Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Year & A New Script...

By Mike Ramey

"Let us not confuse celebrity with the ability to raise, train, or lead a family...or community!" Anon

"To train a boy (or girl) in the way they should go, you, parent, must lead by example and go that way yourself!" Anon

If we want to see a marked change in the lives of our young people in the New Year, there are several things that we must do in the home to get the process started.

First, we must drop the lie that there is a 'line' between single parent, two parent, or guardians in charge of the home. Regardless of the adult at the helm, they are the p-a-r-e-n-t. For anyone to degrade, diminish, or downplay their role as parent is begging for more of the same trouble that we have been seeing 'bubbling up' for the last fifteen or so years.

Back in the day (and it wasn't that long ago) being a single parent was MORE of a threat to social ignorance than many TWO parent households. Single parent has to be more than two parents. It wasn't easy. It never is. However, with society finally starting to admit that more and more MEN are becoming single parents for whatever reason, the demongraphic has shifted in a major-league way. Now, single parents have some 'respect'.

They have always had respect. Just a lot of people haven't shown it.

Second, in the New Year, we have to de-fang the 'cult' of the rich and famous and the impact that they have on our teens. This is a two-part solution. First, stop treating the famous as if they 'know it all' regarding our households and our families. The only way that millionaires become that way is that someone pays them; buys their records or goes to their games. Bouncing a basketball or holding a microphone does NOT make one a 'professor' in education and influence. It only shows that the rich and famous have become idols...and need to be pulled down as a means of worship and admiration when the authority of the home, school, and church are trampled underfoot. Part B of this; we have to police ourselves and watch whom we let in the 'tube' so to the 'tube' flows into our homes and lives. I find it shocking that school children will take their cues from folk who can toss a ball or speak over a microphone who HAVE NOT paid their dues in
a classroom, or in a relationship other than 'drug dealer, star, or entertainer'.

We wonder why our teens 'pant' after the brook of the rich and famous? What are their parents buying them? Everything seems to have a style of anger and rebellion. Anger, Sex, and Rebellion may SELL, but it does not PRODUCE anything other than more victims; NOT leaders.

Lastly, We are going to have to have the courage to 'flip our scripts' and lift up the achievers and shun the non-achievers. It is just that simple. A rapper can't go to school for your son; a tv star can't get your daughter to pass math, and a football player who, in some cases, didn't take advantage of education opportunities when presented to them, isn't a 'mentor' or a 'role model' for today's youth. It does little good to have an athlete or the 'rich and famous' to tell society to take a child to church if THEY haven't taken care of their OWN lives and married their OWN child's mother or father.

Success isn't 'just' for a select few. It is something that ALL can reach for. Just ask our new President if rappers, sports stars, or 'screen sirens' had more impact on him than his family? He has already gone public with the FACT that his family carried him further than anyone else did! Here's to a GREAT 2009...the year it became COOL NOT to RAISE or be MENTORED by FOOLS!

MIKE RAMEY is the Lead Instructor of THE YOUNG MEN'S SUCCESS WORKSHOPS, Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a columnist, writer and a contributor to the social scene. He can be reached at (C)2009 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications

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