Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Drug Problem in America

I received this email from my father.

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'' I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young. I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

Wow. Well said dad! My father is of the WWII “Builder” generation and I am of the “Boomer” generation. The Builder Generation built an amazing America for my generation of parents. The Boomers like me took that freshly built America and tinkered with it. We did some rebelling and some rebuilding but we blew it when it came to our kids. We truly thought we were giving our kids a better life when we removed corporal punishment at home and at school. We thought we were expanding our kid’s minds when we allowed in ideas, thoughts, and influences of all kinds: good and evil. We thought we were making the right choice for our kids when we divorced our spouses to save them from strife at home. We thought our kids would make the right choices if we just “let them be themselves” and wouldn’t “drag” them to things they didn’t want to go to. We were wrong, dead wrong and my generation needs to apologize to the Builder Generation. We have an America that is more wealthy than ever before but more messed up than ever before: drugs everywhere and accessible, sex starting in 7th grade and younger, and kids shooting kids over Xbox and Nikes.

I pray my kids come out of this war against each other in America as another “builder” generation. This time building better families instead of better computers and bank accounts.


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