Yvonne Hollenbeck: Family values
for Tri-State Livestock News
We all have our own opinions whether it is about religion, politics, social issues or even our own lifestyle such as what we eat or how we dress. When it comes to leisure activities, most of us in this rural area have little time for that, however, most of us spend a little time watching TV, especially in the long winter evenings. One interesting fact is that a lot of my friends and neighbors do not have television, or if they do, they do not have a satellite dish in which to get various channels. I find myself somewhat envious of them, especially when rolling through several hundred channels and finding nothing worthwhile to watch. We seem to watch only three channels and that is a local news channel, RFD programming, and PBS. The latter two provide wholesome, interesting programs without violence, profanity or E.D. commercials
In the wake of the recent mass shootings, there is considerable controversy regarding gun control and what our government can do to remedy the seemingly endless amount of incidences regarding these horrific matters. We all wish we could come up with an answer and every opinion seems to have two sides. Many of us remember a time, not so long ago, when schools, churches, and public gatherings were a safe haven; children could play in the streets, walk or ride their bicycle all over town, and not worry about being abducted or shot at. We soon began wondering, “what happened?” Could it possibly boil down to family lifestyle?
I grew up at a time when homes had no television and there were no video games, computers or internet. Most young folks took music lessons and played sandlot baseball; learned to walk on homemade stilts and played marbles. Churches were also a hub of activities with well-attended Sunday school classes, Bible schools, youth choirs and youth fellowship meetings. Sadly, today churches are struggling to keep their doors open and many have closed. Families used to have meals together and parents helped students with their homework after chores were done…chores that the kids helped with. Dads took sons fishing and mothers taught daughters to sew and bake cookies. Family values played a large part in rearing children to become responsible adults, have respect for others, and to gain an important work ethic.
Learning about recent school shootings, one cannot help but wonder about the young men that were so mentally disturbed as to purposely take the lives of so many innocent victims. Why was the last one adopted and then left homeless after the death of his adoptive mother? Where was his real mother and father in this picture? What about the grandmother who reported her grandson after discovering his plan to also carry out a school shooting? Why was he living with her and where were his mother and father? These are never-ending questions and I think we all know the answer.
Perhaps we need to take a long, hard look at the way we are rearing children today compared to a generation or two ago. Although it will undoubtedly be an uphill struggle, restoring old-fashioned family values might play the biggest role in restoring the lifestyle we once enjoyed and hopefully generations to come can reap the benefits. If the government is to play a part in this, pulling the funding for PBS and the arts is stripping the public of probably the one last thing that instills family values in our homes today.