Monday, October 27, 2014

What Are We Doing to Our Children?

Image by Marg

Karl A. Menninger said, “What's done to children, they will do to society.” 

One proud father said to his little boy, "I've got news for you, my big boy. You are going to have a beautiful baby brother."

"Great!" yelped the little boy. "Where's Mom? I can't wait to tell her!"

His sister, however, wasn't nearly as excited about the arrival. After a few days her father asked, "Aren't you happy about having a new baby brother?"

"Not really," she admitted. "I wanted a little sister so we could play girl games when she got bigger. And we can't give him back. We've used him for five days."

However, she may yet grow to love her little brother. If not now, later.

Psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger spent a lifetime studying mental illness. He observed that “what's done to children, they will do to society.” There is nothing new here. We all know that abused children often become abusers. Children taught to hate or children raised in violence commonly become dangerous and destructive adults.

But there is a positive side, too. Children nurtured in kindness learn the value of understanding. Children taught to be self-sufficient, to respect others, to value education and to build life up rather than to tear it down will become adults capable of leading us to a brighter future. For what's done to children, they will do to society.

An unknown author put it succinctly: "A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He or she is going to sit where you are sitting and attend to those things that you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they will be carried out depends on our young people. They will assume control of your duties, states and nation. They are going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. All your books will be judged, praised or condemned by them. The fate of humanity is in their hands. So it might be well to pay young people attention."

What are we doing to our children?

-- Steve Goodier

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your newsletter, and most of this one. I differ with the idea that "children will carry on where we cannot" because it falls into the schtick of "The children are our future!" that is often used to manipulate people into supporting some scheme or another for education "professionals". The reality is that children are THEIR future. We are already past, and it isn't up to us to manipulate children to build what we want, but to allow them to find their own path, and in doing so, to realize how wrong we really are about almost everything. Most education systems are so expensive and difficult to manage because they spend so much time trying to force children not to see the truth about the world.