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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Contrasting Views.

I find more and more in this life, we teach/preach one thing to children only for them to find out this is different in the real world. It is truly a world of say one thing and do another.

Many know my involvement with Boy Scouts borders on obsession. 10 days from now I will leave for our annual Summer Camp. This year will be a new twist. We are forsaking our normal camp grounds to "do something different". We are going to Camp Wilkes in Biloxi. The problem will be with one of the classes I teach. I teach a merit badge called Environmental Science. The lessons include things such as ecosystems, weather impact, erosion, living organisms, need for water, and most notably, pollution. So as I teach these ideals to 22 young boys on the edge of Biloxi Bay, how is it going to look when the oil is washing ashore?

How do you tell young men to "do their part" in reducing environmental impact while the powers that be sit around and let an entire region of the country be destroyed? How do you teach young men to be accountable for their actions in this life, when we don't hold corporations accountable for their mess? Why instill in young men the need to stand up for what's right, when we don't expect our elected officials to do the same? Isn't it amazing how low our standards are when we hold them up to the things we teach our children?

I don't know when this country turned it's back on it's own ideals, but it has. We all think we are above the law. Or the rules don't apply to us. Or most common, we have an excuse not to do what we say. Is it any wonder our kids feel like their are no boundaries anymore? These kids need to see some adults stand firm in their beliefs. They need to hear an adult say no excuse is acceptable. They need to see a country that is willing to do without rather than forsake it's ideals. This is not a new cry, a song from the eighties, "Give me something to believe in" speaks of generations that have lost something to put their trust in.

So, I honestly ask for your input. How do I explain environmental responsibility to these boys, while the oil washes ashore? It is something I don't know how to spin. Isn't it time to stop spinning things??

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Patriotism! A thing of the past?

I only watch the news occasionally these days, as I have a tendency to get angered by the absurdity of it. So I turn it on the other day to hear this lovely little piece of Americana. Five kids are sent home for wearing shirts that have an American Flag on them?!?! Surely this can't be? Surely, they are raving lunatics that are promoting hate and worshiping the devil! Nope, turns out some administrator (why are all administrators idiots?) decided the American Flag has no place in public on May the 5th. Mexican Independence should trump all rights of a free Republic!?!

What's next? No freedom of speech on Canada's Boxing Day? No one should own firearms on Hugo Chavez's Birthday? And absolutly no free press on the holy day of Ramadan! Is there no end to the madness? I help maintain a Scout Troop therefore I am racist against homosexauls?!? If you are a devote Catholic you support child abuse? On and on!

What happen to the tie that binds us? Is it not the American Flag that protects all of these rights? Are all of these rights not what helps us to celebrate our ethinic origins? By the way this is not a tirade against Spanish people. I have some Spanish friends who I would give my life for and they for me. This is about an ideal that has been lost for some reason. That you can be anything you want to be in this America. As long as you follow the law and don't impede on other's pursuit of happiness.

I see no reason to banish the Flag. Or for that matter the other things that have held us to a higher standard for centuries. (prayer in school, statues of soldiers, etc.) How far removed are we from the cost of these freedoms we enjoy? The greastest generation (WWII) never forgot the price paid! A war on the other side of the globe to secure our freedom is apparently not in our face enough!

We are all participants in this crazy dream of freedom and self rule. The problem is to many see themselves as above the price of these freedoms. If the participants are greater than the dream, then the dream is dead!