My boys ask friends to spend the night with us, and sometimes it’s embarrassing. A kid will come over and he’ll be polite, respectful, courteous, obedient. I wonder where I went wrong. I remember hoping my two guys would turn out that way. I guess I still hope they did, when they’re staying over with someone else.

Somebody’s father said to me the other day, ‘you know, there’s this: when we were kids if you paid your respects and worked hard, you could get to be better off than your parents – I don’t think our kids have that any more.’

Ignoring the fact hard work never offered hope for most of us anyway, I suspect my generation is deploring our kids’ dilemma somewhat after the fact – we haven’t exceeded our parents, ourselves.

Still, that anticipation is the way we lived, and I feel the culture shivering from the change. It’s difficult to know what we offer, if we can’t offer a better future. We have a lot of Internet programming, and plenty of fast food. One way or another, we all manage to get by.

Which reminds me of those wonderful kids my boys bring home sometimes. Often, they’re active in organized sports. I think this might be a key to how disciplined they are. They learn to compete together. They learn loyalty, cooperation, initiative, and drive. They learn to be a helpful part of whatever is going on. The only problem is, in the games they play – they never really win anything.



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