Perhaps you are old enough to remember this show originally hosted by Art Linkletter and later by Bill Cosby. It was hilarious how kids see the world around us, and how differently. Well, I have one situation like that just came to mind I wanted to share.
As I have looked over my years of raising four daughters and now a son who is finishing high school, it struck me how entertaining their perspective can be when they apply what they know to situations they have not yet experienced and are indeed much more complex than they understand.
Raising our son Stephen has been an absolute joy, but balancing parenting against the stresses of running a business as a husband and wife team leaves few hours in the day that have not been committed. Today, this past Sunday, after playing a concert at one church, attending Sunday School at another and then the worship service and answering a bunch of emails. I turned to my wife Susan and said … I really don’t have anything I have to do this afternoon. Then, as I was sitting there eating lunch with her, I told her I had to recount the short story as follows.
I was traveling a lot in those early years. I would come home and Stephen would ask me to help with his homework, play duets on recorder, or go hiking with his Cub Scout group on the weekend. Sometimes I could participate, but sometime I would have to tell him I was too tired from the day or had too much work remaining to do that evening or before leaving town Sunday afternoon.
After having to turn down three or four of his invitations in a row, when I arrived home and started sharing how much I still had to do, Stephen seemed confident he knew what I should do. Applying what he had seen done at his school when students struggled, he suggested, “Dad, they need to put you in a slower group.”
There’s the answer … slower groups. Is that funny, or is that tragic?
Maybe we have gone too far. Back when I was in high school, there were two tracks: college bound and not. There were no exceptions to the college bound group. Either you made the grade or you didn’t. There were four-year comprehensive tests you had to pass … period.
When I was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during orientation, they told me to look to my left and right and that one of us was not going to make it. They were right. I did. It wasn’t easy. That is what gave me the training I needed to tackle some of the big problems I did.
Now we have T Ball where everyone runs the bases and no one strikes out. No wonder we are losing our status in the world. We have lowered expectations and adjusted the game down to the laziness of the masses. No wonder we won’t tackle the big problems any longer.