The last 18 months of COVID fears have caused a multitude of changes to American society: working remotely, socially distancing, driving 112 mph on open freeways. Also, due to Zoom school, many parents have discovered some of what their kids are learning and they are very concerned about it.
To a large extent, over the past 50 years we have relegated the education of our children to others. We have abdicated one of the most important roles we have as humans: to teach the next generation.
I used to laugh when I watched Jay Leno do his "Jay Walking" segments. He would ask people things they should know: Who's the Vice President? How many states are in the U.S.? How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? Clearly, our kids don't know much. Oh sure, they know all the Kardashians (or whoever is hep nowadays) but they don't know about their history, their country, their heritage.
You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by...
We have failed to teach many of our children about our values, our culture and the exceptional nature of the United States (Okay, you did a good job. But, all your neighbors didn't). You might have a dusty old book on shelf in your house. Open it and you'll find these words: "Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you're at home or away, when you lie down or get up." Did we do that?
And you, of tender years, can't know the fears that your elders grew by...
If you were born on the day the Twin Towers fell, you would be a college sophomore this year. After 9/11/01 we were so unified. Remember? Patriotism flourished across the land. We were one people, one country. Most of us recognized America as a bastion of freedom. We had pride in our country. Now, not so much. It seems like we don't respect our country as much as we used to. This is especially prevalent amongst our youth.
I went to a naturalization ceremony in 2018. Brand new Americans getting hatched - and they know more about the Constitution than you do. The headline speaker was a woman from Eastern Europe and she spoke eloquently about the virtues of America. She had a foreigner's love of this country. People from Eastern Europe know first-hand the evils of tyranny and socialism and they are vehemently opposed to both. They have taught these things to their children.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry...
Why don't our youth believe in American exceptionalism? Because they were not taught. They are inculcated in anti-American beliefs in schools, in entertainment and in the media. For all those who think that America is not moving in the right direction, look at yourselves. Then look at your kids. Teach them. It's not the quick fix that we would like, but it is durable.
So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.