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Are we creating a nation of dependents or leaders? E-mail
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 09:43

By L&T Publisher Earl Watt

My grandma didn’t give a rip about how other parents were raising their children.

When we tried to get away with doing something by saying, “Billy’s mom is letting him do it,” we would get the response, “And if Billy jumped off a cliff, would you do it?”

Lately, the trends in America have been to go against being an individual and simply become a sheep in the herd.

We have a history of it right here in our community.

In the 1980s, we used to have junior high schools.

The purpose of junior high was to prepare students for high school. It wasn’t quite high school, but it wasn’t elementary any more, hence junior high.

To justify the need for more government and more professionals, a new trend emerged that said these kids were not really ready to start high school training. They were too young, we were told, so we needed another system with a philosophy that would treat the children more like elementary children than junior high.

What was the result?

A higher dropout rate for freshmen as they reached high school and were intimidated. They weren’t ready.

Recently, after a meeting to discuss the new grading change at the high school, when parents pointed out that in the “real world” students would not get multiple attempts to redo their work, one of the presenters said, “These are not adults. They are still children.”

It appears they will be children until at least the age of 26.

The changes in the laws with health care, and the simple fact that kids are living at home much longer, indicate that the newest generation really aren’t ready for adulthood.

I wonder why.

Weve stopped preparing our kids to no longer be kids. We want them to continue to be dependent, or that is what we are being told is the right thing to do.

That is certainly the message they have received from their government for the past eight years.

Businesses didn’t succeed by working hard and being innovative.

No, either they received a government subsidy grant or was built by the government in some other fashion.

The message has been loud and clear: Depend on the government. You can’t do this on your own.

That was not the lessons we were taught two decades ago.

My grandma had a job to do with me, and it was to have me out on my own when I graduated.

Sometimes it was tough love, but it was the best thing she could have ever done for me.

Be ready for the next step. Get off of the one you’re on.

When did we stop pushing our youth to become independent adults?

There is a difference between loving our kids and becoming dependent on having them around so much that we don’t encourage them to become independent. We should be pushing our youth to be leaders, not followers.

Just because the newest trend comes down the pike from a government-subsidized study doesn’t mean it is the best.

We used to question everything without repercussion.

And the best ideas stood up to criticism. Today, we are taught to stay in line, shut up, and do what we are told.

The problem with that is we are not developing leaders or thinkers. We are creating followers who embrace “the system” without question or scrutiny.

Everyone used to raise their children the best way they saw fit, the school system pushed the kids to be prepared for what they would face next, and teachers had the ability to maintain discipline by withholding recess or with a paddle.

And America was the highest-performing academically and economically.

Want to know what happened? It’s simple. We started doing what everyone else did. No questions, no challenges.

It’s almost illegal now to challenge the view of the president, or it will at least end with an IRS audit.

When you hear new ideas, challenge them with every question you can. If they are good ideas, they will stand up to the test.

If the idea is not good, watch for supporters who will look to silence the critics.

We should not become a nation of dependents.

Americans have always differed from the rest of the world because we disagree, we challenge each other, and we push each other to be the best.

We tolerate the debate. We are independent in our views.

When we have lost our ability to think for ourselves, and to question leadership, we lose our independence.

Don’t blindly follow anyone.

And never be told that the newest idea is the best simply because someone else is doing it.

We should ask our leaders the same thing our parents asked us, “If they jumped off a cliff, would you do it?”

Whether it is deficit spending in Washington or the local policies, it’s time to ask serious questions.

Don’t accept anything without questioning it first.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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