Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How is The Big Green Help a Big Red Plot?

My young son has wanted to be a fireman for as long as he has been able to say the word. Fire trucks and little red plastic firemen litter every room of our home. At Halloween he dressed as a fireman. Our VCR has worn out several tapes of “Fireman Sam” from excessive viewings. Imagine my surprise when he announced that now he wanted to be a “re-cycle man.” When he explained that this choice was because he wanted to do something to help people and something that was important, my surprise changed to shock. What sort of a society values re-cycle men over firemen?

My son watches TV, but I make the choices and some shows don’t make the cut. Recently my attention was captured by a “public service announcement” for “the Big Green Help.” It is an attempt to enlist children to “save the planet.” There are some people whom believe that our world is teetering on the edge the abyss of ecological collapse, for those of this belief it is settled science which can allow no argument. Therefore it is logical that children must be taught the important facts so that they can aid in averting this disaster. I disagree; I can’t believe the predictions for 2020 from those who can’t forecast for next Tuesday.

The natural desire of children to imamate coupled with their need to “fit in” forms the basic impetus for joining many groups, an example is the Boy Scouts. When the family and the child’s group are in agreement this strengthens the bonds of both. When the group has goals and methods that are not in agreement with the family strife is sure to follow. Parents and children become estranged and society is plagued by a “Generation Gap” that grows ever worse. The parents choosing not to confront their children give up being the dominant force in their child’s life. These children, missing their parents, work harder for the acceptance that they can get only from the group. To turn this tide and save our families all that one needs to do is love your child. Love them enough to teach them what you believe. Even if they don’t agree, you have taught them that not everyone believes the same thing. The self sacrifice and love of a parent can not be replaced, and is a transformative power. All the cartoons in this world can not take your son away from you if you won’t give him up.