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The Lake News Online
  • Guest column: What happened to our kids?

  • When I was growing up, people put black wreaths on their doors and wore black armbands to show the public they had lost a family member. I suggest we all do that to mourn the loss of common sense.
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  • When I was growing up, people put black wreaths on their doors and wore black armbands to show the public they had lost a family member. I suggest we all do that to mourn the loss of common sense.
    Over the past 20 years I have witnessed the increasing demise of a behavioral model that my generation had drilled into them on a daily basis. We were told to mind your manners, pick up your clothes, if you use something put it back, when you visit someone be a good guest and ask if you can help. Teachers were not reprimanded for giving a child a bad grade if they did not perform up to speed by parents who felt their child was akin to Einstein.
    Nor were sports an obsession that had 9-year-olds going to boot camp for pitching. Games were fun and the outdoors were for exploring, and creating imaginary worlds.
    Parents didn’t need to give their kids snacks and bottled water if they were outside longer than a couple of hours. In fact I remember drinking out of the hose in the backyard. I never got the plague, warts or hives from the hose.
    Most kids knew their place. You just didn’t try to get your way by jumping up and down or repeating yourself over and over like a parrot. My mother and many others I knew just gave you a look. I have heard parents today say they have to give their child what they want because their self-esteem might be compromised when they grow up! What ever happened to the word “brat”? If someone always gets what they want, they are a brat and will turn into a self-absorbed adult with no concern for others.
    Common sense dictates that in order to live in a civilized society we need to be aware of others and their needs as well.
    But let’s face it, if a kid doesn’t get what he wants today, he can make a YouTube video of his parents chastising him and get a petition signed to have his parents sent to a gulag in Russia.
    You can sue anyone for anything today as well. We have become a litigious society ready and able to blame someone for the smallest infractions. We can all remember how a woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap was awarded a huge settlement. Isn’t coffee supposed to be hot?
    Unfortunately we will be at the mercy of what I describe as “the death of the obvious” until we decide to embrace responsibility, reason, accountability and the knowledge that we are a part of the universe not the center.
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