I will make some people very angry with what I’m about to say, because as we’ve discussed at this site on many occasions, the education bubble is bursting, the housing bubble has burst, the tolerance of federal police powers is bursting, and another bubble, a much larger bubble is about to not just burst, but will explode, and that bubble is the value of family and the ability of third parties to fill the role of a strong parent or family mentor role.
Human beings have a gestation period of growth that extends well beyond their time in a fetus. Human beings do not just plop out of their mothers like a small calf, find their footing and start eating. Human beings are complex creatures that require at least 13 years of constant parental nurturing. And in many cases it takes even more than immediate family members to contribute to those children’s success in life, because being a mentor is what young human beings need more than even water.
In our family, I am that uncle that every kid wants to be near, because I know what being a mentor is all about. In life I am a lot of things, a professional businessman, a writer preparing a manuscript for a national release, a political watch dog, a commentator, a Wild West Arts advocate, an adventurer, my list could go on for some time. But what I am most and my kids know this, my wife understands this, and all my nieces and nephews and brother and sister- in-laws have come to expect, is that I am a family mentor. I am that person who when those young people are out there in the world doing whatever, they think of to bounce what they are doing against what they want to achieve.
One of my nephews wanted me to be the Best Man at his wedding recently because I had a tremendous impact on the young man growing up. For me it was an odd experience because with him it was as if he were grown up and graduating from life close to an equal, while in the audience of my best man speech at the reception were many other young people who I am currently just as important to and I take that role very, very serious.
I’m writing about this on the 4th of July for a reason. Our society has come to believe that public education, college, day care, neighborhoods, sports, and many other social programs can give young people what they need to become successful adults. They can’t. The progressive dream of “it takes a village” will only make a village of idiots and followers. Psychology and psychiatry are such new fields that they have been recklessly incorporated into society with incredible relevance, and have contributing to that expanding social bubble that is about to burst. The reason that social bubble is unstable is because it was built with flimsy, careless ideas and not supported with the value of heroes.
One of the greatest faults of the progressive is the notion that “I’m not perfect.” Or “I am no expert.” Progressives, for their own vision of social order desire a world of socially trained experts in a particular field of endeavor, just like in a village, where there are hunters, basket weavers, people who build the fire for cooking, those who cook, that kind of thing. In our society we have lawyers, doctors, teachers, fireman, police, accountants, and we teach people to move into one of those fields of endeavor and to know everything about their learned field, but those same people are expected to not know anything about other people’s responsibility. This is why unions get so mad at people who can see through their scams, like with public education. They are the professionals and the society at large is supposed to take everything they say without question.
Well, if you’ve ever studied the way young people learn from adults, they learn by copying. This is such a powerful tool that kids born in the south will develop a southern accent purely on copying the speech patterns of the people around them. When you throw a child into education methods, and child care, then deny them an adult to look up to, you’ve doomed that child to a life of misery. There will always be exceptions of course, but most children if they are surrounded by adults who refuse to be mentors to their children, will doom those children to a miserable life when they grow up. If a child grows up to become a bad person, where they don’t know how to balance a check book, they can’t maintain a stable relationship, where they turn out neurotic and psychologically flimsy it is the fault of their parents.
Parents these days have bought into the lie that they can be bad, shallow people and still raise good kids, because those parents have bought into the lie that the village can raise their children better than they can. They cannot.
A young man wants the men in his life to be the best, the strongest the fastest and smartest at everything. The young boy has an innate instinct that this is important to their development because a young person knows that the value in learning something should come from the best so they have the best chance at success. Young girls want to know that their mothers are the, prettiest, and wise creations that have the answers to everything. Moms must be experts on everything. And fathers must always know what’s best. This is the key to the successful raising of children.
A child does not want to hear from his parent that they are incompetent fools who are scared of something in life. Children want to believe their parents are immortal, larger-than-life, supermen and women of high quality because that is who the child is going to copy and the child wants the chance to be all those things themselves.
At the wedding mentioned, as is the standard for my involvement in any wedding, I do not attend bachelor parties. I do not indulge in drunkenness. I do not sit with strippers in Vegas, even when my own brother was married and every male member of my family went to see naked women, I did not. I didn’t because I would ask the young people who look up to me not to do such things, and if I want for them a good life, I must do my part and stay away from any kind of mortal revelation that indicates weakness. You have to lead by example. You can’t send children to public school and hope you can “cheat the system,” while you’re off doing bad things. Kids will see through it. You cannot have a “do as I say, not as I do approach.”
Children expect their parents to be living gods on Earth. They expect parents to know it all, this is why when children hit their teenage years, and the parent has given them a mundane outlook on life and the teenager gravitates to their friends, to spite the parents who let them down with low expectations, the child will go through an excessive rebellion phase. The parent is expected to have high expectations in their children, but the parent is expected also to lead by example. If the parent does not lead by example, the child will lash out in a last-ditch effort to save themselves, which will most often accelerate the failure.
On our way to Kerr City last week, a ghost town in the middle of Florida’s rugged interior, far away from the tourist spots, my niece was with me, my daughters, my son-in-law and my wife. She received a phone call from a friend of hers that was upset that my niece was spending the day with us instead of wanting to do something with the caller.
My niece tried her best to appear conciliatory, “My family is cool, and we’re looking for a ghost town. I’ve lived in Florida for 7 years and I didn’t even know there was a ghost town and my Uncle Rich is taking me to see it.”
My wife looked at me from the passenger seat then turned around to address my niece. “That’s right honey, if your friend was given the same chance, to go with us, she’d become suddenly very supportive.”
And that’s been my experience with young people. When my kids were growing up, our house was always filled with their friends who preferred to come to our house and spend time because at our house those kids were getting what they were looking for, someone to emulate.
Family is very important, much more so than progressives want anybody to believe. So as we celebrate the Fourth of July, it is important to know that enjoying freedom today is good, but it will evaporate tomorrow if there aren’t people who believe they are heroes entrusted to guard it. And those people are our young people today. They need adults to look up to so desperately, they need to believe in something and that belief must come from their family.
I’ve always thought these things, but now that I’ve seen my behavior translated over a twenty year period in open opposition to the progressive movement which I’ve fought against for longer than that, the evidence is coming out dramatically in favor of my beliefs. And when my nephew who was now 26 wanted his Uncle Rich to be his Best Man when he had plenty of options, particularly from people his own age, I consider it a high honor, and even more telling, just how important all the things I taught him were. My teachings endured through all the hard teenage years, the drinking years, the girls, the friends, the social propaganda, to the most valuable foundations the young man wanted to remember before embarking on the adventure of marriage. That’s how important being a mentor is to young people.
So before you busy people reading this scurry about your lives in selfish pursuits, going to that gentleman’s club while on that business trip while your wife drops the kids off at day care so the two of you can make really good money, play golf with your friends and go out to eat every weekend, think about what you’re doing. When the young people in your family ask you a question, they expect an answer, and if you aren’t confident enough to live up to their expectations, they will resent you because you are their gateway to adulthood and if you give them crap, they will grow up and become crap, and it will be your fault, not theirs.
The future is in the hands of each and every one of us, and when the bright eyes of a child looks up to you and asks a question, make sure you have the answer. The fate of our nation depends on this very trait, the extended gestation period of the human child continuing to grow outside the womb so it can observe the world around it and adapt however required to the conditions of its survival. If the child is surrounded by fools, it will grow up to become a fool. If it is surrounded by heroes, then it too will grow up to become a hero. The choice is yours…………………….