When facing challenges, the better we understand the issues, the world, and the people with whom we share it—whether they agree with us or not—the more likely we are to find reasonable resolutions.
So many parents appear to be striving to protect children from information they themselves fear, disagree with, or are just uncomfortable with. Do these mothers and fathers not understand this leaves their sons and daughters less prepared to address the challenges they will face as adult citizens? Less prepared to work with others in search of meaningful solutions to challenges we cannot yet envision.
Many of our fellow citizens want our leaders to dictate policies that will produce outcomes they view as favorable, seeming not to understand that once we exit the pathway of democracy we may not like where it takes us. More frightening yet, we may not be able to find our way back.
An education is intended to prepare our children and grandchildren for a future we can scarcely imagine—a future in a society for which they will be required to accept the responsibilities of citizenship.
We can do our best to influence their beliefs and prejudices while they are under our care but, as adults, they must be free and able to choose what it is they wish to believe in. If they make such choices based on faulty information because of choices we make today, we are depriving them of the freedom to choose. Although we may never know it, any consequences they might someday endure will be consequences we have bequeathed to them.
Is it our responsibility as parents to give our children as wide a menu of choices as possible? This depends on the quality of the education they receive—an education preparing them for a future beyond the imagination of early 21st Century parents.
freedom to choose, prejudices, 21st Century parents, quality of the education, responsibility of parents, responsibilities of citizenship, challenges we cannot yet envision, protect children, democracy, education