Values Training

_Thursday_

Although American society seems to be swinging toward the uptight end of the spectrum lately, I can’t help but wonder where common sense went. We seem to want our government to protect us from our own personalities more every day. As an example, Al Gore recently wrote an article for Slate magazine, where he said the schools need to work to instill values in our children. Isn’t that the parent’s job? I don’t have kids, but I have 3 siblings and a whole bus full of nieces and nephews, so I think I have part of a clue. When we, as adults, stop treating kids as “little adults” and return to treating them as children who have a lot of growing up to do, maybe we’ll be able to get those kids to be good adults sometime in the future.

As an instructor for the Army, I’ve been given the primary duty of teaching young soldiers how to do the job they swore to do. More and more, I’m being told (and shown by other actions) that teaching them is not my primary job; being daddy is. About a year or so ago, the Army decided that since our young people were enlisting without a moral compass, we were obliged to forge one for them. I’m sorry to say that we can’t make someone moral and ethical in a few months; their families should have taken care of that in the first 20 years. By the time they get to us, either they’re fine and we should stop trying to jam “Loyalty Duty Respect Selfless-Service Honor Integrity Personal-Courage” down their throats, or they are not going to listen to us and we should let them return to their previous existence in the trailer park from whence they came.

This is just my opinion, but I’m usually right, so I’ll stick with it.