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home : opinions : columns February 6, 2016

10/16/2012 5:00:00 PM
COLUMN: Where's the caring?
Bob Weete

We have become a society which says we "care" about our kids. That much hasn't changed; however, how we show we care about them has, indeed, changed. Sadly, we have latched onto the "spare the rod and spoil the child" theory. And with that, as so many things, we all jumped on the bandwagon, never thinking that the bandwagon would run us over later.

The generation that preached "Make love, not war", though well-intentioned, I think contributed to the watering down of the parenting and teaching of children. No, I've said before that beating on kids is certainly not the goal here.

However, kids must know that they are not "in charge". And I believe there is a reason for it. And yes, I believe the teachings in the Bible had it right; and so did the founders. Parenting, besides merely conceiving, assumes that the adults in the family will show and teach their children the values they need to embrace in order to conduct themselves in ways that will bring them to success and happiness in their adult lives. It's not like a toy that they soon toss away and forget.

And then to pass these same values to their children in order to perpetuate the species. Somewhere along the line, too, the concept of unions was born. As with many changes in life, there was, indeed, a good reason for this development. People - men, women, and even children - were working under unconscionable conditions.

There is no doubt about it. So the idea of people joining together to make the bosses pay a reasonable wage, with decent working conditions, was founded. Of course, someone was needed to organize and run the unions, and their power increased. As power increased, so did greed. Useful things were developed, and people wanted those things.

But their salaries made buying the new things difficult. So, the bosses learned ways to pressure the companies and they won higher salaries, better working conditions, and eventually, benefits were added. All well and good.

But, the increase in wages also necessitated the increased price of the desired goods, too. Unrest developed as workers' desire for creature comforts and the status symbol of possession of these objects grew, and dissatisfaction ballooned. The desire and ability to be content with what they had, was in conflict with what they had to spend.

The unions found that some workers were not paying dues, so pressure - sometimes violent pressure - was put on them. Dues-paying workers resented the fact that non-dues payers were getting the same salaries and benefits and resentment and turmoil sprouted.

This has continued, while the union bosses were certainly taking their cut for "looking out" for the worker. And, with rising costs of production, it became too expensive to make many things, so the bosses realized that other countries that do not have labor laws as we do could produce the products cheaper. Du-u-u-uh.

Guess what? Americans lost many jobs, while other countries thrived. Then, as we are facing today, the government decides to help the people by giving them free money and various services so they can have a "level playing field". The problem is that now these people feel they are "entitled" to have all these things.

Instead of seeing education as the way to the American Dream, some people have learned they can possess many of the creature comforts without any ambition, drive, or out-put on their part. How can we blame them? The value system that would guide them through adulthood was not practiced, and they are unprepared and unable to level that playing field themselves.

Everybody now feels entitled to all the fancies in life and that is not what our Constitution promises. It is the pursuit of happiness; not a guarantee of happiness. Our kids learn this concept from their parents, and the schools are so loaded down with teaching what is required by the government that our roots are de-emphasized, putting bumps in what should be a level field.

We hear of many people who have been very successful by not accepting that failure goes along with being disadvantaged. This is the land of opportunity; always was, and always will be. But what has been lost is the desire to "be whoever we aspire to be".

All the adults responsible for training a child must do their part. Responsibility is truly at the root of any growth at any level. If the way we "test" our success in schools is to be the measure, then the test needs to affect the parents, the teachers, and the administrators.

Parents must create children who value education; teachers must further that process, and "rewards" given to children who progress; administrators must help to tie the responsibilities of the two together, and to maintain the proper morale and respect between the two. Is that really so hard?

Remember: we are here for the kids, and our job is not necessarily to make their days full of fun and joy. Life as a responsible and successful adult is not that way, so let's train our kids to handle it.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@Yellow Jacket 65. Who cares about that fat man Santa. He never left me anything all he did was eat my cookies and drink my beer. Boy that tooth fairy has all of my teeth and never left any money, so who cares. That Easter Bunny, guess where the candy eggs come from? Disney Land Ever hear about Minnie and Goofy what they did to poor Micky Mouse. Now Ice Cream that gets me mad. If they take it away.

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012
Article comment by: Yellowjacket Sixty-Five

I just found out that Romney/Ryan, want to ban, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, close Disneyland and ban Ice Cream.

Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@Watch closely. The war on women is a made up war. By the Obama and his people. What that name of that program that you have to hire minorities by law even if the do not qualify for the job. They pass over a lot of more qualified people because of that law. It seems that now the want to put women into that program even if they are under qualified. People should be hired by they experience and talent. Not by color or gender. pay should be by the work and experience, if a women has more experience on the job and a far better workers. Than her male counter parts doing the same job. Then she should get paid more. But if she was hired to fill a position that needed a minority or female, and they know little or nothing about the job. So why should they get paid the same as others that know far more than these people.

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: look on the bright side

Mr. Weete, how about writing a column with a list of activities that moms and dads can use to be that great parent every kid needs. Read to them (offer a list of good books). Listen to them (list all the times one's child is a captive audience: in the car, while waiting in line, during muted ads). Ask your child questions (who are your friends, what's on your mind, how was school, what did you learn today). Push for complete answers, not one-word brush-offs (where do they live, tell me one good thing that happened today, tell me one sad thing, explain that math problem to me). A long list of Eyore-style, ain't-it-awful complaints is hardly instructive, Professor Weete!

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: check out Costco

I was curious whether the founder of Costco, Jim Senegal, was being honest when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention and described his "rags to riches" business as being good for his employees. I visited 3 Costco's and engaged in conversation with 10 employees. All endorsed the version of Costco as presented in the speech. In fact, Costco is actively seeking new employees even now. So the idea that workers MUST fight for every morsel of parity from their employer is belied by the way management at Costco handles their workforce. Sales at Costco rose 27% in the 3rd quarter, which encompassed the date of the speech, and I heard their membership has increased also. These are the businesses that need to be supported! I am now a member, tho far from a Costco. Just another way to support the American dream, which, unlike Weete, I do NOT believe is disappearing.

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: did you forget?

Weete cannot endorse Romney because that would bring an onslaught of remarks from people who actually pay attention. It is fine to dislike the President and his policies. That is exercising your Constitutional right to free speech whether you have any factual basis for that opinion or not is another matter for the discerning reader. Last May, in the infamous 47% talk, Romney stated that if there were to be an incident (as Carter faced with the hostages and helicopter crashes): "I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity." This is a direct quote. Available on the Internet. Find any quote from the President to make your point, if you can. But Romney was poised to exploit the tragedy in Libya, and despite the families request that he STOP, he won't. How does that square with your essay, Mr. Weete? See your P3, P13, P14, P15 and P16. The CONNECTION is that you tell ADULTS how to model for children-- like Romney models for them????

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: watch closely

Romney totally avoided answering the question about fair pay by CLAIMING that he asked WOMEN'S GROUPS to supply him with women suitable for state cabinet jobs. The truth is that he did NOT seek out women, but was approached by others to put women in the cabinet. He NEVER promoted a woman to partner in Bain Capital and only had 4 women in any of the 49 leadership positions in that company. This is part of the LESSON that Weete is so fearful we are teaching our children --- make up stories that help you look "electable" and you may succeed!!!! Is this why Weete won't endorse Romney for President????

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: take a stance

Soooooo-- ROMNEY/RYAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just say it,Weete!!! No more "level playing field" and "entitled" and all the other little buzzwords you like to through out as if, "oh, did that sound like I meant that the President has bad policies? No, no, no, it's just my little old opinion about America!!!" And then to make a wholesale statement like "what has been LOST is the desire to 'be whoever we aspire to be' " is the lowest form of journalism. I see people everyday who are making plans for college, or trade school, or that promotion, or to learn that new form of art, or read a study based on research, and on and on. The doom and gloom, Mr. Weete, you need to watch out for that! I submit that your writings foster that view of America and probably drive some people to feel hopeless!!!!

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: read fiction

What a great article!!! After seeing Paul Ryan enter a Catholic charity with his children and photogs in tow, it really did my heart good to see him roll up his sleeves and pitch in! And the volunteers who had spent the DAY and were ready to go HOME, politely stayed a little bit longer to give him the opportunity to show his true beliefs. Had he gone AFTER checking with the charity's leaders, finding out their schedule, refusing to allow cameras, and demurring all attempts to make a campaign issue of his visit--- THEN I would polish his halo myself! However, permission would have been denied, fitting into Ryan's schedule dictated the timing of the visit (hmmm) and not having cameras would have made the whole exercise moot. Yes, Repubs teach their children well....

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