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View Diary: Morning Feature: American Exceptionalism - "What do I tell them?" (Non-Cynical Saturday) (84 comments)

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  •  I agree. (8+ / 0-)

    I think it's important to give age-appropriate answers, but mere silence in the face of so much history of abuse is not an option.  We need to be truer to our ideals, and we cannot be that if we don't recognize the many ways we've failed and continue to fail.

    Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggs::

    •  That's the crux of the matter: (9+ / 0-)

      to give age-appropriate answers

      It applies to a number of issues. I want my daughter to be grateful for having a relatively (in the global scheme of things) privileged life. I want her to appreciate that others fought for her standard of living, and I want her to be sympathetic with those who doN#t have it that good.

      As a kid, I used to hear a lot about starving children in the developing world, but there's a risk of scaring the kids, or numbing them towards the grief.

      I'm not a practicing christian, but I've always thought that saying grace before meals is a beautiful way to instill a sense of gratitude in a kid. They'll realize later that Jesus didn't come personally to deliver the maccaroni...

      Good Morning everyone!

      "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. (...) Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Abraham Lincoln

      by aufklaerer on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 05:50:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With my kids, we say, (7+ / 0-)

        "Thank you Mother Nature and to all others who helped  bring this food to our table for our good health."

        •  That's a beautiful grace. I think we'll adopt it. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, DBunn, NCrissieB, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

          And good morning hugs to you, ma'am!

          One of the other things we do is talk about how we have everything we really need, though certainly not everything we could use, and how rare that is in this world. They know that their father and their grandparents often went to bed hungry, and how their father's family was on foodstamps while his mother struggled. And they know how that assistance helped her--and her children--succeed.

          More importantly, they know how their relative comfort imparts a responsibility to take care of others who need it, as their father was taken care of. My kids will tell you why we pay taxes, and why that's not a bad thing. :-\ And they're engaged in our donations to our local food bank. (linked in case anyone wants to give to them.) In fact, I have to go get showered up and all because we're heading over to help out with a food drive in about an hour.

      •  We can be truthful and still age-appropriate. (7+ / 0-)

        "Yes, our country has done some bad things.  That happens when we're not careful what leaders we choose and when we let them keep secrets from us.  But a lot of us are working to try to fix that now."

        That's an adequate explanation for a young child, on the issue of torture.  They needn't hear all the gory details of the present or the past, but neither should we feel reluctant to admit that our country has made mistakes.  The notion that they should only hear good things about America until they're - I dunno, retired? dead? - seems a bit stupid to me, but I've heard it cited in criticisms of college course work.  As if 18- to 22-year-olds are still far too delicate to hear the truth....

        Good morning! ::hugggggggggs::

        •  Crissie, that's a good response for kids. n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, NCrissieB, kktlaw, FarWestGirl
        •  Maybe not too "delicate," but potentially too (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, DBunn, NCrissieB, kktlaw

          independent thinking.

          A censor is someone who wants you to know less than they do.

          That kind of "criticism" is really an attempt at censorship. The kind of censorship designed to prevent people from thinking for themselves. If I can determine what information is available to you, I can control in some important ways what you think about and do in the world.

          If a leader wants you to fear something, chances are they have their best interest in mind, not yours.

          by elropsych on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 07:36:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Precisely the point, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elropsych

            They're not worried about high school or college students being traumatized by hearing the truth.  They're worried high school or college students might think for themselves and even act on the truth.

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