Bucket List

This is on display here in my hometown. There is chalk available and people write in what they wish to do or accomplish before they do. It was interesting to read the wall. Some of the responses were heart breaking, some thought provoking and some just plain silly. Someone had written in F U C K, but someone else came along and changed the F to an R. Just doesn’t have the same meaning, does it? Changing it to a B might have made more sense, I don’t know.

I haven’t really thought about my bucket list, because that tends to depress me, leading me to regrets about things I have not done, rather than focusing on the fact that life is short and opportunities should not be wasted. I didn’t graduate from college. Not even community college. I attended long enough that I should have graduated, but I didn’t. My early adulthood was a hot mess. Depression, anxiety, family struggles and abandonment issues prevented me from making good decisions. So, yes, graduating from college is something I would write on the “Before I Die” wall. There are so many things I could say, but many of them involve other people involved like “have grandchildren” or “move back to my home state.”  I would like to travel to Canada or California, at the very least. I would very much like to see more of this country, especially the west coast and northern states. My “before I die” list is pretty simple. Learn some crafts, go to school, do a little traveling. I am already pretty blessed with the life I have. I try not to take anything for granted.

What would you write on the wall?IMG_1905

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America’s Lower Class

The boy who was in the car with the passed out heroin addicts is now in the custody of relatives in another state.  This, after being born to a woman (with the help of a sperm donor, no doubt) who could not care for him properly and then given over to his addicted grandmother.  He is four years old and has been passed around like a Christmas fruitcake that nobody wants.  Hopefully he will finally be given some stability and a proper home in which to grow up.  And counseling.  Lots of counseling.

I would bet that he was propped in front of a television instead of having books read to him.  I would also bet that his nutrition was lacking and has been witness to things no child should have to endure.  What does that do to a child?  What does this mean for our society?  Children are growing up in broken homes with stressed out, chemically dependent, distracted parents who don’t teach them how to behave, how to learn or how to function in society.  Crimes are being committed by children as young as 9 years old.  My son, an elementary school teacher, says that a student in his school set fire to a playground with a group of 11 year old boys.

Picture this.  It’s 1970 or 1980 and you are in a public place, maybe a grocery store or a doctor’s waiting room.  Look around.  What you may notice is an absence of out of control children.  You may notice parents (yes, a mother AND a father) paying attention.  The child is expected to behave a certain way because the parents have set limits.  The child knows he or she is cared for because the parents take the time and energy it takes to speak to them, to feed them properly, ask questions, soothe them, and monitor what they do.  I’m not saying the child always appreciates this attention, but there is ample evidence that shows that children need the basics in order to grow up and function in our society.

There were the anomalies back then.  There were single mothers who did terrific jobs raising their children and children of divorce who turned out just fine.  There were poor children who made their way and are productive members of society.  That is not the case anymore.

15 year olds are having children and the fathers often impregnate many girls or women without taking the responsibility for what they are doing.  The girls are not seeking abortions.  (another WTF question for another post)

The worst thing about this is that the irresponsible behavior of the young people in our society is creating an uneducated, dependent, helpless, violent underclass.  It’s a phenomenon that is not limited to the inner cities.  It’s in rural America New White Underclass and to a lesser degree, has spread to the suburbs.

Low wages, disappearing jobs for the middle class and unaffordable housing have all negatively affected our culture in America.  Who is to blame when unemployment rates in a once thriving small town force the majority of its residents on welfare?  This is a political issue which has caused a moral problem.  When circumstances change, we have to adapt. The government cannot be held responsible for paying for the upbringing of children.  The government can offer assistance to make sure that the children have food to eat, but the government cannot parent and it cannot provide love, safety and security for those children. The new underclass is frightening.   My grown children are not parents yet and if they choose not to bring children into the world, I would not blame them.