bits from bob....
by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Think with me. Let's cut down the "great American fairy tale." Learn what is important in life. Our society has developed misconceptions about life. Our children have learned incorrect values. We must correct the fairy tale and fantasy; we must undo misconceptions. Children must be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Here are five dangerous ideas our children have about life.
- 1. Happiness is in things. Most believe one is happy according to the amount accumulated. "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions" (Luke 12:15). Peer pressures may demand the right brands, fashions, and styles, but such do not lead to happiness.
- 2. Happiness is what you do, not what you are. Our world is preoccupied with doing and producing instead of being. Life's most important issue is what I am becoming. I need identity and acceptance--I cannot live with apathy. My being--uniqueness as an individual--is vital. "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). True happiness is in being, not doing.
- 3. Happiness is having a 'round' soul. The fable peddles a mass-produced, properly shaped, one-size-fits-all soul. It preaches conformity. We are not, cannot be, and should not have to be, all alike. Relationships must give opportunity for and learn to have respect for souls and persons of slightly different shapes and sizes and concepts.
- 4. Happiness is having no problems. The fairy tale would rid us of every difficulty. Genuine mental health is the ability to cope with problems. Our kids are being raised in a vacuum so that when they confront monumental problems, a "sky-is-falling" mentality has developed. All need to realize that some loneliness, boredom, frustration, and hurt are a small, but legitimate, part of the human predicament. Then we can integrate that fact into our concepts of life.
- 5. Happiness is mystical. One man wrote, "Happiness is communicating into outer space." Indeed, we face a communications crisis. We can now communicate over long distances, but we cannot communicate with people closest to us. We are busy; the world is rapid and complex; change is rampant. This communication vacuum has come largely because each has forgotten that communication is more listening than speaking.
Values are in transition. It is hard for parents to understand why "things" are not enough for children; it is equally difficult for children to understand why "things" are purpose enough for parents. We adults wrote the American Fairy Tale--it is within our power to rewrite. I pray we will--soon.
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Last updated November 28, 2001.