Thursday, October 30, 2008

A big fat super WHY?

"Super Why" ... Dan seems to like this show and I let him watch it because it involves letters that he often points out and repeats. It also allows me to get breakfast ready for us, then read the paper. Most of the time, it's pretty innocuous, but once in a while, a story line runs so counter to what my husband and I believe that the hairs on my neck stand up.

This morning, Red Riding Hood's "super big problem" was this: She didn't want to share her apples with her friend. The friend walked up and asked her to share some of her apples. When RRH refused, the friend said, "But you have so many and I don't have any."

My first thought was "Well, then climb a tree and pick some yourself, you little mooch." My second: "What a demanding little brat." And third: "Why does this little girl think she should get something for nothing?" First of all, when someone asks a question, they should be prepared to hear an answer they don't want to hear, like "No, I don't want to share these apples with you." Maybe RRH had plans for those apples, maybe she was going to make apple butter and sell it for a little extra dough, maybe she was going to feed her hogs or her family. Whatever the reason, the questioner should accept the answer and move on. Arguing with the person makes no sense. Why ask the question if you were going to accept only one answer? Secondly, sharing should be initiated by the sharer, not the receiver. Period. And third, why didn't the girl offer something in return for those apples?

This "Super Why" scenario, incidentally, is very similar to our government's philosophy. They're polite. They ask us to "voluntarily" pay our taxes (yes, they actually do use the word "voluntary" in reference to income tax collection). But noncompliance brings the full force of the federal government to bear. And why do they not accept no for an answer? Because they want to give your money to others they think are more deserving, needier or have a better use for your money. (Before you write me off as a heartless witch, let me just say, I have no objection to charity. My husband and I give to the charities of our choice, charities we think are well run and do good work. The Salvation Army, the Durham Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity are a few of our favorites.)

This, of course, brings me around to the present. There's been some talk about "sharing" on the campaign trail lately. A certain candidate doesn't seem to understand the word's definition. So let's go over this again ...
Share means to divide something equally or give out a portion. What does "give" mean? It means to make a gift. What's a "gift"? It's something given to another in a show of friendship or affection.
Sure, you may have shared your toys in elementary school. But if someone forced you, it wasn't born of friendship or affection, but out of a fear of authority. I'd rather my son learn to share out friendship and affection than fear of authority. I also want him to understand that when others share with him, he should accept with gratitude and return the favor in some small way.

1 comment:

The WilsonFam said...

Nicely put!!