Scranton: What do you mean? |

Scranton: What do you mean?

Lance Scranton

When everything that is obvious is up for grabs, it becomes increasingly difficult to clarify the serious issues of the day. One of the most frightening examples of this type of thinking has been the complete disregard for public education in the preferred interest of sexualizing children at younger and younger ages.

Take a look across the country and you will read about schools and school boards that are being inundated with the premise that children need to be conditioned how to think rather than taught to think.

Obviously, children need to be taught to organize their thoughts (writing), problem-solve (math), understand their culture (history), and figure out how to think and reason (education). As students continue to mature and make determinations based upon their learning, some, if not all, reach a point whereby they feel the compulsion to exercise their individuality, which is a good thing in most contexts.

But what might be your understanding of the world around you if your only methodology rests on a conglomeration of conditioned thoughts and emotional reactions? Surely it is obvious that this is dangerous and strays far from the classic tenants of our culture and society.

We are essentially what we are through the discovered meaning that lies within our cultural and societal structures. Understandably, young people have a physiological disadvantage developmentally and need the guidance and direction of people whose cerebral cortex has fully developed.

I’ve never met another adult who didn’t, by way of either braggadocio or embarrassment, relate stories of childhood experiences or decisions that were so obviously ignorant or stupid that we laugh (when perhaps we should cry). So, why is it a good idea to allow a child to exclusively self-direct their ideas about complex questions, such as sexuality or gender before they are old enough to have a fully developed prefrontal cortex (age 25 by some estimates)?

It seems obvious that children in a constant state of created meaning are headed for trouble. Children have always been influenced by things that they see, hear or read. But with the onslaught of cultural attacks on any and all institutions and traditions (no matter their efficacy), it is becoming increasingly apparent that in the hyper-individualized world of social media — children can create a meaning for themselves out of the myriad of influences available at the tip of their scrolling thumb. Anything is possible and any meaning is acceptable and any potential guidance or course correction based on sound reasoning is met with the charge of old, narrow-minded, bigoted, phobic (of some sort), fearful or ignorant.

Meaning is important and each one of us garners a certain satisfaction from life when we have the ability to express the inexpressible by our actions and attitudes. Meaning for each of us differs in almost direct relationship to our particular personality characteristics and temperament. Discover your meaning and things will go a bit smoother in life. Create your own meaning and the monster at the door is waiting to pounce.

Teach your children well. Help them discover their meaning. Disavow the futility and complete selfishness of created meaning and show them a world that can work for them if they will only let the voices of experience, reason, and maturity help guide them.

Seems obvious — doesn’t it?

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