Why have I put a disclaimer on my stories? Why, because I want to speak freely. Philosophically, I believe that exposure to the world is inevitable for our precious progeny. Within boundaries of safety, we want them to learn that peer pressure, following the crowd, and cultural input alone cannot yield the refined individual God had in mind at their conception. When children are quite young, we may put up artificial obstacles to go around successfully. But by the time youth reach middle school, parents must resist interfering with the tough decisions their children must make to survive.
Some parents have insulated their children from all risk and grow dismayed at the crop of young people nearing its harvest. Spoiled, bored, and boring, these wastrels lack the necessary grooming for the reality on their horizon. They have little desire for accomplishment or no drive for the “hard work [that] produces a profit.” With no real dilemmas or causes, there is no need for fire in their bellies. With no experience in the struggles of life, they remain unaware of a true part of the Gospel. With no need for excellence, they cease to practice our heritage and leave great feats for imaginary power figures to achieve.
By over scheduling our children’s lives and trying to prevent loneliness, hardships, and separation, we may cancel the very discipline inspired by passing through these divinely configured circumstances. Again outside of real danger, such circumstances hold the potential to extrude character, greatness, and individual thought from the next generation—a result civil societies trust as healthy. Children need to play out a bad scene rather than to be rescued. Go through tough times and come out the other side different from how they started. Parental circumnavigation of unpleasant consequences stunts growth for all concerned: kids and parents alike.
How easily a subtle secularization of childhood is adopted. Schools, media, and overworked parents glibly have produced weakened generations, unaware how they have been reduced to the lowest denominator. Popularity, acceptance, security, and getting along are its mantras. Its here-and-now trumps its future. Life is no longer an adventure, but a series of simulations that resemble life. True individualism is anathema.
True vision wrestles to get through the scraggly hair and baggy pants worn by would-be artists who are nothing but look-alikes — passé beatnik poets and hippy style rock musicians totally removed from the eras that spawned their Bohemian rebellion. Yet, no one tags them as such. Their piercings and tattoos, touted as signs of individualism, do not exhibit basic critical thinking as to recognize that once something is done, it is no longer unique. It is more properly defined as a fad, not individual style, and certainly not originality.
Was not the long held paradigm of earlier educators to encourage the “dawning of truth” upon their charges? When did teachers shift from encouraging each individual to develop his fullness to accepting a government’s model of public education? When did supervisors start enforcing top-down curriculum full of historical errors and faulty conclusions that were destined (perhaps designed) to produce only mediocre but very manageable students?
Gradually in this upside down cachet, we see many young people losing their youth – imagination, initiative, reputations, testimonies – and the talents God gave them. They just live, breathe, spend money, and breed without thought of consequences.