So I had a brief discussion with my son yesterday and I want to share it with you because I think the message is important for everyone. If you have children, please read this and think hard about how you are ‘helping’ them.
My son borrowed his dad’s ear buds to listen to his iPod with his dad’s permission. He was told quite clearly by his father that “if you break them, you will have to buy me some new ones”.
My son agreed. Two days ago, my son came home from school and showed me that the ear buds had broken (he is 12, so they probably broke in his pocket with all the other ‘boy stuff’ that was in there).
I told him that he was going to have to tell his dad, and perhaps ask him how he could earn some extra money to pay for the ear buds. My son told me he would rather not have to work for the money. I had a chuckle on that one.
I had told my son I would buy him an iTunes Card last week as a ‘bonus’ for a job well-done on bringing his grades up over 20% in only one month. My son told me that he would prefer to use this to pay for the ear buds. I told him that I was okay with that, but that it wouldn’t quite cover the buds so we’d have to think of another way to get the remainder.
So yesterday I pick him up from school and we are talking. He says to me “I think I would rather just have the iTunes card please” (he’s very polite). I asked him how he thought he would pay for the ear buds. He tells me he would just like for me to buy them please.
I am trying hard to teach him some responsibility. A big part of me just wants to buy the ear buds, they are only about $40 but so much of what I do now will shape his entire future so I tell him that he needs to start taking some responsibility. And if that responsibility requires him to work, then so be it.
I follow up by saying that he has few responsibilities. That they are: trying at school, a few chores, participating in the family etc. I told him that being responsible involves working hard, doing what you say you are going to do, and taking care of things you said you would. I point out to him that me and his dad have many responsibilities, including paying all the bills and teaching him how to be responsible.
He says, “hrumph, if that is the case then most of my friends are going to be in trouble”.
NOW here is where the most important part comes in.
I said to him, “you are right. There are many people that are adults right now in their 20’s and 30’s, and even 40’s that have no clue. Some of them still live with their parents, a lot of them cannot support themselves and have no idea how life works. They have no work ethic, no ‘common sense’, and no idea of how to work hard and get what they want.
“Think of all the homeless people, people that cannot feed themselves, the people that are always looking for handouts and for other people to ‘rescue’ them. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WERE NOT TAUGHT HOW TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR LIVES.”
That basically shut him up for a while as he pondered what I had said. I think it hit home for him. He hasn’t come up with a plan yet, but I know he’s thinking about it.
NOW, for all of you who read this and think that I am a horrible B*tch for saying what I said about the homeless and people that are having a hard time.
I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR ON WHAT I MEAN BY THIS POST
I am all for helping people out. I know that there are people who have challenges and require assistance at certain times of their life. This does not mean that they are bad people, far from it. I have been through some very challenging times myself.
My point is that we are raising a generation of kids who think that they should have EVERYTHING handed to them ~ for nothing. We disempower our children when we don’t allow them to take care of themselves.
The media, the government, certain ‘rights’ groups, are teaching us and our children that we are powerless. That the government needs to step up and take care of us. We cannot take care of ourselves. We are BOMBARDED with this message every single day of our lives.
One thing the people who are doing well know, beyond all doubt, is that they can have, be or do anything they want. They do not rely on others’ for their success or failure. They take responsibility for their lives and their actions. They STRIVE for achievement. They do not wake up in the morning asking what someone else can do for them. They wake up in the morning asking what they can do to help themselves and others.
I just saw on the news last night a story about the BC Government. The reporter asked a government official what they were doing “for the people”. The Official went on to say that BC has a “Jobs Plan” to get people into new, well paying, careers. The government is paying for training, spending money on getting the word out on where the jobs are, where the training is, where the financial support to get the training can come from. All very positive, empowering things.
The reporter actually put the emphasis on HANDOUTS. Here there is a plan in place to EMPOWER people and it is being slagged in the media because it actually requires people to take some responsibility and do something themselves. Work, earn, and feel good. The only focus of the reporter was on how to give people more welfare money. Pretty bloody sad. Once again the media is saying people can’t do for themselves.
I pay a fair amount of taxes and I do not mind doing so. It is my responsibility to do my part. However, after paying my bills and TAXES I have less to give to anyone that might really need some assitance. My tax money goes to pay for bureaucracy. I give to the government, the government takes a HUGE portion to pay for government employees and other things. I have LESS money to give to people or things that need it.
We need to help each other. But we also need to do it while EMPOWERING people and helping them know that they can have, be or do anything they want.