Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Envy My Kids, I Cry For My Kids

My children are growing up in a world in which they can take for granted many things that, as a child, I could never even have imagined. I grew up in the age of television, but only the television of network power and limited choices. Now my children can choose what they want to watch and when, using DVDs and streaming video from the Internet.

Computers are a normal part of their lives; I never saw an actual computer until I first played with the Radio Shack Model I just after I graduated high school. Cell phones, MP3 players, video games, digital cameras,and microwave ovens, are just a few of the many wonderous things my kids can enjoy every day.

But I cry for my children as well. You might expect me, at this point, to say something of what they've lost by being exposed to all this technology. But I've watched these same children, after listening to audiobooks from tiny iPod players during their bus ride to school, spend hours outside enjoying the experiences of playing with each other and exploring their world without benefit of toys or technology.

But I cry because they are growing up in the world of the lowest common denominator. I see it at their schools, where political correctness and an over-developed sense of fairness have dominated at the expense of facts and solid learning.

And they are growing up in a world where the major institutions in our lives cannot be trusted to look out for anyone other then themselves, and where no one in power seems to do anything about it except talk.

I wonder how I can prepare them for this uncertain world, and, more importantly, equip them to change it for the better.

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