Saturday, September 16, 2006

Is somebody else running your life?

"If you don't run your own life, somebody else will."
- John Atkinson, Baron Atkinson of Glenwilliam (1844–1931)

This lesson should be taught to everyone. While many people today give the running of their lives over to others, desiring to satisfy what others want of them rather than what they want for themselves, a few take total control of their lives. This is often done after making several critical mistakes that teach how important it is to run their own lives.

Teaching that lesson brings with it the obligation to ensure that each person has the tools with which to make the decisions needed to run their own life.

At present, children go to school mostly to learn the skills and knowledge they need to get jobs. Some parents assist with this to make certain that their children have better jobs than their peer group.

Some teachers and some parents teach life skills. Their children find mates they stay with for life. They have families and enjoy as much of the life available to them as they can.

However, statistics tell us that not nearly enough adults fit into this latter category.

Does that mean that parents are failing in their responsibilities? It certainly means that many parents are not teaching what their kids need to make comfortable lives for themselves.

But is that the fault of the parents? No. Most new parents know very little about what young children need, how to recognize the onsiet of their needs and the stages of development (especially social and emotional development) that their children will go through. What's more, they don't even know that they should ask about what they don't know. They assume they will learn as their kids grow.

It's all very well to say that parents should teach these things to their children. It's not fair to point fingers at those who fail (judging by the behaviour of their children) when those parents may not have been given the tools they need to be parents. The information they need may not be available in their communities.

Parenting, the most important responsibility that we have in life, is the only one where people are allowed to go into it knowing very little at the most important time (of their children's lives).

"Can't" and "won't" have been tossed around for years, for generations, for centuries. They are tired and lame excuses for the fact that we have not stood up and told our legislators to give their school boards the responsibility to teach parents what they need to know before they become parents.

There are no good excuses. Bad excuses abound.

Someone must stand up and be heard. Others will follow if they believe the first will not be killed in action.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make our needs so obvious that someone will decide to meet them.
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