Friday, February 27, 2009

Teach According To Your Ideals

"Hey love, share your truck with the nice little boy."

Every day, some version of this phrase is uttered by smiling parents in playgrounds across America. There is something very plastic about a parent encouraging her child to do something adults don't do; that is, share a prized possession with a total stranger. Yet, even though hypocritical threads run through many American child rearing practices, I am grateful to live in a society that attempts to teach its children the highest humanistic ideals.
Thomas Jefferson asserted "all men are created equal"; yet he kept slaves whom were not treated with equality. If Jefferson had limited himself to writing only principles that matched his life instead of his ideals we would have a lesser, even inconsequential, declaration of independence buried within old history books.
A nation's ideals determine it's future.

The indoctrination for toddlers in Palestine is devoid of our middle-class American niceties. Hate and warfare are ideals promoted to Palestinian children. Such ideals predict suffering and devastation not only for Palestinian children, but also for anyone affected by such a society.
So, go ahead, tell your child to share, even if you don't. Teach your child to get along, even if you yell at your neighbor over the fence. Maybe, because of your ideals, your child will be a bigger person than you.

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