22 thoughts on “a nation of wimps

  1. Erica

    (this is Chad… deal with it)

    This article strikes again via 3FTA. Check it out. It should shake any parents to your collective cores.

  2. michael lee Post author

    Dude. Just setup a different account on her computer, and enable fast switching. Do it for the children. The wimpy, wimpy children.

  3. Chad

    Screw the wimpy children.

    I took my kids on a hike today. My son bled.

    He’s gonna be in trouble by the time he’s 15 with that hair and those blue eyes. My house is gonna be knee deep in teenage skanks wanting a piece of the Z-luv. I will beat them off with shovels.

    Did I have chardonnay with dinner?


  4. Gretchen

    why was he bleeding?

    we went up to the park in the hills behind our home in Burbank a couple of weeks ago. Sophia is a great explorer. I have to admit, I was being cautious of what I did and didn’t want her to do. But Mike was good for me. He told her she could go anywhere if she could get there by herself (yes, we were still watching and fairly close by) But if she asked for help, she couldn’t go there. It was great. She explored rocks, small ledges, scaled a pretty cool wall of dirt then bit it sliding down the shale rock. Lots of bumps, scrapes and bruises but she had a great time.

    2nd lesson: I now have a son. Now that he has discovered independent movement and that he can pull himself up on things, there is no stopping him. I want to protect him and keep him from making that Klingon swollen spot and bruise in the middle of his forehead permanent, but I also am aware that this is how he learns. Dude, it is hard not to want to protect them from everything.

    After teaching wimpy 6 year olds for 6+ years I could continue, but now I feel like I’m posting, not commenting. Perhaps more later.

  5. Chad

    He was running, he tripped, and skinned his knees.

    He shook it off like a man of iron, a tear stained, but stoic warrior.

    Later, we put a Thomas the Train band-aid on it, just like the Spartans used to.

  6. Chad

    Reading this again, a year up the road…

    I just have to re-affirm my desire, in public, to say that my highest goal is to deliver two fully formed adults into their 18th birthdays, capable of cooking, balancing a checkbook, buying a car, shunning credit cards, being spiritually aware, self aware, Christ centered, with a sense of humor and taste, with a working knowledge of the classics and pop culture discernment.

    This is our quest.

    I see a lot of parents fretting about MySpace, or media, or the influence of friends and culture. I want to tell you that I will not fear those things. They are what they are, and they aren’t going anywhere. (Yes, the names of the fads will change, but fads always remain) I, their father, will rely on the strength of righteousness and truth in the face of insanity and cheap tripe.

    I will not allow my kids to see mom and dad dwelling in constant fear and fretting, railing against whatever flavor of the month it is. I will not be giving my children a purity ring, asking them to put a bag of music with objectionable music at the altar of the church. (What are they gonna do for this ritual in the future? A collective iPod deleting session? Doesn’t really have the same punch, does it?)

    Instead, I will educate educate educate. Sex is dangerous, wonderful and powerful. Tread carefully. Don’t make some weak ass pledge in front of your friends that none of you intend to keep so that your mom and dad will feel better about everything. You wanna make a commitment? Make it to yourself and to God. Let your yes be yes and no be no. Gosh… that sounds almost… Biblical!

    I will not teach my kids that we are in the end times. Arrogance, I call that. Instead, I will teach my children that we are closer to the future then we have ever been, and God does as He pleases. Our hearts must be ready, our minds sharp and on the watch. We will not fear, or be reactionary. We serve the most powerful being in the universe, fear nothing, and no one.

    I will not teach my kids that America is the greatest, or the worst. America is great, and has it’s problems.

    I will not allow my children to be overweight. That is a decision they can make for themselves after the are out of my care, but I’ll be damned if it happens on my watch. Obesity is slavery. It’s not about good / bad / guilt / shame / skinny / fat. It’s about slavery. I lack no credibility on this issue. I am an expert. I have been both to Egypt, and to the promised land, through the stinging sands of the desert and to the mountaintop. I am the MLK of fat people, Praise Jesus.

    My name is Chad, and as we all know. I have opinions.

  7. harmonicminer

    You’re probably pretty good Dad material, Chad. Better than me, most likely.

