The future, it’s just around the corner. Everyone thinks about it in some way. I’ve blogged about it in some form, many times, because like everyone else…I wonder about it. What type of technology will emerge? How long will we allow degradation through government? What kind of world are we leaving our children? Better yet, what kind of children are we giving the world to?
I think that’s the most important question about the future. Parenting today is shaping the world of tomorrow so we have to ask ourselves, what kind of parents are we? Everything about the future is connected to our children. They will be the ones to invent the merging technology. They will be the ones to chart the course of our government. They will be the answer to every question about the future, but we will be the problem if the future goes poorly from our parental teachings.
When we look at our society, it’s easy for some of us to judge the abhorrent among us. After all, we convince ourselves that we are normal…and they are not. We care little for the excuses of their past as we ask them to be accountable for their present. To hear that they had “mommy” or “daddy” issues is old news that doesn’t cut the mustard anymore, but is it true? If you are a child that grows up in an environment where drug abuse, violence and crime are a normal part of existence, are you not molded by your experience?
Of course you are. It’s a tragic situation only made worse when such an experience hinders mature and responsible development, that is then passed forward by someone taking a shot at parenting, when they don’t even know what it means to be a productive person. Quite simply, you can’t teach what you don’t know. There is plenty of finger pointing to go around, but what ever gets done to rectify the situation? What is being done to break the cycle?
It’s a rhetorical question as there are many people from all walks of life actively trying to improve the quality of the human condition in any way they can. It comes through personal intervention with, what can only be called, the damaged parent. It comes through working with the child of such a parent in an attempt to offset the damaging and disruptive input received at home. But even in our solutions, we present other problems. Who reading this would really want their child raised by “the system” as is the case when a child is removed from the home. Heck, sometimes the indoctrination from the school curriculum is enough to set a good parent on the warpath…but I digress. That’s for another post.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Should society be responsible for the people it produces, or is every parent solely accountable for the shaping of their offspring? If it takes a village to raise a child, what then happens to that child when the village absolves itself of that responsibility? There are many question, and probably more answers…and yet the damaged parents of today were once the innocent children of yesterday. Are we not asking the right questions, or are the answers simply not working?
I don’t have any answers except to say that I have done my best to raise my children to be productive people and contributing members of society. I know many others that have done and are doing the same. I also know that there are still a lot of damaged parents out there that will unleash chaos into the future if left to their own brand of parenting. You may ask me “Who am I to judge?” and I’ll tell you that I’m a man that has raised other men who do not sell drugs and indulge in regular law breaking as a career choice. That doesn’t make me qualified to judge, but I’m amply qualified to observe.
I see the future everyday when I see children…and I wonder if the world of tomorrow is ready for them, or were the parents of today ill prepared by the world of yesterday? Regardless of the answer, we can do better.