Friday, February 27, 2009

Liar liar pants on fire.

Remember hearing that in school? It was a common saying. So where did that saying come from? Is it still around today? From what I have heard, that is old school. Today kids are more modern and say more up to date things like; You are ugly. You are stupid. I hate you. Everybody hates you. You know, kid stuff. Nothing to worry about, it’s just kids being kids. Or is it?

Sticks and stones.

My mother always told me: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” This may be true from a physical standpoint but so wrong from a mental angle. I was picked on all through school and to this day I carry the mental scars. It changed me and shaped me into what I am today. Some people argue that since I am basically a good person and successful, those scars didn’t hurt and perhaps strengthened me. But I have to wonder if perhaps I was meant for greater things and because of what happened in my early years, I never reached my full potential. I will never know.

As a responsible parent, I try to teach my children right from wrong. I have always taught them the Golden rule.

The Golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.
No that isn’t it.
How about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Yes, That’s it.

Sadly, that first golden rule seems to be more prevalent these days. So while I teach my children to be good citizens and functioning members of a God fearing society, I wonder what other parents are teaching their children. I am afraid it’s things like; “it’s not wrong if you don’t get caught” and “you don’t get anywhere in life by being nice”. In fact I know it’s true. I can see it all around me.

The other day, here at work we had an interesting discussion during lunch. The news came in that someone who we work with had just caught a 10 lb largemouth bass in one of the plant ponds. For anyone that doesn’t do a lot of fishing, that is an impressive largemouth bass. However I know for a fact that this person doesn’t have a freshwater fishing license. Company policy says that to fish on company property you need to follow all state regulations which means that you must have a license.

So I made the comment that if anyone needed a little bailout money, all then needed to do was call “1-800 game thief” and they could collect the reward for turning in a poacher. You wouldn’t believe the looks I got. So we got into a discussion about breaking the law and it came down to these reasons why it is ok for this guy to fish without a license;

It isn’t like this is a real crime. The guy is just fishing.

Everyone does it so it is ok.

There are really plenty of fish out there.

There are too many laws anyway and this is a stupid one.

It’s just like speeding. If you don’t get caught, it isn’t breaking the law.

It was all I could do to keep quiet when one guy made that last statement, I wanted to say; “So if someone breaks into your house takes all your things and rapes your daughter, it isn’t a crime if he doesn’t get caught?” But I let it go. Alas I could tell I was out numbered and I remembered rule #1. Never argue with a fool, people might forget who is who. Then the bell rang and lunch was over. Saved by the bell.

So what are you teaching your children? Are they having a hard time fitting in if they try to live by the golden rule? Just wondering if we are along on this issue.

Have a great day,


Katherine Aucoin said...

We've taught them the Golden Rule and they know we don't like liars or sneaks. We've told them all decisions have consequences and if they have to hide something from us or lie to us about it, then it's wrong and don't do it.

We are extremely lucky that they have cultivated friends that are good people. The worst they have done is getting caught in class texting me to asking me bring something to school.

We can't complain but we aren't letting up either.

Carmen Gamble said...

Wonderful post, and so true! It's hard to fathom what people teach their children. It's a self-preservation..."get them before they get you." "Take care of number one first." It's no wonder so many of those same people are angry, fearful and unhappy when that's all life is about to them. Truly sad, and so against the premise of scripture which tells us to love one another and to do good.

Chatty Kelly said...

Ah, yes. We moms have these lively discussions at playgroups. I don't let my kid watch a certain show, but if another mom does, she must defend her decision by defeating mine. (Obviously what shows a kid watches aren't breaking a law, but same principal.)

Notice how athesist work so hard to prove God doesn't exist. Why do they care if we believe? same principal.

I loved your quote about arguing with a fool. I will remember that one.

Edie said...

Oh you hit the nail on the head with this one. No only do we need to teach our children what is right but we also have to come back and counter what the culture is teaching them.

