Thursday, April 30, 2009

I thought this was really profound, from the in Schenectady, NY

Letters to the Editor for May 31 Saturday, May 31, 2008

If only today’s parents ‘drugged’ their kids a bit more than they do.
As I read the local papers this past week, I have come to realize that there is an ever-growing drug problem in and around our community. It was noted that an estimated 30 children under the age of 18 have been arrested on substance-related charges. As a parent and community member, this is of great concern.
The following story addresses the issue of who is accountable for the children. The story is as follows:
The other day someone at a store in our city read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county. He asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”
I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drugged to church on Sunday morning. I was drugged to church for weddings and funerals. I was drugged to family reunions and community socials, no matter the weather. I was drugged by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was drugged to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, didn’t speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drugged to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I used profanity. I was drugged out to pull weeds in my mom’s garden and flower beds. I was drugged to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some firewood. And if my mother ever knew that I took a single dime as a tip of kindness, she would have drugged me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins, and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin. If today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America and our communities would be a much better place.
God bless the parents who drugged us. This is in no way a criticism on [today’s] parents. There are a great many parents who do their best and try their hardest to raise children with respect and concern for their neighbors, communities and country.
There was a message broadcast before the television when I grew up, and I end this letter with it, due to the point it makes: “It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”
John Southworth, Mechanicville
The writer is a substance abuse therapist.

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