Superior upbringing not enough
Sept. 14 was a date thousands of families across the land will never forget. And for reasons having nothing to do with the election, the economy, the Arab spring or the football fall. A baby was born to them.
One of these came into this world at 8 1⁄2 pounds with three mighty advantages: health, natural-born American citizenship and a married mother and father.
The latter 2-for-1 deal grows unaccountably rarer in our time. Yet anyone who is “all for the children” ought to be united on it as on no other issue, so basic is it to national prosperity.
It means that Baby Boy (not yet named) will have two adults to guide him. Against running into the street without looking both ways, for instance. Or hitting other kids in playgrounds and taking their toys (but to fight back if it's done to him).
Very important, too, to show respect for accredited older people: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and police officers, while being extremely resistant to strangers offering candy.
This sort of Mom 'n' Pop training will almost surely make Baby Boy (by then What a Big Boy) “school-ready.” There is no substitute for M&P training. It takes four or five or six years, and there will be missteps and tempers, yet the magic is slow but sure.
Our wee fellow citizen will learn to read, write and figure, if indeed Mum 'n' Dad haven't already introduced those skills along with singing, swimming, monkey bars climbing and ball-catching.
If school proves to be good, fine.
If not, by the time What a Big Boy is ready, maybe his elders will be wise enough to provide school choice. Which doesn't mean abandonment of the public responsibility to educate. It means applying the public's dollars to tuition at a private, parochial or superior public school, whatever can do the job best. There is no reason Baby Boy shouldn't be as lucky as his grandparents were, when most schools were good because most kids behaved, having had plenty of M&P training, even through war, depression and discrimination.
But even the best schools don't let parents off the hook. They're always there as examples, reading a book now and then, saving something for retirement, not depending totally on Social Security or the words of politicians.
Because many trials lie ahead for Look How Big He's Growing.
First and foremost, the crazy national debt his parents' and grandparents' generations piled on him before his first taste of milk, $16 trillion. Even a grown-up head can't grasp trillions, much less the grapefruit-sized kind with fuzz on top that can hardly keep its eyes open. And what if it's $20 trillion by the time he's reading? Or $30 trillion with an utterly debased dollar by the time he's ready to earn a few?
How are he and the rest of Generation Newborn ever going to pay back what a spendthrift government saddled them with? It's enough to teach boys and girls disrespect for their elders.
And then, out beyond the inevitable temptations of substance abuse, teenage folly and cultural sleaze that threaten to swamp them, they'll find a world in which millions of people keep getting whipped up to hate and destroy America. The best of all countries!
Will they have to fight for it someday? Very likely.
And will it still be the land of opportunity? Parents and grandparents will have to see to that. Baby Boy just dropped off to sleep.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey
- Penn State football coach Franklin renews his plea for patience
- Former Mountaineer Bailey shot in head in Miami
- Hempfield man fights off intruders
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- North Shore parking garage plan moves forward in Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh man charged with 56 counts after high-speed chase over weekend
- Open records office orders Mt. Lebanon to release deer cull emails
- Occupying playoff spot on Thanksgiving good harbinger for Penguins