Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seven Hundred Army

When children learn to devalue others, they can devalue anyone - including their parents.”  I pulled this from another Star Trek episode.  I love going back and digging into all this stuff that I missed as a kid.  This particular gem is from an episode a friend recommended.  There’s political posturing, war games, and torture.

The torturing’s really the crux of the whole thing.  There’s a grand imbroglio around the ability to brainwash someone using physical torture.  Doing all of this, that lovely quote is tossed out, and echoes around the room like a foghorn in the Grand Canyon.  Most startling of all, is how true it can be.

Generations of children raised during the entitlement era are living proof of this.  Some of the practices include parents no longer being authority figures, but friends – even called by their first names.  Every single child is a winner, even if they finished last in a marathon 5,000 deep.  I could go on, but the synopsis of this concept is to make children feel “better” as they grow up.

I believe the intent was to start by raising children that could capably be independent.  The action was doing so with a heavy reliance on a supervisory figure to enable such action.  This effect has caused the reality of this plan to be much different from the ideal.  I used to try and hire these kids, you know.  A whole pack of self-entitled douchebags, that couldn’t understand why “their” way of doing something wasn’t the “right” way.  One requested Monday’s and Wednesday’s off just for World of Warcraft raids.  Another was so forthcoming that I was made explicitly aware she would not be coming to work because it was a heavy flow day.  I mean, really?! 

Basic civility is just an old hat-trick at this point.  I’ve yet to see anyone under twenty spontaneously hold doors open for little old ladies anymore.  Conversational courtesy is out the window (although, you can blame any number of rising technological influences for that).

On the news, politicos are touting the schools are at blame for “failing our youth.”  Bullshit.  The parents are failing our youth.  If you can take the time to actually raise your own child like a good human, the chain would keep going.  The schools are just responding to taxpayers, and the loudest voices tend to be the laziest.  Some amazing scientific principle how the lack of momentum and initiative inherently makes the larynx more audible… I don’t know.

I was raised around humans that treated others as garbage.  Some were emotionally abusive and physically violent people.  The type of person who would look at a kindergarten macaroni picture, and tell you to do better next time, while throwing it in the trash can for a lark.  Other people who felt best to hit someone with a car while in a drunken stupor in order to impede the ability to walk away from an argument.  Fine folks that would take a child, and lock them in a bedroom for an entire summer, thinking that’s rational.

So yes, the potential to think less of people exists.  There also exists some miracle that has kept me from going into a mall chainsaw in one hand, flame thrower in the other, wielding both as I manically run from one end and back.  The scrawny arms, mostly, but there had to be some divine intervention. 

Or, maybe I just chose to always have a little more heart for people than they’d give me.  I give a little patience; they give me some better manners.  It’s an interesting take on equivalent exchange – my contributing an item of varied mass, as it’s karmically being reciprocated by another force of equal value, but not necessarily identical.

Then next time you look in the mirror, blame the collapse of society on someone.  Go on – just try it.  Look yourself in the eyes, and if you believe yourself, you’re all set.  Move along; there’s nothing else for you here.  You are, in fact, just better than everyone else; your parents’ objectives for your upbringing have been accomplished.  Go have some cake.

If you look in that mirror, though, and can’t even stare yourself in the eyes as you go off on some thing or other, then congratulations.  You’re human.  You’ve passed the test; now we’ll never sever.  The solution is only the beginning, though.  The next step is to see what you’re doing to change this mindset in the world.  It’s always easy for someone to have a great idea, but executing it – and executing it well – is a lot harder.

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