Greetings, Gentle Reader,

A Doctor who specializes in helping infertile parents have a child has said that the various procedures involved can cost many tens of thousands of dollars. Parents who have the money needed and who spend that money to have their very own baby do not ever think of the chance that this much-wanted child could turn out to be a Jack The Ripper or, perhaps, a Ted Bundy or even a Charles Manson. No parent would ever have a child if he or she thought that the longed-for little one could turn out in such a way.

Since Americans are more concerned about crime, and especially violent crime, than anything else perhaps an analysis of the causes of crime would be in order. After all, people who only succeed in having one baby would give anything to keep that child from becoming a violent criminal.

We now have endless varieties of movies and shows in which fun, clever, charming actors and actresses say and do irresponsible, vulgar, violent, even vicious things. Of course, these things are justified by the story line which, supposedly, makes such behavior acceptable to the audience.

It is impossible for any people to suffer an endless assault upon their eyes and ears without their absorbing that with which they are assaulted. It is equally impossible for any people to absorb something without becoming that which they have absorbed. Sexual promiscuity, vulgarity, violence, viciousness, lawlessness, filth and addictions of every sort are what vast numbers of Americans are absorbing. The chances that these same Americans will avoid becoming sexually promiscuous, vulgar, violent, vicious, lawless, filthy and addicted are not good.

Mothers know that when Johnny plays with kids who fight, Johnny becomes more aggressive and wants to fight. When Jimmy plays for a long enough time with kids who shoplift, Jimmy will shoplift. If Bobby's friends tell crude jokes, Bobby will begin to tell them, too. If Mary's friends cheat on tests, Mary will cheat. If Stephanie's friends are using drugs, it is only a matter of time before she will use drugs. If Jody's friends are drinking and having sex, Jody will not hold out very long.

Rearing children is a long, hard job... a job which is done very badly by baby sitters and day-care centers. It is totally illogical for Americans to spend a large fortune to have a child, only to turn that child over to a less-than devoted parental substitute. There is now a heartening trend toward mothers caring for and rearing their own children once again. It is a trend which allows the parent, the child's strongest advocate, to keep an eye on their Johnnys and Marys. Johnny's most devoted ally is a tough, loving father who won't put up with any nonsense. Mary's best friend is a Mom who isn't afraid to make her daughter angry if she, Mom, is convinced that her little girl's welfare is at stake.

Since we do absorb what we see and hear, and since we do become what we absorb, let's go back to a more stable system where parents watch what their own children absorb and, thereby, reduce their little rascal's shenanigans to a minimum, not only for the sake of said little rascal but
for the sake of our entire society. It is imperative that parents of the 90's not forget the hard-earned wisdom of their parents and grandparents which reminds us that when aberrant behavior becomes very visible, aberrant behavior also becomes very fashionable.

As we are absorbing what is on that screen, in that book, magazine or paper, as we are absorbing the message of that music, let's ask ourselves, "Is this REALLY what I want to become and to have my children become?"

If the answer is no, then our course of action is clear.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Until next time,

Muriel Sluyter

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