Sunday, 9:00 AM. 1 degree F, wind W, calm with occasional gusts. The sky has a high overcast which may clear later, and there is fog over the channel and the islands. The humidity is 83% and the barometer up, at 30.32 in. A light, very fine snow is beginning to fall, of which I just cleared an inch or two from the drive and walk. If this cold snap continues as predicted the channel will freeze over and stay that way. People have been complaining that we never get a real winter anymore…this should satisfy them.
I have a Sunday commentary that does not violate my “never on Sunday” pledge because it is not about politics, but morality and political correctness. Children are now being (it happened again a day or two ago) punished with expulsion from school for any kind of intimation that they are “playing guns,” even with a pointed finger, while society accepts and even encourages realistic, violent video games and movies and TV programs that closely mirror reality. The same confusion exists with sexual images, with which children are constantly bombarded, and then punished when they imitate them. And normal childhood sexual curiosity is stifled. Double standards loom everywhere and it is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for children to know what is right and what is wrong.
In fact, right and wrong are hardly even taught as concepts anymore. It is Sunday. How many children will go to Sunday school today, where they might learn the Ten Commandments, the basic building blocks of society? Parents are pressured by society, even required, to give children far more of almost everything than they can absorb, use or even appreciate, while political correctness dictates that every transgression or abnormality in the greater population must be condoned or explained as personal freedom, or as psychologically irresistible. Situational morality rules; on the one hand, something is wrong, but on the other hand, it is right, or easily excused. The world of children is increasingly devoid of positive role models, as sports heroes and politicians and the media elite are free to break the rules as long as they don’t get caught, or can cover up or explain away their indiscretions.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to children today is in the area of play. Many children grow up not knowing what is play and what is real, as they are often punished for much of what is only play, while being kept from innocent and natural play through constant use of the TV and video games as baby sitters. To make matters worse, children are denied the opportunity to play during the school day, which is now supposed to be all work at learning without the interruption of recess and physical play. And when play is allowed it is usually highly structured by adults, with adult rules and adult concepts of winning and loosing, and is not childhood play at all.
I am afraid that we are creating adults who were never really children, many of whom have lived in a fantasy world of their own making and through which they have escaped growing up, and when they finally encounter real life in the real world they simply cannot cope. Raising children today is a real challenge.