Better to light a candle than to rant against darkness.
– Confucius, Chinese philosopher (circa 551-478 BC)
Yet we do rant against darkness. Often while refusing to let others provide a light.
We complain that many parents do a poor job of bringing up and tending to the needs of their kids. But, although you can find birthing classes in every city and town, classes to teach young adults the knowledge and skills of parenting are almost nowhere to be found.
We complain that teachers don’t do a good enough job teaching what kids need. But we also complain that education taxes that go to hire more and better teachers, to outfit classrooms with usable up-to-date resources and to build curriculum that addresses social and psychological needs of children rather than “the basics” are much too high.
We complain about the evils of consumerism, about how Christ is no longer more than a few letters in the word Christmas and Santa Claus has become the real hero of the spending season. But we spend more time buying more useless gifts for more ungrateful people with each passing year.
We complain that we must buy more locks and pay for security services for our homes because of rising crime rates. But we continue to give people with severe problems more reason to need to turn to theft to satisfy their needs.
We complain that drugs have become a part of daily life for so many people. But we withhold information about the effects drugs have on the wrecked lives of addicts from children before they are exposed to drugs on the streets where their schools are located because we desperately want to keep them “innocent” for as long as possible.
We complain about the regimented lifestyle that has us following the same routine every working day. But we join the crowd with uniform suits, shoes, coats, accessories and vehicles so that we fit in with the “business ethic” of our employers.
We complain that we find it necessary to embark on exercise programs just to get enough physical activity to stay fit and reduce the anxiety associated with constant stress. Then we drive several times around the parking aisles of shopping malls just to get a parking space that’s as close to the entry door as possible.
We complain about the corruption of politicians. But we continue to elect the warriors who frighten us that foreigners want to harm us or that the economy will tank if the other party is elected.
We complain that it’s almost impossible to find real meaning in life. But we attach ourselves to religions or political parties whose primary purpose for existing is to give power to a few people who get well paid to feed us dogma that wouldn’t make sense to a ten year old child.
We complain that there is so little that is worthwhile on television. But statistics show that televisions are on in most homes for several hours each day, presumably spewing useless pap to people desperate to feel that they know what’s going on.
Light a candle. See what you’re missing. Get a real life. Help your kids grow into healthy, well balanced adults. Spend the emotional energy you now spend on complaining on investing in effective measures that will correct the problems.
Go to the TIA web site and join the people who want to make a difference.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about how, what and when to teach children what they need to know so that they can avoid leading sheep-like lives as consumer lackeys as adults.
Learn more at http://billallin.com