December 16, 2012

Getting involved

Though technically not related to the Connecticut tragedy and the continuing news of the assailant, I was struck by this profile of RG II -- Robert Griffin Jr. and RG III's father:

Griffin says if youíre serious about your kidís success, both in the classroom and on the field, his secret is simple.

ďGet involved with your child. Spend more time with them,Ē he says. ďDonít let your kids be raised by the television. Take time to work with your children to show them wisdom.

ďThatís what I do even now. I showed him people who had tremendous talent, but lost it making poor decisions. That keeps them humble.Ē

Thatís one of the reasons heís spending time right now researching Heisman winners who did not go on to do well professionally, so that he can help his son explore the common pitfalls.

Meanwhile, he says, developing strength of character is just as important as developing a strong body.

You may have heard about how RG III was derided by an ESPN commentator as not being "authentically black;" I wonder now if his father will be condemned by similar racialist idiots for his "Euro/Asia-centric comments," or for his "being blinded by the culture of 'white privilege.'" But that's beside the point. Look at the first quote by RG II. Our country's teachers perhaps greater than any others have witnessed the decline in such parental time. And the really sad thing is ... performing basic parental duties is so painfully, painfully obvious.

But we don't care. In the era of non-responsibility (or irresponsibility), too many parents will pass on their responsibilities to others, frequently our teachers. And remarkably, many of these parents then scream to high heaven when those to whom responsibility has been passed actually act as a surrogate parent ... by attempting to hold children accountable. Teaching them manners. Respect. Responsibility.

And as a society we've even become accustomed to viewing the RG IIIs of the world as "lucky," even "privileged," merely because he had parents (or a parent) who actually did what parents are supposed to. And unfortunately, in an ironic dichotomy, far too many in the education industry believe it is their job to "even out" the playing field for those who may not have parents like RG II with those who do. The effect of this is as fatuous as it is devastating. Excellence, hard work and responsibility is perceived as "elitist," which makes those who do perform as well "feel bad." And we just cannot have that, now, can we?

Is it any wonder, then, why the responsible, the hard working, and the driven get frustrated and irritated? That they seek out schools, whether private or charter, that encourage excellence? That they'll seek financial shelters from a government that seeks class-evening through more and more tax confiscation? For now, those who excel still can thrive. But if we're not careful, the "eveners" will make your motivation, ambition and desire for excellence "unfair," maybe even illegal.

So, for now, praise parents like Robert Griffin Jr. and all like him. They respresent the true hope of the country. Just as they always have.

Posted by Felix at December 16, 2012 10:56 AM | TrackBack

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Great post. Well said.

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at December 16, 2012 09:40 PM