"NEED AMERICA FEAR?"
By Mary Starrett
November 19, 2003
Is what my father used to mutter under his breath when he caught sight of some drug-addled, unkempt member of the younger generation during the 70's. The implication being that this Republic wouldn't survive if left to the likes of them.
Now, fast-forward 30 years. A generation later, my father's cynical phrase has become a family mantra. It comes to mind while trying to avoid the ubiquitous media coverage of Britney Spears' kissing another woman, when listening to the deafening bass on car stereos playing rap music with lyrics espousing violent sexual acts with family members, or upon hearing about the latest gang violence. Even hanging around "regular" kids who, after 8 years in government schools still can't read, brings that "need America fear?" phrase to mind.
It's discouraging to say the least. But a recent experience gave me hope against all hope that perhaps America had young people who'd assuage some of that fear.
If you'd like to rekindle what little hope for this country's future you may have lost, go hang out with home schooled kids and their parents. That'll kick start your hope-deprived heart.
Surrounded by home schoolers and their parents at a recent function, I told one mom "I feel like I'm on another planet". Over in the corner, on a small stage, seven well-dressed siblings played violins, the piano and the flute. The mother of these home schooled band members sat at my table. She told me that all her kids had taken music lessons at early ages and had even paid for their lessons themselves. They now made money giving lessons to other kids and played for weddings and other functions. They were good. Very good. The kids were also politically active. One young teen decried the fall arriving with no political campaigns to get involved in: "The smell of fall and no lawn signs" he complained. Another of the family's children now worked for a pro-life organization. Mom described a cross-country family vacation to take one of the boys back to Washington, D.C. for a political seminar. At one point I sat there crying because I was so profoundly grateful to these parents and the others who have made their children's education- both scholastic and spiritual- a priority. A priority no big screen TV or even bigger SUV would trump.
I drank in all this information from the soft-spoken woman at my table and realized the room was filled with parents and kids with stories like hers and I smiled inside when I thought that there were others like these people all over the country.
That bodes well for the Republic.
Just last week I listened to a nine year old home schooler give an oral book report in front of a roomful of other children who were also being educated at home. His report was on a Horatio Alger tome . I wondered how many adults had even read the classic he was telling us about. I later heard that same boy speak with great familiarity about the players in Greek mythology and on the rudiments of the Algebra I'd never managed to master. This boy had also, it became apparent, been schooled in God's word as well.
And it gave me hope.
As she was leaving, the woman seated at my table that night leaned over and whispered to me "God is raising up an army". Let's hope she's right.
© 2003 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. E-Mail M123STAR@aol.com
"If you'd like to rekindle what little hope for this country's future you may have lost, go hang out with home schooled kids and their parents. That'll kick start your hope-deprived heart."