Whether you like it or not...

...Natalie Munroe is right. (Updated: the article no longer exists, because Yahoo is stupid) As usual, I will attempt to keep this brief.

Many kids today are exhibiting negative behaviors that result from poor (or lack of) parenting, school systems that have backed away from accountability, and a media that feeds them the most assanine ideas about social relationships and gender roles.

If you raise a child to believe that the most important thing is what they want in the moment - by tolerating temper tantrums instead of controlling them, by being overly apologetic, by coming across indecisive and weak, by giving them everything they demand - then that child will, really through no fault of their own, grow up with a distorted sense of their place in the world, and with little coping ability when their wishes are denied.

If you raise a child in avoidance of all pain, they will be unable to handle most forms of physical and emotional pain and struggle, they will become angry when confronted with situations that lower their level of contentment, and they will be incapable of doing those things which bring them greatest success - because great success is very difficult.

Children. Need. Standards. They need a bar that is set in plain view and they need to be told that it is their job, with parental guidance, to reach or exceed it.

Parents. Need. To. Discipline. If therapy is required for you to overcome the trauma of a light spanking when you were three, then get therapy. Only through limits, expectations, and correction will your children have a chance at being the best they can be, at contributing to our great society in beneficial ways, at having a single hope of maintaining functional, loving, other-directed relationships.

If you want your kid(s) to be angry, resentful, impatient, disrespectful, and distant, then go ahead and ignore standards and discipline and excellence. They will never truly be able to love you, and I can only believe they will accuse you of being a poor parent when they are finally grown (however long that now takes).

School districts need to equally respect the students and support the teachers, be an example and a guide for parents who may not have made the best choices, and always, ALWAYS expect the best from everyone involved. The only way to truly leave a child behind is to let them believe they're still in the race.

The media needs to stop portraying all kids as entitled brats and parents as impotent bystanders; I firmly believe that when this began, the most impressionable adults fell for it, and the disease spread from there.

Some people believe that the "disengaged, lazy whiners" Ms. Munroe lets off steam about in her blog will be hit with the hard reality of the capitalist workforce and true self-sufficiency once they become adults. Some will; some will adjust, however grudgingly. But I believe that enough of them will fight back against this sudden influx of rules and standards and rigidity to stage a quiet revolution. To bring an already crippled economy and social structure to its knees and then a painful, irreversible death.

I hope I am wrong. The comments on the article linked to above show that there are many, many people who recognize the problem, understand its roots, and feel the time has come to do something before it's too late.

My question is - will we?


Crack a book.

Well, I hate for my first post of the year to be a rant, but what can you do. I'll keep it short.

"Just because you graduated college and make 30k/yr doesn't mean you're intelligent. Memorizing information on a page and spitting it back is intellect a monkey could be trained for - don't flatter yourself." -- some idiot on a message board

I realize that dumping on the act of getting a college degree is the new black, but once again I find my feathers ruffled by the overwhelming illogic of "arguments" like these. I hear them more and more. Before I continue, I of course have to qualify all this by saying that not going to college does not mean you're not smart or successful. Or a good person, or anything like that. It's not for everybody. I understand.

But it's pretty obvious to me that statements such as the one above are just the pathetic whining of a growing populace who either did not go to college or did but couldn't hack it, and is now using muddled postmodern feel-good tactics to ease their self-perception and bolster a tarnished self-esteem. And really, is this new? How often do we hear others bring someone down not in spite of, but because of their achievements?

Every single person who goes through the gilded gates of higher learning may not be brilliant, or come out brilliant, but does that mean they should not take advantage of the opportunities that exist to better themselves? I'm sorry if the person you work with is just a bum with a degree--it happens. But idiots like the one quoted above are simply vicious, lazy thinkers who assume (likely unwittingly) that if they bark loud enough about how stupid everyone else is, no one will realize just how much they themselves are lacking.

And don't even get me started on what kind of person actually thinks monkeys sit around reading books and reciting them back to their trainers.

Anyway--if people continue to tear down the value of continued learning (so they can feel better about how much they don't know), where does it end? What's next, high school's unimportant? Junior high? School in general? Because just going to school doesn't mean you know anything!

Basically, these kinds of "arguments" can most likely be traced back to a desire to eliminate standards, so that those who don't fit the status quo can manufacture their own prominence using faulty logic and wishful thinking, rather than skills or wisdom. Expect this to continue for a while.