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Common Sense Badge

March 21, 2007

I don’t normally watch The Today Show. I have long felt that Today is one of the media’s prime outlets for brainwashing the sheep in America and wreaking as much political havoc as possible, not generally in the favor of God-loving people. That said, I did turn it on this morning while I was getting ready for work. I wanted to catch the news and was drawn in by the story of the missing Boy Scout in North Carolina. I was relieved to hear that they found him and returned him to his folks, safe and sound. Finally, a heartwarming story, some good news for a change. I was interested to hear from the other scouts that were on his camping trip and get all of the details.

It’s important to note that the extent of my knowledge before this news clip was that this Boy Scout was missing. I had no further details. As I listened to the scouts talk, it became clear that this boy had willfully walked away from the camp. Sure, it was awesome news that he was found, but the kid walked away! He didn’t get lost on a hike, or fall and hit his head and make decisions resulting from a concussion, or drink contaminated water and become delirious. He knew what he was doing. He had a plan. He walked away! Not only did he walk away, but he planned to hitchhike home!

Like all parents, I can tangibly feel the sense of relief his folks must have had when they finally heard he was alright. I can’t imagine the agony they have been through in the past few days while he was missing. However, my “glad he’s OK” reaction quickly turned to “that kid needs a dose of common sense!” I don’t know what his parents’ plan of action will be now that he’s safe, but I can tell you what mine would be once we were over the reunion hump. I would make sure that the kid absolutely NEVER made that kind of decision again. His father spoke, in particular, about the hitchhiking thing, saying, “We’re going to have our lectures about hitchhiking again. We’ve had them in the past, but with a special vigor, we’ll go over that again with Michael.” Uh… yeah… and how about adding in some “don’t ever walk away from camp again” with a special vigor? How about “talk to your Scout leader if you’re homesick”? How about “suck it up and deal with it for the next day instead of thinking you’re the king of survival at 12”? How about “start using your brain right now”? How about some common sense?!?!?

At the risk of turning this into a political debate, I think this is a perfect example of why this country is falling apart at the seams. We don’t teach our kids any responsibility for their actions. We don’t make it clear to them that they make choices and those choices carry consequences. I’m blown away that this kid just up and decided to walk away from camp (he’s 12, mind you) with no thought for the possible ramifications of this decision. I’m further blown away by his parents decidedly toned-down reaction… yes, we’ll have to talk about that… HELLO? Does it matter that his parents spent days in agony waiting to hear about his fate? Does it matter that the county spent thousands of dollars and man hours on the search effort? Does it matter that this Boy Scout troop will now have to enact eight million rules to make sure something like this never happens again? Of course we’re glad he’s alive, but how about making him aware of just how his actions have affected all involved. How about making sure he’s doing a paper route for the next several years so he understands the expenditure the county made on his behalf?

All of these thoughts are racing through my head as I’m listening to the news clip wind down, when I hear Meredith Viera ask the question to end all questions. She’s talking to the other members of the troop and marveling at the survival skills the kids have learned. She’s impressed by all that they know and wonders if these skills contributed to his ability to stay alive in the woods for a couple of days. She asks the troop…

Get this…

Are you paying special attention here?

“Is there some sort of special award or medal he will receive for this?”

WHAT?!?!?!?!? Are you crazy? How about the award for the least thought put into a decision? How about a Jeff Foxworthy “Here’s Your Sign” Medal? How about a trophy for “Least Use of Common Sense” this week? I think Meredith might have inhaled too many fumes on her way to work this morning. Not only is there really no “root cause analysis” happening here, but we think this kid should be rewarded? Incredible.

Again I say that this is a perfect example of what’s wrong with us. Kids are growing up all over this nation with these same ideas. They can do whatever they want and we teach them nothing about the natural order of things. We teach them nothing about personal responsibility, nothing about consquences for their actions, nothing about critical thinking, nothing about problem solving… nothing about common sense. Instead, we reward them for poor behavior, coddle them through their bad decisions, make sure their feelings don’t get hurt by giving them a dose of reality, sue someone else for their failure to use the old noggin’ (think Easy Bake Oven burns and Superman costumes), and we wonder why we’re raising generation after generation of co-dependent, selfish, unmotivated people with zero for problem-solving skills.

The best part? At the end of the story, Dad says the kid is worried about the schoolwork he’s missed. “He’s worried about make-up work in Miss Self’s class, so if Miss Self could cut him a break, he would be very, very grateful.”

Mark my words, this kid will grow up to be a politician one day… I’ll let you guess which party.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2007 7:28 pm

    Let’s see, now many nailheads did you nail in this one? Responsibility, common sense, the media personnel on drugs, parents on drugs, politicians on drugs…just to name a couple… nice rant!

  2. Christine permalink
    March 24, 2007 12:47 am

    HA! I love it. As per our phone conversation, how about these: Idiocy Badge? Thinking-Only-of-Myself Badge?, It’s-All-About-Me Badge? Stupid-is-as-Stupid-Does Badge?

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