The solution rests with you and only with you. This series will provide you with ideas that are an easy means of implementing your values in limiting government to its enumerated powers.
One of the differences between a child and a mature adult is the dependency of the former on the latter. The difference between an adult and a mature adult is the dependency of the former on both the latter and the government.
Your job is to transform the child into a mature adult capable, of assuming self-responsibility. That’s easier than you think if you’ll stop coming up with excuses for just five minutes a day. That’s because a child will respect and listen to a mature, rational adult for at least five minutes, but not to an overgrown, irresponsible idiot.
Frustration is one of the common denominators we share regarding our intent toward restoring government to its enumerated powers. While it may appear to be easier said than done, most of us are guilty of being less of a solution than we think we are.
Vocalizing irritating thoughts and waving Gadsden flags doesn’t solve problems. Cracking jokes on Facebook and Twitter, more often than not, is merely preaching to the choir. Writing letters to representatives has a slight effect, depending on the quality of the letter and maturity of both the sender and recipient. The least effective communications are inundated with ‘you’ and ‘they’, in lieu of assuming responsibility.
The real solution lies with you and your influence on children and adults who have the cerebral capacity that you can intelligently impact upon.
It’s very easy to instill in children the values of limiting government to its enumerated powers and assuming responsibility for their actions. All that’s required is a respected influence. Please bear with me while I illustrate a lengthy analogy.
As a child, I didn’t have the advantage of being directly molded and challenged by real men on a daily basis – not by my standards. Often, I had to ‘borrow’ another kid’s dad to learn what young men were supposed to learn. Unfortunately, one of those skills that I had to learn on my own was shaving.
Physically, I matured very quickly and by the time I was in the seventh grade I had to shave every morning. A year later, I had a five-o’clock shadow by 3:00 PM. So, a date in the evening meant that I had to either shave twice in the same day or lose out on intimacy, as no teenage girl wanted her face sandpapered by my brutal whiskers.
Beginning in 1964, there was a toiletry product boom designed to appeal to a new generation of less masculine men, which continues to this day. Instead of straight and double-edge razors, there were idiot-proof, hi-tech, convenience razors because men were either too lazy, stoned, or irresponsible to figure out the correct angle a blade was to be applied against their face.
As a substitute for masculine scents, aftershave lotions became tooty-fruity or smelled feminine. What was odd about the toiletry boom is that even boys who didn’t shave were buying the lotions to douse themselves with.
To a 12-year old kid, it was confusing and expensive because there were too many options to choose from and social pressure was against masculinity. Somehow, society came up with an unwritten law that my flattop haircut, butch wax, and ordinary clothes had to go the way of the telegraph.
I lived outside of a small town that had an old fashioned apothecary (pharmacy) where I purchased all of my shaving gear. The pharmacist was the type of reserved and respected gentleman whom you’d be hesitant to purchase condoms from if you were a kid.
One day the pharmacist, who knew me fairly well and was cognizant that I didn’t have a consistent, masculine form of guidance in my life, took the time to explain a few facts of life to me, regarding shaving, so I could save my hard earned cash. Then he reached below the counter, took out a small, slender cardboard box, laid it on the counter, and matter-of-factly stated that I wasn’t a real man unless I used one of these.
He threw down the gauntlet.
I opened the box, took out the straight razor, and gawked at it. I knew he was challenging me for my own good and I couldn’t back down due to a surge in testosterone, fear, and excitement. I purchased the straight razor and a leather strop.
The next morning my face looked like a battlefield and to this day I haven’t a clue as to how my jugular vein remained intact, because my hands were shaking before I was finished shaving and I was almost out of styptic powder. But within a few months, my ugly mug was back to its usual state of ugliness sans blood, nicks, and scabs. The next time I was at the pharmacy, did I blame the pharmacist for the cuts on my face? Hell no. I accepted responsibility for my actions, solved my own problems, and not once did I raise the issue with him. He respected me for that, just as I held him in high regard and respected his challenge and maturity.
While my self-edification could have been classified in the Darwin Awards category for not seeking adult supervision, I didn’t take the easy way out and the investment made sense to me, especially since I have a tough, thick beard that was destroying double-edge razor blades. But none of my classmates and friends, by the time they were old enough to shave, went the same route I went.
Most of my classmates had real fathers. Or did they? Perhaps their fathers simply went with the trend instead of fighting the influence of marketing campaigns.
That same year (1964) was a turning point in America’s history and many men caved to the new themes of being soft and showing their feminine side. They went with the tide, much like the way political moderates accept whacko nonsense such as global warming, saving minnows, free health care, hugging trees, bailing out solar panel companies, and blaming whatever else is politically correct for the sake of blending in.
It was the easy way out, back then, and still is, along with college degrees in underwater basket weaving and teaching certifications to maintain a deferment from the draft. No cerebral activity or intestinal fortitude required.
Today, I’m presuming (right or wrong) that less than 1% of all American men enjoy the masculine tradition of whipping up a mug of hot lather, stropping a blade, and shaving with a straight razor, all because of a lack of a testosteronic influence. Likewise, how many adolescents have the correct influence in their lives regarding our traditional values toward government’s role and purpose?
If today you had a chat with a 12-year old about our values, that parent might lose self-control as if you handed their child a straight razor.
Why? And how can we get parents to not come unglued? How do we throw down the gauntlet in the devalued 21st century? How do we challenge kids (and parents) to accept responsibility in a society that preaches and pressures individuals to do the opposite?
In the same manner that pharmacist did.
Did he do it with every kid who purchased shaving gear from him? Probably not. He only mentored who was capable of being influenced, who had enough sense, and who could think for himself. The rest weren’t worth his time.
Likewise, you need to scrutinize whom you invest five minutes of your time with, when compensating for society’s ills. And don’t look elsewhere for reprieve.
Many of the old standby organizations that stood for accepting responsibility, such as the Boy Scouts of America, are no longer as efficacious as they once were. They too are becoming overly concerned with political correctness due to pressure from those who lack honorable values.
Forget about the public schools. You can’t get much further away from America’s traditional values than that. Don’t believe me? Imagine the following scenario involving two high school senior boys:
It’s Friday, school just ended, both have a date in a few minutes, and both need a shave. While everyone else is boarding the school buses, they head to the boy’s room. One is using a Mach 5 razor and the other is using a straight razor. The principle walks in. Which one is in trouble for acting like a man?
On that note, let’s take a step back to my shaving analogy. If you wanted to teach all of the young men in America how to shave with a straight razor, how would you do it? Can you do it? If not, why not?
My guess is once we have the answer to those questions, we can apply it to teaching and learning the principles that survived the test of time. In the meantime, try applying my ‘five-minute rule’.
Each day, devote just five minutes to influencing a youngster about the values of assuming responsibility and decreasing their dependency on government.
What could you accomplish in five minutes, presuming you are a mature, responsible adult with reasonable communications skills?
Well, the truth is, most of the adult population isn’t mature enough to responsibly devote five minutes a day for the benefit of maintaining our traditional values. Pity. In fact, most adults would rather whine to each other than solve problems in a conciliatory manner.
In Part II we’ll toss the gauntlet again with another analogy. In subsequent columns, we’ll become more finite with our solutions.
Together, we can do this.
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P.S. Got five minutes?