Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Ice cream truck runs over boy playing on back

That's the story from Atlanta . A 10-year-old was run over by an ice cream truck and died. The 7-year-old, who was with him, fell from the truck and broke his leg. The driver is not being charged because he's not the idiot in this story. The parents or guardians are the idiots, and they were obviously hell-bent on raising another set of idiots. Apparently, the truck driver saw the kids playing on the truck and told the parents to get them off the truck. Driver does what he has to do, gets in the truck and pulls away and the little idiots, who never got off the truck -- or who got back on the truck after he wasn't looking, fell. One was run over and died and the other broke a leg.

And the question, as always, is, who is supervising the children? We have the sorriest batch of parents in this generation across the world. One supposes it's because we live in an enlightened society where you don't have to work in order to eat, you just have to qualify for a government subsidy. Stand in line at a soup kitchen if you're hungry; you don't have to do anything to get fed and keep on living. And if you pop a kid out, no big deal. It's not like you have to take care of it, grow food to feed it, dress it, teach it, educate it so it can survive on its own. The government is going to do that for you through all kinds of programs that you can use to pad your own pocket and make your own life easier, even if you don't use it to benefit the child. And because you don't have to do any of those keep-the-kid-alive survival things, you don't care about supervision. You're not capable of enough self-discipline to do the right thing for yourself, never mind training some little rug rat to do the right, smart and safe thing.

But goodness! Let something happen to that child and you're wringing your hands and looking for someone to blame so you can collect a big payoff for your lousy parenting.

It's not about being downtrodden, disenfranchised or any of the rest. It's about having absolutely no self-respect, no motivation, no sense of community, no sense of family -- no sense of responsibility. I can't think of a single 10-year-old in my old neighborhood growing up who would've been so stupid as to climb up on a stranger's truck to play around.

First of all, if the truck didn't belong to family, you didn't go near it because it's someone else's and your parents would tear your butt off for messing with something that belonged to someone else. If it did belong to family, you wouldn't play on or near it or take a chance on damaging it for fear your butt would be torn off by your parents. As the older kid, you didn't let your younger sibling do it either. You'd tell on him in a heartbeat because if he got hurt or messed something up and you knew what he was doing, your parents would tear your butt off for not stopping him.

Starting to sense a pattern here?

You didn't do stupid things because your parents were watching you. They were watching you because they cared what you did. They cared what happened in their community and what you were doing in the community. Your parents knew what you were doing, where you were doing it and they took action if they saw you doing something that was dumb, dangerous or just plain destructive. Your parents cared if you got into trouble. Your parents were the first line of discipline in your community, not the first to excuse you from your responsibility to yourself and the community. And you knew, absolutely knew, that if you got into real trouble that wasn't your fault, your parents were going to be there to take care of you and protect you -- you weren't utterly on your own.

Where are the parents today? I think if I hear one more parent say, well, I've got a life, too -- I'm going to get a little postal. We've got two-year-old Caylee Anthony murdered and dumped because her mom wanted to party. There are the two little kids dead because their mom went up to visit and have sex with her boyfriend and left the kids for hours in a locked vehicle in record-breaking heat. The mom who left the baby strapped in her car seat in the summer heat because she had to go to work and "forgot" she had her only child in the car and didn’t remember until she found her baby’s body at the end of her work shift. The thirsty, malnourished toddler in diapers found by neighbors drinking from beer bottles in the yard because dad's drunk and been drunk and passed out on the porch.

Keeping your children safe is tough enough, even when you are paying attention. Failing to pay attention is a prescription for tragedy and the parents of these boys have no one to blame but themselves.

I'm sorry for the boys. I'm sorry for the truck driver, who probably feels responsible even if he did all the things a prudent person would think necessary to prevent this accident. But if it were up to me, the next government checks to the dead and injured boys' parents would be for their voluntary sterilization so they can go on their merry way and never have to worry about supervising any more children -- ever. Let's make the world a safer place; Parents, quit staring at your own navels and do something about your kids! Do it now!

Florida Cracker

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