The United States may be far down the global list in many areas — energy production, smart students, technology and economic sway just to name a few — but we have risen quite high on the list in one area: Weenies.
I realize this may be a generality, but this country, over the last 50 years or so, has continually shown that it is adept at taking the easy path.
Children today, along with their parents and, in some cases, their grandparents, are an increasingly lazy bunch. Rather than flying by the seat of their pants, they would instead prefer to sit on that seat. And if there is any effort required while doing so, it is to feverishly work their thumbs on the latest text or horrifically bloody and gruesome video game.
Oh, and the exercise for the day might be to actually get up off the couch to visit the mailbox, where they hope to find their most recent entitlement gift — be it an unemployment check, food stamps, welfare check or whatever represents their government prize for doing nothing.
Entitlements, of course, have been around for decades. But they have taken on almost a prideful thing under President Obama, who, along with most Democrats, see entitlements as a way to keep the lazy and poor under their control — as well as assuring the party of those votes.
But while there is an ever-increasing characteristic flaw being established because of entitlements in this country, there is another form of “entitlement” that is far more personal.
Recently, we published a story about the teen birth rate in Bladen County and North Carolina. That story showed the state’s teen birth rate had dropped significantly from 2011 to 2012. That’s a good sign. But the teen birth rate in Bladen County rose dramatically. That’s bad.
Perhaps the worst thing about young girls having babies, aside from the fact that it all but ruins their own lives, is the fact that it also all but ruins their baby’s life. These young’uns having young’uns simply continues to add to the rolls of government entitlement recipients — as well as adds to the list of those who, because of their tremendously challenging circumstances, think they are entitled to be lazy, feel like the world owes them and act like victims throughout their lives.
That’s just one example.
Another would be the never-ending stories of workplace violence and school shootings that seem to be perpetrated by individuals who feel they have been disrespected, unappreciated or bullied.
On Tuesday, Staff Writer Erin Smith gave her thoughts on the case of a young Florida girl who was being unmercifully bullied by classmates both in person and on social media. The girl chose to commit suicide because of it.
Smith correctly placed a lot of the blame on the parents of the bullies, but she missed what I think is a key link in the chain of events that led to the girl’s murder of herself: a lack of backbone by the girl and her own parents.
Bullying has been around since the world’s second baby drew its first breath. Things like jealousy, power, ownership and pure meanness are some of the things that fuel bullying, and everyone has both been the recipient of it and the deliverer of it at one time or another. Whether it was when you were 2 years old and ripped the toy out of a 2-year-old neighbor’s hand simply because you wanted it, or whether it was in fifth grade when you relentlessly pulled the hair of the girl sitting in front of you, or whether you joined in with your friends to call someone four-eyes or take their lunch money — you’ve been a bully sometime, and probably also been bullied.
Back in the day, what often happened was the whole thing would either finally result in some playground fisticuffs and/or parents would get involved. One or both would usually resolve the problem.
Today, children are left to fend for themselves. The “don’t get involved” attitude many parents have fits perfectly into their entitlement lifestyle, teachers have had their hands tied tighter and tighter over the years, and law enforcement can only do something if they witness an incident or get cooperation from one of the above individuals.
And since the recipient of bullying is left alone on their island of misery, they eventually make bad choices. Younger folks revert to what they know and go “video,” choosing to use violence to solve their problem. Older folks already have their own label for using violence as a response to being bullied or disrespected or unappreciated … they go “postal.”
Each is a copout, which is the link Smith missed: Too many folks, especially teens, who think they have no support or answers simply give up. And when they do … bad things happen, like the shooting in Sparks, Nev., this week by a 13-year-old student.
To say these damaged souls should instead turn to God may sound too simplistic, but it really can be that easy. When parents refuse to help, and teachers or law enforcement can’t, turning to God can result in answers and entitlements beyond imagination.
Peer pressure, government assistance and parental ignorance hasn’t done anything to help. It never will. In fact, it’s only managed to produce more American weenies.
Regardless of the situation, there is always someone to look up to for real help — help that will allow you to take control of your own life and destiny.
— W. Curt Vincent is the general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. He can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.