What are we teaching our children? I grew up in a time when pride was caring for yourself and your family. People worked very hard for that pride and feeling of accomplishment. They worked very hard for the freedom and independence that came from caring for yourself. There are still many people, thank goodness, that have that pride. But are there people that are trying to undermine that pride with our children?
I just heard a commercial for Angel Fund which had a fourth grader saying how proud it made her to receive free school supplies and that she hoped to grow up and give to someone else. She's not being taught that there is even the possibility that people could just provide for themselves. She's not being taught the self sacrifice of her parents doing without just to get her a few things for school. She's not being taught that responsibility belongs with the family.
We wonder why our schools are failing and our drop out rates are through the roof. Maybe these new values where no one is responsible for themselves is causing this. You don't work hard and have personal responsibility when you're taught to just take from someone else. Maybe that's why every communist economy has failed and only capitalism brings prosperity.
Charity certainly has its place and helping others is a great gift to the giver in the right circumstances, however this is not a third world country and things like a pack of paper and a few pencils are affordable to parents in Helena, just as a bowl of cereal and a peanut butter sandwich can be bought with food stamps if need be.
Sacrifice and teaching your children that all important pride in personal responsibility I believe is key to building the character in children that will cause them to set goals and work hard to achieve success.