Growing up was at one time an experience in establishing personal independence. We were taught the essential fundamentals in school. The ‘tools of the trade’ consisted of survival skills, critical thinking skills, coping skills, and grass-roots knowledge. Reciting the multiplication facts and the Preamble to the Constitution, while memorizing all fifty states and their capitals were basic accomplishments in the average elementary student’s education.
I can’t count the times that I resorted to the commonplace defense of chanting “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” And when that didn’t work, I punched whomever it was that was causing me problems. Never in my life, at any time, did I whine about being bullied. I took care of it myself, because I was learning how to solve my own problems and stand on my own two feet. The adults of the day wanted their children to be stable individuals who could emotionally and cognitively work their way through their problems.
Children from ‘back in the day,’ understood from a young age that there would be many disappointments in life, and that much of the time those disappointments would become heartaches. They recognized the reality that their feelings would often be hurt and that they would on occasion be ‘stressed out.” They knew that if they lost the ballgame, THEY LOST. They knew they were THE LOSERS if they lost. And they knew they would NOT GET A TROPHY IF THEY WERE LOSERS.
‘Back in the day’ we knew when we had talent and when we didn’t. Students, who were scraping through high school with a 1.8 grade point average, were advised not to go to law school and often advised not to go to college. We had no delusions of being something that we weren’t. Disappointments were just a part of life, and we were expected to deal with them.
We graduated from high school, not kindergarten. We were celebrated on our birthdays, not every day of the year. We knew there were other people to consider, not just ourselves. We understood that we were not the center of the universe.
We wanted to be adults, and we wanted to be independent. Being sheltered from knocks of life was not an option our parents gave us, and it was not something we wanted. Because we were growing up!
Unfortunately for kids today, the adults are almost abusive in their neglect to provide them with coping skills to manage their lives. A case in point would be the absurdity of the University of Pennsylvania’s reaction to the presidential election. The university administrators brought puppies, coloring books, and chocolate for the students who were having difficulty accepting the reality of the Trump victory. Professors at the university created ‘safe spaces’ where the students would feel safe and find solace in discussing their concerns for the future. The wittle itty bitty college boys and girls were all reassured that they would live through the night. All closet doors on campus were to be bolted to prevent the boogeyman from coming out during the night.
The coloring books provided for the students all had very nice feel good messages. The students used colored pencils to color the pictures and from all reports half of the students stayed within the lines. For anyone who is interested, the pictures will be displayed in the student union next weekend.
After reading about UPenn’s latest endeavor to cheer their students, I have decided to send the administration a suggestion. Wouldn’t it be neat if the college purchased a set of footie pajamas for all of the students and had a gigantic sleepover in the student union the night before Donald Trump’s ‘swearing in?’ Cookies and milk or grahams crackers and juice will be provided with a box of Tinker Toys for the bigger boys and girls.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!