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Teaching Our Youth

Posted on Friday, December 16, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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15 Comments
Youth

Social commentary is risky, but cultures only self-correct with it, so here we go. Looking around, especially post-COVID, post-2020 riots, post-elections – one sees disorientation, lack of context and connection, alienation and disaffection – especially among America’s youth. Absent is a grip on history, life is a mystery.

We owe it to the future, if not past and present, to dispel that mystery, offer some context, compass, orientation, and sense of place – especially to the youth. Rather than miseducation, misdirection, and pretending social tumult is the norm, those who have lived long enough know better – have a debt. We owe. 

What do we owe? We owe – above all – life lessons borne of lessons well-taught by those who gave us motivation to think for ourselves, work hard, and the tenacity to hold our own in high winds, facing the unexpected confidently.

We owe context – because we have it – to those who desperately want to find themselves in this swirling world, mad with hysteria, emotion, accusation, and commotion, rather than decency, dignity, and self-respect we often got.

What do you see, when you look around at the generation “on deck” – who will soon define our nation? In many, you see solid grounding, a loving family, firm faith, and willingness to work. But in others – too many – you see bewilderment.

That bewilderment, no fault of theirs, is on us. It comes from untaught lessons, as if we can let go a kite string and expect the kite to stay aloft. That is not how it works. 

After a nasty run of lockdowns and subjecting kids – of all ages – to “zoom education,” social dislocation, and a sense that dysfunction is the norm; after indulging political violence, identity politics, division with intent, and redefinition of granite as sand – why are we now surprised that we have a struggling generation?

Awash in moral relativity, without high expectations from prior generations, missing guidance that most of us got on how to think critically, value connection, work, accomplishment, confidence, compass, and contentment – they struggle.

How do you know? The evidence is everywhere. They struggle to be noticed, seen, and heard, since this is how young people know they matter, affirm they are part of things bigger than themselves, and ultimately find themselves.

Only we have not done all we could to show the way, put the big bar higher, teach them how to reach. We have not told them the untold secret: No one gets anywhere without hard work, and failure is a step to success, teaching resilience.

We have not clued them in that life is not madness or a mess, but a constant process of fresh rethinking, earnest dreams, honest attempts, failure, falls, and rising again, knowing and growing from the resolve not to give up, but to persist.

What we see is the rise of identities not premised on high learning, or how to do things well, make things better, or reach higher, dive deeper, achieve more, and accomplish real value each day – using each second well – but the reverse.

We see political and community leaders, often close to home, quick with excuses for failure – admiring the problem, not teaching the youth how to figure things out, work hard, and accomplish, in turn building strong, self-sustaining identities.

Absent that, many youths take refuge in their peers and regular redefinition of themselves – trying to be different, from radical politics, hair, and tattoos to drug use and new shoes, all fads de jour – nothing to match lessons accomplishment, what it takes, where it leads.

To be clear, every generation – multiple on the planet – defines itself with new vocabulary, technology, interaction, distraction, and attraction – but the piece missing right now is one we have collectively failed to provide, and now must.

Being different, aiming to be an individual, finding one’s own way, making use of each day as we want – is what liberty is about. But differentiation by well-taught lessons in accomplishment, how to set and reach goals, resist disorientation and alienation, favor connection, resilience, and the good that comes from them– is where we need to focus.

Social commentary is risky, because for each thought taught and observation made, other valid vantage points always exist, part of America’s magic. But sharing views on the present, disjoined as they may be, helps define the future. America’s youth need us now. We owe them our best, while we can. That is it.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Propose:
PEC: Parents Ed Council to replace PTA
Parental Input to school boards day1

Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
1 year ago

The lion’s share of leftist colleges ill prepare our youth for the real world. Whether they like it or not, If they don’t learn meaningful life skills at home or in college, they will learn during post graduate studies at HKU (Hard Knock University)

Debra Reynolds
Debra Reynolds
1 year ago

Part of the problem is clear in this article–about the only thing which is clear! The meaning of the piece is clear, but the language is sloppy, poorly written, and that’s becoming very common. The inability to communicate clearly is perhaps our biggest problem.

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” What wonderful words to live by. Persistence and patience are two of the most important words and character traits that should be stressed by teachers and parents. All too often adults fail our children by allowing them to always take the easy way out. Confidence and productive work go hand-in-hand with persistence and patience. If a young person never learns the importance of allowing oneself to fail, then chances are very good that the same young person will also never realize his/her true potential to be happy in life.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 year ago

Bring back the 40’s and 50’s. Kyle L.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

There is the most important component missing in the lives of too many children and that is a functional family

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Let’s face it– the number one enemy of our students are the teachers’ unions! They care only about power to force money out of taxpayers and then insult those taxpayers with their immoral, communist ideology. Between my sister and myself, we taught for 82 years and NEVER pushed this current crap on our students!

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

Another timely piece by mr charles, but he needs to tread lightly. We dont as nameless, faceless commentors. So, the overwhelming theme of the boomer gen as relates to raising kids has been the mad desire to be their kids buddy or girlfriend. Buddies dont lay down the law on peers, authority figures do. Parents wish above all to be accepted by their kids. They are pathologically unwilling to withdraw love as needed when what is required is consequences,ie punishment . The exceptions stand out. One young lady i met, happily married and employed, told me her boomer dad, upon hearing her college plan said, ok fine, major in psychology if you insist, but i wont pay. I wll only pay for a degree that is marketable on graduation. I met dad and i doubt she whined for long. Since boomers kids are grown now its going to be up to xers to rediscover firm footing with their kids. Im not optimistic.

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

Excellent article!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Kids today only have learned one thing from Dept. of DUHmacation INDOCTRINATION and that is, DUH.
It is the Responsibility of Parents
NOT the Government for our children to learn and excel in life.
The faster YOU STAND UP the BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN.
Otherwise, they will be SLAVES and not question anything or learn anything except to be DUH.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Correct. The emerging generation ( ages 10-19?) should not have to seek guidance and direction.
It should be provided to them voluntarily by responsible, successful parents, adult relatives,
and (hopefully) teachers. Without that, society as we know it, which is apparently so fragile, will
crumble.

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