Thursday, May 03, 2007

What Money Can't Buy

Though no reflection on this blogger's lifestyle, our bedroom community county is the richest in the state per capita and the 48th richest in the whole US of A. Trailer parks mingle with McMansions, old timers mix with a flood of professionals building their estates. Drawn by the beauty of horse farms (now disappearing) and excellent public schools, growth is out the roof (pardon the pun). This once rural community is changing quickly. Despite the obvious general wealth of the population, it made the news when a recent survey of high school seniors indicated that 50% of them had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days and that 44% of them had indulged in binge drinking (got drunk) in the past 14 days.

I was discussing this with Joe, the farmer from whom I buy hay for the horses. Our idle chat turned to the cost of horses, and yet, the value of them in a young teen's life, how it keeps them busy, requires responsibility and focus. I asked if he'd seen the statistics and the resultant letters to the editor claiming that the problem is (use whiny voice) there's nothing here for a teen to do.

I asked Joe if it wasn't true that he'd lived here all his life, and he replied in the affirmative. And, I continued, isn't there more to do here than when you were a teen? He threw his eyes upward, oh gosh yes. He told me that when he was a teen, he and many of his school mates didn't have time to get in trouble, as they had to come home to the farm and work. He raised his daughters the same way, and though peers sometimes made fun of them for being farm girls , they grew up hard workers and good people.

Good people. What if - we've given our youth all the privileges money can buy, schooled them in every subject known to mankind, got them to regurgitate this back on tests so that we can say that no child was left behind and so that they can get a good job, but we forgot to parent them to be good people?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good thought. I have been thinking lately about how little I ask of my kids for fear of them missing out on being kids and I realized that my kids will be grown ups a lot longer than they will kids. Now while some peole believe that means they need to have fun and be free for what little time they have to be kids, I think that means we only have a short time to make them into good, responsible, kind, hard working, caring etc. people while we have the chance. If we miss out they will suffer as adults a lot longer than they were kids. Not to say they can't have fun because we have a lot of that around here. D.

Camflock said...

AMEN!

TC said...

IMO (and you knew I'd have one, didn't you?), this problem will continue to grow as long as our culture moves further from the Biblical concept that work is good.

At my house, when a kid can walk, he can work. :)

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