Curtis Dahlgren
A quick seminar on "turning back the clock"
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By Curtis Dahlgren
December 10, 2019

"Few in their after years have occasion to revise their college opinions." – Thomas Jefferson

TWO ANALOGIES THAT DESCRIBE TODAY'S YOUNG PEOPLE:

(A) Scientists have discovered a tiny creature that lives in the lips of a North Atlantic lobster that it is unique in that its brain completely disappears at the onset of adolescence and doesn't reappear until adulthood.

(B) A farmer was driving a horse and wagon down a country road with a colt trotting along trying to keep up with his mother. After a mile or so, the farmer noticed that the colt had gone through a gate on the left side of the road and was now on the other side of a high fence with no gate in sight.

The first version (A) shows middle school students being turned over to teachers and school officials at their most vulnerable time, while psychologists tell parents that, once kids reach age 13, any attempt by a parent to influence them won't have any effect whatsoever (but the influence of the school psychologist and the curriculum is "critical").

The second analogy shows the colt flexing newfound independence and going through a gate on the LEFT. This often occurs at the onset of adolescence, but sometimes the brain doesn't disappear until age 18 during the freshman year of college. The brain sometimes never reappears, but in the horse-and-wagon story, the farmer simply turned around and went back to the gate the colt had wandered through and recovered it. It's common sense (and as a frequent visitor to the American West, I can visualize that scene right down to the worn-out cowboy boots nailed to the tops of a few fence posts).

Those of us who haven't forgotten our nation's cultural roots are accused of being "overly simplistic" and of trying to "turn back the clock"! Well, when daylight savings time ends, turning back the clock is "a good thing," and if your offspring has gone through a gate on the LEFT, you just turn around and go back! Doing the right thing at the right time eliminates the need for "grief counselors" in the school later!

Don't look for a mass movement any time soon for "going back" to Leave it to Beaver families or "Father Knows Best" though. That kind of family doesn't provide any income for public employees in social work, law enforcement or corrections, for courtroom stenographers or bailiffs, for lawyers or judges, for parole officers or psychologists, for remedial education tutors or psychiatrists.

Follow the money.

I can remember when families looked out for their more dysfunctional relative, when my county's "Human Services" department consisted of the sheriff and one volunteer who worked with a handful of "juvenile delinquents"; now it has its own multi-million dollar court house annex. And no one with "simplistic solutions" need apply for work there.

What's really hilarious is that, despite the obvious mushrooming of social problems under modern secular philosophies, today's crop of kids weaned on Darwinism believe the unspoken doctrine that they are the most highly evolved generation in the history of the planet!

A college student was once lecturing Ronald Reagan that the older generation couldn't possibly "understand" the younger because "we have TV, computers, space travel" etc. Reagan interrupted him and said, "Yes, and we invented those things!"

P.S. My own father was born before the Wright brothers ever got off the ground, and he saw the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and heard Teddy Roosevelt speak in person. He had to quit school after the eighth grade for farm work, but he could read and write better than many college freshmen today.

Not all "progress" is PROGRESS if you get the drift. Helicopter parenting tries to eliminate all risk and stress in the kiddies' lives. But a recent study at Ann Arbor suggests that a little stress in childhood may result in a longer life and the ability to deal with challenges all your born days (I believe it). The same goes for studies regarding the effect of religion in people's lives.

PPS: This is an adaptation of one of my first columns in the year 2003. Pass it along if you appreciated it. By the way, the super-sensitivity of the millennial generation may be making a dent in the abortion issue. That would be a welcome sign of hope as we wander in the wilderness of Nihilism.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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