Today I have encountered several things that bring into focus some major issues plaguing our culture today. I think we may be beginning to see the result of changes in the precepts for raising children. As we began an era were in most families two parents were working the parents, trying to spend “quality” time with their children were lured into the idea that everything should be as perfect for them as they could make it. I am not accusing the parents. The changes in society brought this about.
Now if things aren’t perfect for that group of adults they feel deprived and entitled to more. They grew up thinking that everything would always go their way and want to insist on it in their adult years.
At the same time we began to change how children were treated in society as a whole. We fretted about feelings so that there ended up being no winners or losers. Everyone was treated “the same.” Unfortunately everyone is not the same. That is actually a good thing and learning early that things aren’t fair prepares you for what you face later in life.
Because children were the most important thing in the world they would naturally not care about others but only look at continuing to get what they expected. Others don’t matter. Many times money was used to get them what they wanted as in the case of the parents who bought their children into colleges. What did they learn from that?
We have lost values. Values are “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” (dictionary) Unfortunately I sense that this may be the beginning of a major change in our way of life. The decline of morals and the change of values to “me” and money is a bad trend. We have to correct this direction.
An old man said: I never wanted work that was useful to me but loss to my brother. For I have this expectation, that what helps my brother is fruitful for me. From Desert Father in Desert Wisdom translated by Yushi Nomura
How often we spare no time for what our desires do to others. We think nothing of climbing over someone to get a better job. Students cheat in class to get the best grades—-hurting themselves and the other students. And in today’s scene people aren’t wearing masks because is it annoying to them…taking chances with someone else’s life. So many think only of themselves. We live in a “me first” world.
We have to turn things around and teach values to our children…values that respect others and understand that our choices can hurt others. We have to train up compassionate and loving people.
My grandmother used to tell me about her life as a young girl. At 100 years old she hardly recognized the world she was living in. So many things had changed. Some of the changes have been good for us as humans and others not so good. We need to stay aware of the changes in our world and work to correct those that are bad for us and the earth. After all, our children will know what we have done. What world do we want to leave for them?
Today I go the cutest text from my granddaughter. She was having a conversation with her son who is turning two next week. I do love the conversations with young children. The wisdom can be amazing and the thoughts and ideas such fun. Enjoy this simple little talk.
Mom: Karter do you know where the remote is for the living room TV?
Next week I have signed up for two tasks at the Mediation Center. One is a Community Conference with two children involved and the other is a standard mediation. The Community Conferences (I’ll call them CC) are hard. It is so sad to work with these teens and hope to get them to see there are better ways to deal with conflict that violence. In some ways I am not looking forward to it. I will keep on doing them for now and may have to evaluate if it is for me.
The other mediation is simple and sometimes it can be too simple but there is not stress involved. It is hard to weigh them against each other. I will just keep on for now and see how this goes.
I am still thinking about the young people I am encountering in Community Conferencing. Since Monday celebrates Martin Luther King this quote fits right into my thinking
What I am seeing in the schools here makes me wonder if we can find either one. Intelligence is nothing without character. The environment in school can be distressing to those who want to learn. It is amazing that the teachers keep on. It has to be depressing to try and reach those who want to learn when around them is hatred and violence. It has to be nearly impossible to keep order in a classroom when there are so many things that you can’t do.
When I went to school the teacher was always right. My parents would come down hard on me if I wasn’t good in school. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the parents seem intent on blaming the teachers. Children are not held accountable for their actions.
There are some who are now realizing that teaching about character and accountability is crucial. Those traits are so important and often overlooked. For those raising children please have your children be accountable now or later in life they may end up being held accountable for something catastrophic.
This week I have been assigned two Community Conference cases. After reading the information on both of them I am amazed at what teachers are dealing with. I don’t know how anyone can teach in an environment with so many problems. From my recent experience I see so much violence erupting in the schools. Students get in arguments and their way of solving them is to get in a fight. This is not high school….this is middle school.
The environment of violence that we live in today is being played out by children! This is how they have learned to react. They have no experience with other ways to handle disputes and disagreements. We have to find ways to break the cycle. The Mediation Center does have a program that goes into the schools and teaches groups how to mediate a dispute and there are peer groups that are trying to help.
This culture of violence will continue until we teach alternatives to young children and help them to be played out in Elementary School. We have to stop it early.
Have you heard about angels? In one of his fantasy books C.S. Lewis implies that they move to fast for us to perceive them. They are only visible when they slow down.
I am not sure about wanting to actually encounter an angel. I have an idea that they are pretty impressive to see. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible almost every time they appear the first words they speak are “FEAR NOT!” That should give us an idea of what they are like.
One of my favorite stories about angels was told my Madeleine L’Engle at a conference I attended. It is such a sweet story that I decided to share it here.
There was a religious school in a neighborhood. Many of the children there had families who experienced fighting, yelling and sometimes abuse in the home. One little boy was always falling asleep in school so one of the nuns asked him if he was able to sleep at night at home. He admitted that there was usually lots of yelling and the he was frequently frightened and pulled the covers over his head to try and disappear.
The teacher told him not to worry. That night she would send four angels to stand at each corner of his bed to keep him safe. The next morning she asked him if the night went well at home. He told her that he was not frightened at all…the angels were there but could she cut down the number of them? The flapping of their wings was keeping him awake.
This is such a wonderful story and an example of the power of belief.
This is a wonderful list of how to help families with sick children!
Before I continue our story I want to share more on how you can help. In the last few years between NICU, RSV/Adenovirus/Pneumonia stay, and this most recent round of hospital time, it has occurred to me most people don’t know how to help. Most people ask “Let me know if I can do anything”, […]
My husband loves Christmas. He can’t wait until the tree is up and the decorations out. He bought the tree while I was in the hospital but had it delivered after I came home. It is now up and decorated. (which he did) I am good but still some tired.
I managed to get enough energy to do some of the other decorations and things look pretty nice. We have pared down some over the years and don’t over do.
If we strictly followed our church’s thought we would not put up decorations until Christmas Eve and keep them up for the 12 days of Christmas ending on Epiphany. When I was a child my father and I would walk into the woods and cut a tree on Christmas Eve. That was such an exciting time for me. Just spending time with my father doing something special was enough. I remember it with such fond memories.
I hope we were able to give those kind of memories to our own children. These are things that can’t be duplicated. Expensive gifts are nothing compared to time spent with parents. It is so wonderful when we spend time with our own children playing, what I call, “remember when….the time the dog opened most of the presents under the tree during the night??” Those are the things that last.