Friday, April 2, 2010

Common Sense Brought to You By...

It's incredible how many ads you see nowadays on the basics of nutrition, the value of exercise, the importance of reading labels and how to wash your hands. It seems like a lot of money is being invested in these ads in the domain of basic common sense. There are constantly stories in the news about the public having to be educated in other basic aspects: respecting the rules of the road, showing common courtesy to people when you're out in public, showering, wearing deodorant, eating with your mouth closed, etc. There doesn't seem to be one basic rule of life that allows us to live in a civilized world which does not need to be advertised to people.

What ever happened to the days when it was mom and dad who taught you all the basics about life? When did you need the government to tell you how to wash your hands properly or not to talk on the cell phone while driving, since driving with distractions is a bad thing? I know that it's wort reiterating these things to ignorant people, but I always thought those people were the exception. But now, with the growing amount of reminders in advertising, you have to wonder now if these people are the rule.

I'm probably showing my age now, but I grew up in a house of common sense and discipline. I had hard working parents who had a very strong sense of family. They made the whole family sit down for dinner and talk about their day. They made us eat vegetables, even if it turned into a long bargaining session that would make most union leaders proud. Sweets and soda were always restricted to special occasions and we were made to do chores. Our time with the TV was limited to an hour or two a night and since there was only one, we had to choose the show by consensus, so in the end, there was a lot of Disney and Cosby Show.

I'm very grateful to my parents for this upbringing because I feel that this helped me turn into the adult that I am now. I'm also very grateful because I see the way that most kids are being raised today and it looks nothing like my childhood.

I don't understand why parents now want to friend their children. I don't understand why they're running the white flag when the kids don't want to eat veggies because they don't like them or why every room has a TV because the kids can't agree on what they each want to watch. This doesn't apply to every parent, but there are quite a few who seem to believe that it's better to have a peaceful home where everyone gets what they want rather than a home where parents are respected because they hold most of the common sense in the home.

Is the sudden surge in common sense advertising an acknowledgment of the fact that mom and dad no longer have this common sense? That's a sad situation. I hope that one day there is a power shift that occurs and that parents take the initiative of growing up themselves. Not just for the sake of the parents, but more importantly, for the kids.

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