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Values Come from Parents, not from Schools

by Archie Wortham    --show me more like this


Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future," Paul Boes said.

This week, I have another question for you, that follows up a statement I posed several weeks ago. "As brothers and sisters in our global village, shouldn't we let go of those resentments we harbor, particularly if they pull us down?"

According to Steve Goodier, in the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, work stops. Every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused. Then the tribe bombards the rejected person with affirmations! One at a time, friends and family list all the good the individual has done. Every incident and experience that can be recalled with some detail and accuracy is recounted. The individual's positive attributes, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. Finally, the tribal circle is broken, and every celebrates as the outcast is welcomed back into the tribe. The rejected one is restored and the village is made whole. The village is healed. The person is healed. Even the smallest child learns a lesson. Is asking forgiveness so difficult a thing to ask for? Sometimes. Sometimes it's easier to give, than receive. Yet, if people know forgiveness will be given, then the good in men has a better chance of surviving.

Guilt can weigh you down something horribly. Yet, feeling remorseful is okay if we seek the reconciliation members of our tribe and families can provide through understanding; understanding that we all are weak and fall short; understanding that we can do all things through a value system of beliefs. This understanding teaches us to acknowledge that we are much greater through Him who is in us, than we can ever be by ourselves.

Over the weeks, I will talk about a lot of subjects. I'll address issues like prayer in school, public versus private schools, and father involvement. I'll try to increase awareness based on the idea, we are all children with the same father; that it's wrong for any of us to think he or she is better than someone else. And the idea that we should be working together in a kinship of harmony, reconciliation, and love. God is love you know.

Y2K came and went. Seinfeld left, and Gore discovered that rules apply even to those who think they are above the rules. As we begin journeying through this millennium, we, the benefactors of all that is noble and good, have a full plate before us. We must subscribe to a belief that when we wrong people, we must ask forgiveness. When we are wronged, we must be prepared to forgive. Remember you are forgiving "for" a greater good. That greater good happens to be the destiny of our children. They will act the way they see us act. If we break rules, they will hold us to the same standards, and break rules. If we deny basic beliefs of God, country, and our school system, they too will denounce God as dead, our country as a mistake, and our school system as a failure.

Life really does not give parents many options. Since we decided to have kids, our lives change. We must remember that schools are not responsible for teaching our kids what to value. We parents are. Churches are not responsible for teaching our children values. Parents are. Governments are not responsible for creating a situation where we feel safe, providing food on our table, or even the proper TV shows to watch. Parents are! Moreover, the sooner we parents accept this, the sooner our children will reflect what our country has had a serious lapse of.... morality, truth, justice, and love!

I've labored over deciding to send our kids to a private school. I wanted them protected. I wanted them to be able to pray. I wanted them to receive something better than I received. But I came out all right. Yet, the idiot I am, I chose to pay extra money for this (besides my taxes) rather than find out who's responsible for providing our kids a good education, and hold those responsible accountable. My review of the facts tells me the school district owes me. First, I'm asking them to forgive me for not giving them the chance to prove me wrong. I want my kids to be able to pray. I've taught them how to pray...do I care if they pray aloud, or just that they know how to pray? Not really. Am I going to hold the school district hostage until my kids understand they have a right to exercise their belief in a way that conforms to the rules? NO. I've prayed silently for years and never been prosecuted. Protection? That's been the cornerstone of many of my silent prayers, that God will keep our sons safe from harm.

Therefore, I plan to put the school districts, dads, and teachers on notice. Forgive me for not trusting you. I also ask that you help me teach my children to trust as I failed to trust, to give where I failed to give, and to help where previously I criticized. It's not the schools that need to be in the circle, but rather the parents of the children who need to be affirmed that when put to the test, parents do the right things, especially where our kids are concerned.




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