This reminds me of 4th of July. Our city has a "no fireworks" law in residential areas, but every year, one of the houses behind mine shoots off fireworks. Aside from the fact that they might set someones home on fire (like mine), I get really angry that they are teaching their children it's perfectly fine to break the law if you don't like it or agree with it. Geez, if you don't like the law then get it changed. Now THAT would set an example.

Ok, I'll give you back your soapbox now. :)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Your post made me think about the Proverbs regarding arguing with a fool. My kids aren't perfect by any means, but they're kind to people, and that's really important. And I think they're pretty honest. Lately I've been questioning some of my own habits as far as honesty, etc.

Jenny said...

Great post. I do wonder sometimes what other parents think is acceptable behavior.

My son is no angel, for the most part he shows a great deal of respect to adults...ya know as long as that adult is not me. Something about Mom's and boy's, they just think we are a few crayons short of a box. Anywho, I fear sometimes he may get made fun of as he gets older, because he will not act up at school out of respect for his teacher and he gets his feelings hurt if he thinks he has let her down in anyway. He also reads his children's bible at free reading and I wonder if the other kids are like what is he doing. It makes me proud that he makes good choices for the most part.

From volunteering up at the school I think "Liar, Liar pants on fire" will get you a nice one way trip to the principals office.

Wanda said...

Oh Greg, this is just a most excellent post. I have nine grandchildren and I am so blessed that my adult children are good parents and teaching my grandchildren to live my God's rules, and common decency!!

How I wish more adults were to good!

Love and Hugs

Monogram Queen said...

I'm reading late today. Funny you should mention this, because Madison got in trouble at pre-school today and I spanked her and made her apologize to her teacher. I definitely believe in the golden rule and all of the other "old-fashioned" things that are so out of style these days, it seems.
Us old (honest)fogeys will have the last laugh on them - wait and see, Greg!

Marla said...

My kids are grown now. I my daughter suffered terribly from a group that hert her. She suffers from that mental torment today. She is 29 years old. She forgave them, It took me along time to forgive those girls for ruining all of her young years.

ChrisJ said...

I so identify with you on this post, Greg. The laws are there for all. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Like you that is not what I experienced while I was teaching school. Mean words leave huge scars. We ARE responsible for what we say. The Lord says we will be accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth! OUCH!!

Peggy said...


Another great post. My children are also grown. We did teach our children the golden rule and we taught them to take resposibilty for their actions. I find that really missing in everyday life. Seems blaming the other person is easier then taking any personel responsibility. I really like the line about fools too. I'll have to remember that!

Scarlet said...

I teach my kids by example. Some adults might think I'm crazy, especially since I don't come across as a stickler, but my kids are helping me become more accountable. :)

Great post, Greg! I'm with you 100 percent.

Kati said...

I had a teacher in HS who believed (and acted it) and "taught" the "first" golden rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules. He attempted to teach us that THIS was the true way of the world, and if we wanted to be worth anything in life, we'd better be rich and famous because otherwise we'd be worthless. Fortunately, he was our teacher during Jr. and Sr. year and I'm guessing most of us already had our morals ingrained into us by the time he got us. We hated him anyway. He was a jerk.

This is where folks need to be on the same page when they're teaching kids manners and morals, if Mom and Dad aren't in agreement, one of them is going to feel hurt when the kiddo follows the other's ethics.

You're right, as usual, Greg. It doesn't matter if you don't get caught, it's still a crime. And we should be living crime-free not because we're worried we'll get caught, but because we know it's the right thing to do. But far too many of us were taught that the real issues is whether we get caught at it, not whether it's actually right or wrong. (Personally, though..... I"d say that some of these issues are more a matter of mores than true right or wrong. Would I rather see somebody fishing illegally than starve? You bet! Come a depression, I fully expect that even the most moral of us will be willing to break laws in order to feed our family. Not to say that it won't hurt or be wrong morally to steal from another in order to feed your child, but it's also highly immoral for a child to die because the grocery store owner -big business owner in a LOT of cases these days- is worried about losing out on that $3 from that loaf of bread.)

Thanks for the thought provoking post, Greg. It never hurts to have the reminder to teach one's children right from wrong on a DAILY basis.

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