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Friday, October 27, 2006

How to turn your children into Psychopaths

Well, I’m obviously not a child psychologist, but something that I noticed during my time living in Asia that has stayed with me and caused me a lot of regret for where this society is heading. The kids there acted amazingly well adjusted. Another observation: America has nearly a million lawyers, or about 1 of every 300 of us are involved in this pursuit, while in Japan the number is around 17,000, or about 1 in 11,000. Those numbers can be confirmed here. What do those two observations have in common, you ask? Well when I was a kid, we were allowed to be kids. You know, we could play in trees, and just generally occupy ourselves with being children, playing games and having fun. There probably were some bruises and broken bones, although I seemed to have escaped both, but on the whole we developed physically and mentally fairly strong and healthy. This needed to happen, of course, because as our society left the farms and country side for the cities, there needed to be a replacement for the physically hard work that some, maybe most, children were expected to do. I never milked a cow or baled hay, but I climbed a lot of trees and played a lot of outdoor games with my friends. I grew up knowing that if I didn’t make a clearly thought out decision when starting up a tree, I might find myself out on a limb.

This brings me back to the lawyers and the kids. Kids are now being told that they can’t play tag; an innocent game played by children nearly everywhere that I’ve observed kids. They’re being told that they cannot touch another child. Now remember, we’re talking about little children here; 1st and 2nd graders, maybe 5 or 6 years old. Do you smell the hand of a lawyer here? The schools are reacting to the fear of litigation. They’re afraid that some child somewhere will fall down, or will be touched by another kid, or god forbid, find themselves being ‘it’. Do you remember being ‘it’? You found a way to pass along the dubious honor to some other kid, and then they were ‘it’ until they could get rid of it. This could, so the thinking goes, cause undue psychological damage to their young minds, and leave them a terrified, nervous wreck for life. Actually, just the opposite happens.

What’s really happening here is that, once again, we pad the wallets of our esteemed legal prostitutes at the sad demise of our children’s future. We can no longer allow them to be children. Has anyone stopped to think about the alternative? What will become of little boys who can no longer climb trees, or play tag? What will become of the kids being taught that they cannot touch another child, even on the arm to pass along the honor of being ‘it’? I’m afraid it’s too late for most of our children here, after all, those one million lawyers have developed increasingly expensive lifestyles and are not going anywhere soon. And they will keep finding ever more ridiculous ways of bringing our culture to it’s knees. Even at the sake of our kids. I only hope that Japan and other Asian countries will not continue to ‘westernize’; at least not in this way. I hope that on my next visit, I can see kids still being allowed to be kids.

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