Over the past 20 years, I have witnessed the increasing demise of a behavioral model, which my generation had drilled into them on a daily basis. We were told to: mind your manners; pick up your clothes; if you use something, put it back; when you visit someone, be a good guest, and ask if you can help.
Teachers were not reprimanded for giving a child a bad grade if they did not perform up to speed by parents who felt their child was akin to Einstein. Nor were sports an obsession that had nine year olds going to boot camp for pitching. Games were fun and the outdoors was for exploring and creating imaginary worlds. Parents didn’t need to give their kids snacks and bottled water if they were outside longer than a couple of hours. In fact I remember drinking out of the hose in the backyard. And guess what? I never got the plague, warts or hives from the garden hose.
Most kids knew their place. You just didn’t try to get your way by jumping up and down or repeating yourself over and over like a parrot. My mother and many others I knew just gave you a look. I have heard parents today say they have to give their child what they want because their self-esteem might be compromised when they grow up!
What ever happened to the word “brat?” If someone always gets what they want, they are a brat and will turn into a self-absorbed adult with no concern for others. Common sense dictates that in order to live in a civilized society, we need to be aware of others and their needs as well. But let’s face it, if a kid doesn’t get what he wants today, he can make a YouTube video of his parents chastising him and get a petition signed to have them sent to a Gulag in Russia.
You can sue anyone for anything today, as well. We have become a litigious society, ready and able to blame someone for the smallest infractions. We can all remember how a woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap was awarded a huge settlement. Isn’t coffee supposed to be hot?
Unfortunately we will be at the mercy of what I describe as “the death of the obvious” until we decide to embrace responsibility, reason, accountability, and the knowledge that we are a part of the universe, not the center.
About the Author: Loretta LaRoche is an internationally acclaimed stress expert, humorist, author, speaker, and star of seven one-woman television specials airing on 80 PBS stations across the country. She has spoken internationally to widely diverse clients such as NASA, The New York Times, Microsoft, and a host of other Fortune 500 companies, hospitals and organizations. She has shared the stage with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, Arianna Huffington, Anthony Robbins, Gloria Stei- nem, Laura Bush, Mia Farrow and more, before thousands of participants. She is author of seven books, including “Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants.” Her career path has also included many one-woman shows across the country, and her passion for singing has led her to record and produce a jazz album. This summer and fall, Loretta will be on a stadium tour, The Power of Success, in Canada with Tony Robbins. She believes and lives her message, “Life is not a stress rehearsal!” Learn more at her website: www.LorettaLaRoche.com. ∞
Reprinted from the January 2020 edition of the South Shore Senior News.