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Friday, September 10, 2010

My Declaration of Independence: If you can’t share, then split it, a parenting style for a founding father?

By The 3B's

So here is the scene, there are a group of thirteen individuals who are all different, playing Monopoly for parts of the United States. Before the game began, there was an awful ruckus about peoples rights, state sovereignty, intrusive government, lack of god, too much god, different god’s. God’s that hate this one but not that one, there was a lot of bickering, just like in the back seat of my station wagon when there is only one Power Ranger. So, lets try to parent the Thirteen and see what parenting rules we can apply.
What? You can’t share? Then we will divide it up fairly, so there have to be 13 Colonies, to revert back. Why? Because I said so that’s why! When listening to the group it appears that the current government has failed and everyone is unhappy, so we look to the Declaration of Independence to be our guide. This forms the basis of our current government and how we left English Rule to become self-governed. It is as good a place to start as any.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
So, about the ruckus before the game of Monopoly, everyone got a chance to state their grievance, here is a list:
  1. We don’t like their coloring.
  2. They are coloring outside the lines
  3. We don’t like their face
  4. We don’t like them
  5. They don’t like us
  6. We don’t like where they come from
  7. They don’t like where we come from
  8. They have more than we do
  9. They got more
  10. Boys are yucky
  11. Girls are yucky
  12. They are bossy
  13. They are different
Now, we have to go about the mess of how we divide the country back into thirteen pieces, if you can not share, it will be divided for you. Monopoly seems to make everyone happy and is a game that everyone is familiar with, knows the rules and it appears that the mindset of each of the Thirteen is they hold a monopoly on answers. 

First, if you can not agree I will make the decision for you. HMMM, that does not seem to fly in my mind as it is where we all started, with a King trying to tell us all what to do. So, that theory is out the window, besides the fact that the original offenses that were cited, such as unlawful detention, search and seizure, not being able to assemble freely, write freely, speak freely....we have all that covered these days and more freedom than we know what do do with. I hardly see a comparison from what the original Founding Father was facing in comparison to what I have seen in the ruckus, so Monopoly it is.
Additionally, this is not like China, where 35,000 people were forced to resettle so the government could build one of the largest water projects in history. We have not been told to pack up our stuff and move for the greater good. We have not been told what our property is worth, had our ancestral homes valued and then destroyed, as we moved to a shanty town constructed by the government. Only to have the Government step in and speak for us on these issues. We here have many freedoms that we forget about in this great social experiment called the United States of America. However, with so many “Toys” the Thirteen are a spoiled lot. There is much more “drama than actual trauma”
What?, one of the Thirteen just heard me talking about China and stated “that’s not fair”, well fair is where you get cotton candy kid! Nobody said life was fair, especially when each of you has a subjective lens on and are completely unaware of anything but your “self”. A child’s sense of equity is centered on the self, but their sense of what is fair may be right when it pertains to others. They can spot hypocrisy in others but not in themselves.
In the case of the members of the community of Three Gorges Dam Project in China, they can be and are being forced to resettle. We no longer have that issue in this country of immense freedom. In my house this can be likened to the fact that the boys think it is a Right to have the TV rather than a Privilege. They fail to realize how privileged and lucky they are, just as the Thirteen do. As a father it is my job to ensure they understand what others are subject to and how lucky they are. However, it takes growth and maturation to get beyond their developmental self-centeredness.
I remember when the United States turned 200, I was in the Fourth Grade and how proud I was to be living in the country. Perhaps in a countries development, 200 years is the equivalent to the terrible two’s, as it appears that is the way this country is acting. With all of the partisan bickering it is like a fight between siblings over who gets to control the remote, while the house is on fire.
There are bigger things happening in the world, but we fail to see them. The interesting thing is that as a parent you exhaust and tire of the constant bickering until you finally just give up, with a certain sense of apathy or, you teach and parent through the tough parts until it is over. The hard facts are that we are in a down economy, we have a planet in peril, and other pressing things to address but we want control of the remote.
As a parent exhausts and tires of this, they loose precious resources they need, like sleep, alone time, fun time. As a country with all this bickering and failure to see the truths, which are supposed to be “self-evident”, we waste money and time in court, to fight against things that should not be at issue, we spend time tearing one another down rather than building up, and we do not recognize the facts that we are all “equal”, and that each one of us can have his or her own lot in life as it is endowed by “their creator”.
Now, a parent uses words that are very specific and I do not see the use of these words to be any different. The Founding Fathers, used the words “their creator” to instill in us the notion that each of us is entitled to a creator of our own mind. Thus, there is not a monopoly on who is right or wrong, as each of us can and may have our own creator. Having said that, isn’t it about time for the Thirteen to take a time out and stop all this bickering and look at what is important? As I write this we are coming upon the anniversary of 9/11 with one of the Thirteen calling for the burning of books. Not only does this send the Parent in me into orbit, it harkens back to another dark time in our not so distant past where, others were persecuted, locked away and killed because they were different, all by a man who thought he was right. Markedly, he called for book burning as well.
So, to the Thirteen I say, “Knock It Off”, and I will impose what I call Philadelphia timeout. When my boys cannot get along and there is a constant tirade of things that one or the other has allegedly, perpetrated upon the other, I send them to their room, for an hour or two until they can get along. Thus, the “Brotherly Love” treatment. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am tired of all the shenanigans, tired of wasted resources, bickering, false allegations and the like since the house is on fire and there is argument over the remote.
I hope on some level this drives home the point how ridiculous this all is, we can recognize a spoiled brat a mile away, but each of us is just as guilty of failing to call out the spoiled brat in ourselves. It is time we said, “No More”, and rose above the other brats. I declare myself independent of the others and shall choose a path of “Live and let Live” and work to promote tolerance for all as their “creator” intended, as long as I am stuck in this social experiment of the United States, I might as well act like an adult.

1 comment:

  1. Daddy, Daddy? Thanks for this week's contribution Brian! Maybe we have a serial like Tales of the City starting here from you my friend!