    One minor cavil: I teach my kids that America IS the greatest nation since biblical Israel (which I think can be proved objectively by many different measures, and I don’t just mean size, power and influence).

    And I also teach them that America has its problems, had them from the beginning, then created yet more, and is still working them out, and paying for past mistakes…. And part of its greatness is how it does that, and how far it’s willing to go to do it…. even when trying to pay for those mistakes results in making even more.

    This is not blind nationalism. SOME nation is the greatest nation in history, unless you’d like to deny that the concept has any meaning. If it isn’t the USA, what nation could it possibly be?

    Warts and all… but not all warts….

    As I said, a minor cavil. I don’t really think you’re teaching blind moral relativism or something… ;-)

    In the meantime, it’s my exercise fanatic 16 yr old son who is trying to get me to lose weight….

  8. Melody

    “The mental state of students is now so precarious for so many that, says Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “it is interfering with the core mission of the university.”"

    While this is the sobering final comment of the article I found it rather humorous that an ad to help you find a therapist was immediately following. At the same time, I found it troubling that Harvard’s provost is a mental health guy – weird.

    Chad and harmonic both have great comments. (So do the rest of you; don’t want any hurt feelings).

  9. harmonicminer

    A member of our social science faculty believes that our incoming college students have much greater mental health issues than previous generations, on the order of 50% or so of the students being troubled, in his opinion.

    Of course, he was trying to justify the presence of either psychology or sociology in our General Studies curriculum for all students, whether or not they were crazy.

    I asked him if there was any research that demonstrated any relationship between having taken such a course and mental health, oh, say ten years later.

    He got a bit flustered, then mildly irate, then calmly authoritative, all in the space of 30 seconds…. and had no answer to the question, so simply restated his premise, using different words.

    The man obviously believes we are a nation of wimps.

  10. harmonicminer

    Personally, I am more fearful that we are a nation of dopes. And dupes.

  11. Chad

    Phil -

    I appreciate your commentary on America. I was sorta going on a slash and burn diatribe about the things I want to teach my kids.

    A week or so ago, I sat on the curb on Sherman Way in Canoga Park, enjoying some free entertainment with the 20th annual Memorial Day Parade. It was a quaint, almost small town affair. High School bands, local politicians, fire trucks.

    I found myself thinking with complete and utter sincerity, America is an astonishing place. I am so glad to have the privilege of raising my children here.

    On the flipside, I think America could be a better place with the applicaltion of a little tough love. I think the mentality of celebrating our greatness can lead quickly to hubris with dire consequences. This is, clearly, not news to the sharp thinkers on this blog.

    Growing up, I don’t think I got that message. This is not to suggest that my parents didn’t impart it, as they both have (IMO) well balanced opinions on our homeland, but the fact remains that I want my kids to learn from me, and not cable news, as to what America is all about.

    Good talk, son. Let’s have a beer.

  12. Zack

    “Good talk, Russ”
    “Good talk, Dad”

    Best. Movie. Ever.

    “Are you happy, Clark? She’s deaf.”

  13. harmonicminer

    If we keep having all these beers, we’ll be… wait for it…

    A nation of blimps

  14. Sharolyn's Husband

    I heard an interview with Mickey Mantle a long time ago. He said something akin to this quote from him that I found.

    “Today’s Little Leaguers, and there are millions of them each year, pick up how to hit and throw and field just by watching games on TV. By the time they’re out of high school, the good ones are almost ready to play professional ball.”

    He was pointing out that baseball organized by grown ups leads to one at bat and three innings of defense for one game. That would be it for the day. He talked about how when he and his friends played they would get 50 or 60 at bats in a day and no one rested. No innings limit for the pitchers.

    I like the idea of my kids doing their own thing, playing a variation on a sport away from cheering parents and umpires. When I pass the junior football fields in Pleasanton on a game day I cringe. Over weight coaches bark at their teams like Vince Lombardi. Parents cheer as if it were the Super Bowl, using air horns to celebrate touch down runs of 13 year old kids. Oh please, let my daughter want to play something and not be one of the cheerleaders at these games. Today she hit a wiffle ball I underhanded to her across the street. She said, “wow.” I was proud.

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