We like to say that our families are the most important things to us. I’ll tell you why this is a lie. Its a lie because we’re too busy debating to fix the problems that effect families. Instead of pouring money into education, we’re on waiting lists for iPhones, iPads, watching HDTV, and eating McDonald’s. Does it have to be one or the other? Yes. YES! And why isn’t it family? Why is there even a debate about universal health care? Why is it legal to sell food that’s barely even food anymore? Why isn’t it mandatory that the public be made explicitly aware of the content of our food? Not only that but the care of the animals, the food that they consumed. Why? Because we don’t really want to know. So long as everything looks ok, it is ok. We, my fellow Americans are Don’t tell me that my child’s kindergarten teacher is on meth, because Sara passed her CRCT with flying colors. (Aside: I find it absolutely appalling that teachers don’t have to undergo drug testing, and psychological assessments. I had to do so to be a bill collector at Verizon, you telling me your child isn’t more valuable than your cell phone?) Don’t tell me that my Big Mac is nearly 1,000 (HALF the daily caloric intake for the average American) calories, it tastes good, plus its all beef right? We just don’t want to know. Because if we knew what we don’t want to know then we’d be responsible for it. If we knew better and didn’t do better, that speaks to our character, so best we don’t know.
Currently, the government is urging states to adopt a new National Education Standard that will retrain math and science teachers, putting writing emphasis on all courses, and trying to relieve some of the pressure put on by end of the year testing. While that sounds novel, will it really help? Perhaps in twenty years when, no doubt some other regime is in charge and come up with another way to “improve” the education system. The fact of the matter is, primarily, formal education should be supplementary. More aptly put, primary school should be reinforced learning, not introductory. Parents, where is your involvement? We have given a tremendous amount of responsibility to teachers, and stripped them of resources and authority needed to produce. There has to be cooperation. More often than not, it seems like parents don’t even care if their child is learning, just as long as it looks like they are. Just as long as they get to graduation. (Another aside: I find it tongue in cheek to host these kindergarten and 8th grade graduations, those things are milestones, yes, but really how much should we celebrate the expected? Its like praising a cat for meowing)
Quality time. What’s that like? Do families eat around the dinner table anymore? Discuss their days? Call me outlandish but I really think a turn for the worse for the American family came as a result of the working wife/mother. No longer was there the mother, the constant at home support and nurturing parent there to car pool, be active in classroom support and function, assist with children’s homework needs or extracurricular involvement, feed them. This figure has been alleviated leaving a crack in the foundation, and here we’ve been building on this foundation and our whole society is askew. I hesitate to blame all of the problems of American on the working woman, I will say that I believe it is a strong contributing factor, however it is the responsibility of all family members to uphold the priority of the family unit. To conclude, I believe that we, as Americans, have largely suffered because we know not the role we should play. Women, we cannot do what men do. Men, you cannot be children. Children, you cannot be grown. I do think that the over independence of women, the passivity of men, and the expedited maturation of children has completely thrown off our society. A woman believes that now since we work, and can provide for ourselves, that a man is accessory, optional, or even unnecessary. We are grasping to find the utility of modern man. Meanwhile men have lost a major component of manhood-provision for family is rudimentary. If a man is not allowed to be a man, he will not survive. Ladies, we know you can do it…but you don’t have to do it all. Give a man a purpose, and he will perform. Men, stop feeling sorry for yourselves and step up. Show a woman why you’re needed. If she makes her own money, show her how that money doesn’t comfort her, hold her, support her, nurture her, make love to her…being a man isn’t about a money clip. Children…well this is loaded. Many are having to grow up before their time, but many others choose to. Enjoy your childhood. You have far less of that than adulthood, and trust me-its better. Can we please take it back to basics?