In the Old Testament there is a very chilling scene where God calls to the child Samuel and tells him that he will act against the household of Heli the priest because Heli did not control his sons who were acting wicked in the eyes of God. Of course, one can only surmise that Heli’s wicked sons didn’t see this coming. And so in time God’s judgment came to pass. I don’t know the details, but I take it that the son’s of Heli met an unfortunate end. So often we are warned by God that reality has consequences. You jump from too high a distance, you break a bone. You eat lousy food, you get sick. You make friends with the devil…he turns on you. Yet reality doesn’t seem to be in vogue now a days.
I have noticed that more and more people are rearing their children with a complete disconnect to reality. They honestly think that by giving their kids everything they want, keeping them from nagging and whining, that they are doing them some service. But when kids get the idea that the world and all its pleasures are owed to them they have a way of spoiling everything because they appreciate nothing.
I have heard repeated cases of kids who attack and verbally abuse their teachers or other kids in school. Yet we can’t really punish them. We can’t deny them anything. We can’t deny them their “right” to an education they don’t even want, an education they will consistently try to destroy. I have worked in both public and private school and I have witnessed this scenario myself. There are some wonderful teachers out there attempting to do the impossible. Why? Not because educating kids is so hard but because too many parents aren’t preparing their kids for any meaningful life experience that has some bearing on reality.
In my humble little home-school my kids thrive in their educational environment, and it isn’t because we have the newest and greatest materials and technology. What makes them motivated learners is that they have been shown in a myriad of ways that this is their life. Their future is for them to forge. Their success is for them to win. Their profit is for them to reap…if they have the skills, know-how, and desire to do what it takes to become successful and useful in this world. I haven’t given my sixteen year old a car. I haven’t promised anyone a college education. I am not going to sign for any student loans. They have to work while they live at home. Kids thrive on being needed. They love to know that they have a future to work for. Their minds like to absorb new information and to work hard…if they haven’t been spoiled by the lazy virus which attacks too many youth these days.
The lazy virus is the attitude that they don’t really need to lift a finger to get what they need and want. They will be fed, clothed, sheltered, and cared for without doing any work. Grown-ups will beg to be allowed to secure their future for them, entertain them, give them what they want to make them “happy”. Everyone feels terribly guilty and uncomfortable if kids complain. And they are good at complaining. I have heard some doozies. Young people see life through an intense filter and they seem to think that the world revolves around them. But they need to widen their vision – for their own sake. They need to see the needs of others..including other kids who really are without very basic necessities like food, clean water and shelter. They need to see that they have a part to play in making the world a better place. They need to realize that like Heli – wickedness doesn’t pay – reality has a way of catching up with a person eventually.
We are living in a society that is so completely detached from reality – we don’t even feel the need to pay our bills any more…as a nation or as a world. Instead the president calls for universal preschool! Oh, good, lets take our children out of our homes at an even younger age and make the state and federal government responsible for teaching them responsibility and reality. How are the majority of federally funded (underfunded) offices doing? Consider the last 30 years -Sesame Street, kindergartens, preschools abound like never before and yet our educational system is failing in the fundamentals. Our kids know more about homosexuality than about our presidents, Constitution, or monetary systems. Does anyone actually research the men or women they vote for? Why is this? Because we are out of touch with reality. Everyone wants to pass their responsibilities onto someone else. No one wants to say no. Are we cowards? Like Priest Heli was a coward. There is no better person to teach a child reality and responsibility than his or her parents – unless they have forfeit that right by being irresponsible themselves.
So where do we go from here? Psychologists would make us feel better about the suffering we have endured at our own hands, but I can’t feel sorry for a spoiled society which has brought catastrophe on itself. I want to like Priest Heli but, in the end, I know he was a cruel man. He never challenged his sons, he never made them look at reality but instead he allowed his children to suffer the ultimate fate of wickedness: sterility and death. Let us not repeat the mistake.