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When a youth becomes an Eagle Scout his achievement is recognized by a ceremony in his honor. Friends, relatives, and persons who have influenced his life are invited. Other scouts participate. There are speeches and presentations which make it clear that becoming an Eagle Scout is no minor accomplishment.
Our grandson was recently honored by such a ceremony. His brother, also an Eagle Scout was master of ceremonies. More than 50 guests including his parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, school friends, friends of his parents, and his school's headmaster were among those who attended.
Also, the Wisconsin State Representative from his family's district arrived with a commendation plaque from the Wisconsin Assembly. The Wisconsin State Senator had a handsome plaque from the State Senate. Both gave short speeches. The State Representative made her presentation first. Then it was the State Senator's turn. Our grandson, Kurt, was seated with his parents in view of both the senator and the audience.
The State Senator made his short speech, and then said that before he gave the plaque he would like Kurt to promise to go rock climbing with him. In full view of all, Kurt flashed a quick smile and then shook his head in an emphatic NO WAY! The senator was slightly taken aback, but he changed the offer to a bike ride to Madison. Some people were nodding YES, but not Kurt. It was NO WAY again. There were a few embarrassed laughs, and then the senator handed Kurt the plaque saying he hoped to see him some time in Madison.
What do you think of that little incident? Here's my take. I was as proud of Kurt for that as I was for all the badges he earned, and I'll tell you why. In front of a large group of friends and relatives Kurt was put under pressure to make a promise he did not want to keep. He had no desire to climb rocks or bicycle more than 60 miles to Madison. Although it was possible that a refusal might cause some recognition to be denied, the honesty of youth prevailed. His mind was focused on what he was being asked to do, not on the reward that might be denied, and certainly not on what onlookers might think of him.
Imagine what might have been if 20th Century judges, legislators, congressmen, teachers, business executives, presidents, etc., had retained their youthful honesty, their ability to focus on central issues, and their resistance to intimidating circumstances. What if they had been honor-bound, rather than ego-bound? Would the promoters regional government and the New World Order have been able to get away with their shenanigans?
For example, would teachers, school principals, and health care workers in the Milwaukee area who were invited to a drug education seminar that was held at the Kenwood Conference Center of the University of Wisconsin on October 20, 1975 have taken it all in, or would they have walked out in disgust? As it was, they behaved like children at an 8-year old's birthday party, They were told they were learning techniques to get in touch with their feelings. When their feelings were fully exposed they were taught that efforts to stop drug use were unrealistic because the decision to take drugs is a personal decision based on values and feelings as well as factual information. They accepted the goal of the seminar which was to assure that use of drugs be experimental or recreational, rather than harmful or destructive.
Would Sidney Simon have been invited to stage his values clarification demonstration at the 1975 Wisconsin Education Association Convention? If so, would honest conscientious teachers have been fooled into believing Simon was doing something good for education? Eleven students selected from Milwaukee area schools were used. As they came on stage Simon praised them for participating and told them they would have the opportunity to influence a couple thousand teachers. After a short warm-up he began asking extremely personal questions. All the students cooperated. They revealed secrets, discussed their faults, fears, and attitudes toward other members of their families, and one boy even confessed to marijuana smoking. Simon thanked each student for sharing, and asked for applause. Most of the teachers applauded heartily. To conform was more comfortable than to contradict.
Years ago elected officials knew they might be voted out of office if they tried to claim the right to ship children from their neighborhood schools. However federal judges were used and instructed on how to accomplish the goal. Buying and selling groups of children for the sake of grants became the norm; and day after day, week after week, month after month the buses were loaded with unwilling and unhappy little captives. Congressmen and legislators did nothing to free them.
Kurt, when your turn comes to make important decisions, you won't force little children to do things like that , will you? You won't act stupid just to earn the praise of nincompoops, will you? You won't betray our United States Constitution for the sake of a world management system, will you? Please keep your youthful honesty, good sense, and self confidence. I love you.
� 2003 Erica Carle - All Rights Reserved
Erica Carle is an independent researcher and writer. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has been involved in radio and television writing and production, and has also taught math and composition at the private school her children attended in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For ten years she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for WISCONSIN REPORT, and served as Education Editor for that publication.
Her books are GIVE US THE YOUNG--$5 Plus $2.00 P&H WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE--$16 PLUS $4.00 P&H BOTH BOOKS -- $25 Total. A loose leaf collection of quotes titled, SIX GENERATIONS TO SERFDOM is also available--$15 Plus $2.00 P&H. Mailing address: Erica Carle; PO Box 261; Elm Grove, WI 53122.
E-mail: [email protected]
"Years ago elected officials knew they might be voted out of office if they tried to claim the right to ship children from their neighborhood schools. However federal judges were used and instructed on how to accomplish the goal. Buying and selling groups of children for the sake of grants became the norm; and day after day, week after week, month after month the buses were loaded with unwilling and unhappy little captives. Congressmen and legislators did nothing to free them."