Monday, November 22, 2010

Lines, repost


Spent part of the day dealing with a student who is utterly amoral and self centered. Completely convinced rules are for other people, and his desire is the deciding factor in anything he does.

In other words.... a small child.

It made this short essay come to mind, so I decided to repost:


Life is full of lines. They surround us, all the time. They define our lives. Lines we choose to cross, or not to cross. "He's over the line". "One step over the line". "On the right side of the line".

Lines are what happens when we set limits, whether personally or societal. They are the division between acting within guide 'lines', or straying out of bounds to unaccepted territory. In most cases, going past the line carries some consequence. Minor, major, life changing, or sometimes life ending.... crossing the line often carries a price.

We all, each of us, decide a hundred times a day whether to cross these lines, and which ones. It becomes an unconscious action, but an action nonetheless.

Children are not trained to see our lines at birth. It takes years.... and that's why adults must watch over them, why it's ingrained right down into our genetics. Teach the child NOT to poke sticks at the mountain lion, or he will not grow up to take his place in the breeding pool.

Children are also not equipped for another thing... taking responsibility for their choices when they cross the lines. Children are self centered, by nature. They don't know right from wrong, so they can 'do no wrong'. Children are supported in all their needs from birth, so of course the world exists to give them what they want and need. Taking responsibility, and providing for ones self... these too are lessons children must be taught, the same as seeing our societies lines and being wary of crossing them.

Some children never learn these lessons........

We call such people criminals, looters, thieves, moochers, politician..... and they all hold two things in common. They believe the world (and everyone in it) owes them everything they ever wanted, and that they personally can do no wrong. It's always someone else fault.... no matter what it is. These people, if they see the lines at all, believe they apply only to everyone else... not to them.

Watch the people in your life, and you will soon see who they are.... by how they treat the lines around them.

Watch yourself too.

1 comment:

Stop shouting... said...

Thank you for posting this.
I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Many moons ago, I had to work as a TA in the Chemistry dept to earn a wage to pay for my graduate studies.

One of the sections I was assigned was educational students (would-be teachers) who wanted to teach middle school science. They were the worst -- lazy, ill-prepared, try to hound me to "give" them the answers to labs, and wanted to do the absolute minimum to earn a "C" in order to pass the course.

Which is why all our children have been in private schools or homeschooled. I weep for those condemned to the public school system.