So there was an article in Slate about how kids think these days.
And it’s a reflection of the adults, of course.
When 10,000 middle and high school students from 33 schools across the country were asked, what’s more important–80% chose high achievement or happiness as their top priority vs just 20% who picked caring for others.
The kids who chose their happiness and achievement over helping others tended to score low on empathy and were at greater risk of being “cruel, disrespectful, and dishonest.”
Bottom line is that these are our values that we impart when we recognize and reward our children for things like good grades and extra-curriculars, but not for helping or caring about others.
Pretty much, I think parents worry that their kids should be able to support and care for themselves, because that’s what’s considered our primary responsibility as parents–to make sure the next generation survives and can go on physically and materially once we are gone.
In a way, it’s Darwinism and survival of the species and of the fittest.
The problem is survival of our physical manifestation is not equivalent to the thriving of the spiritual being inside all of us.
It’s not enough to live, but we have to live a good and descent life.
Our bodies wither and die, but our souls learn, grow, and go on to the afterlife.
Yesterday, I had this freakish accident, going through the turnstiles on the Metro in Washington, DC.
The person before me went right through the gates as they opened, but when I put my pass down and went through, the gates had a glitz and closed suddenly right on my legs (and my artificial hips) and I went tumbling forward hard to the floor.
Amazingly, two wonderful bystanders (not the Metro employees who didn’t even flinch or care) came rushing over to me, and literally lifted me up by the arms and handed me my wallet and glasses which had fallen to the side.
One of the people that helped was especially nice to me, and he asked me how I was and really seemed to care that I was alright–imagine that a complete stranger in the Metro!
The two people who stopped to help could’ve literally hopped right over me to rush for the train at the end of the day like everyone else, but they didn’t.
To them, caring was more important than their own time.
Maybe I got the 20% yesterday, but it made me realize AGAIN how terrific some people are and they truly make time count–by making people count–like unfortunately many others may never ever bother to. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)