society a huge favor!