In my last blog post I wrote about insulating our children and I asked: Why don’t they know right from wrong?
Since then, while cleaning out bookshelves, I found a yellowed newspaper clipping that just might give us some answers. At least it gives us something to think about. The clipping is a “Dear Abby” column dated 1975, titled “In Defense of Kids” (Abigail Van Buren, copyright 1975 by Chicago Tribune-N.Y. News Synd. Inc.). In light of my earlier questions, I’ll quote the letter from one of Dear Abby’s readers.
“Dear Abby: It’s about time someone spoke up for the much maligned younger generation:
“When Johnny was 6, he was with his father when they were caught speeding. He saw his father hand the officer a $5 bill with his driver’s license. No ticket.
“When Johnny was 10, he broke his glasses on the way to school. He heard his mother tell the man from the insurance company that they had been ‘stolen,’ and they collected $27.
“When Johnny was 15, he made right guard on the high school football team. His coach taught him to block and, at the same time, grab the opposing end by the shirt so the official couldn’t see it.
“When he was 16, he took a summer job at a big market. His job was to put the over-ripe tomatoes in the bottom of the boxes and good ones on top.
“When Johnny went to college, he was approached by an upperclassman who offered him the answers to an English exam for $3. ‘It’s O.K., kid,’ he was told, ‘everybody does it.’ Johnny was caught and sent home in disgrace.
"‘How could you do this to your mother and me?’ his father asked. ‘You never learned anything like that at home!’
“If there’s one thing the adult world can’t stand, it’s a kid who cheats.” This “Dear Abby” letter was from Roy R., San Diego.
But that was 1975, you say, what does all that have to do with the behavior of some of our children today?
Surely, you may say, our children don’t believe anything is okay just because everybody does it. They don’t? Adults don’t either? Have some behaviors really changed since 1975? Is current thinking very much different than in 1975?
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Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.