What It Really Takes Is Adults
and Other Lessons the Death of a
Seven-Year-Old Can Teach Us
The death of seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff - who was placed in
harm's way by so-called adults - teaches important lessons. For
thirty years now, we have been charging down the wrong path. It
began in the 1960s with the notion that students, rather than
teachers, should decide what they ought to learn in school. While
it is perfectly reasonable for adolescents to rebel, to demand,
and to be thoroughly unreasonable, adults are supposed to set
As for proverbs, we might invoke an old Latin one:
"Winners grow under pressure." The adults of the 1960s
failed to apply pressure; the adolescents of the 1960s have missed
growing up. Much of what plagues society today derives from this
Young people of every new generation believe that
they are immortal, that alone they can guide the world onto the
right track, that there is no limit to their ability to create
and accomplish. And so they must. Grown-ups then bid them to sit
down and listen to the facts of life. Adolescents rarely listen,
so they are administered some unmistakable messages, first by
their parents, then by their teachers, finally by the real world.
Eventually they, too, become grown-ups. What they lose in enthusiasm
and daring, they gain in experience and wisdom. When the time
comes, they are ready to grab the reins and, among other things,
to bring up the next generation.
In their rebellion, the adolescents of the 1960s
went considerably farther than previous generations had done.
Still, the primary responsibility is with those who failed to
respond with strength. The result is that many who today are close
to 50 in physical age still live in the dream-world of youth,
which might explain their preoccupation with sex-related "rights"
and restrictions. No one should underestimate the importance of
sex in everything we do. Still, the exhibitionist treatment of
the subject, the obsession with removing all previous taboos on
the one hand, while constantly inventing (and imposing) new taboos
on the other, shows signs of chronic immaturity.
In other areas, too, the general tendency points to the very indecisiveness
and inconsistency which is characteristic of adolescence. On the
one hand, the 1960s generation seeks to reestablish the supremacy
of Nature, disowning much that civilization had established and
accomplished. On the other, they reject Nature every time Nature
fails to support their agenda. Examples abound, but here are the
relevant ones. So as to ensure survival of the species, Nature
produces humans who differ in their gender. The differences express
themselves not only in the genital areas, but in average height,
weight, and muscular capacity. No matter how often Hollywood will
portray women kicking men in the crotch, women remain the weaker
sex. Next, Nature produces humans within both sexes who are born
with wildly different physical and mental properties, including
the capacity to learn. No matter how much din a group generates,
the accomplishments will have to come from individuals. Lastly,
Nature imposes a timetable on growth - physical and mental. No
matter how strenuously NOW insists that girls be called "women,"
they are still children. The Agenda does not accept any of these
dispositions by Nature. The Agenda requires that society close
its eyes to the differences between men and women, individuals
of both genders, children and adults.
The other reason for this tragedy is rooted in
Affirmative Action mentality. Out of a highly commendable desire
to break down the obstacles in the path of every American grew
a campaign to defy Nature and Reason. "If a forty-year-old
male can be a pilot," the argument goes here, "so can
a seven-year-old female. Stop discrimination! She is entitled
to her airplane!" This most futile and unnecessary death
of her daughter - which might have killed a dozen unsuspecting
bystanders as well - did not cause the mother to break her stride
and examine her responsibility in the event. Instead, she holds
forth about her child's toyless "lifestyle," and that
she "died happy, doing something she enjoyed." Others
should feel encouraged, she suggests. Are these not the thoughts
of one who has failed to grow up?
Not long ago my eyes were drawn to a watch, showing
the picture of a little girl holding the globe. I looked inquiringly
at the woman wearing it. "She is holding an earth,"
the woman explained. "We are training them to realize that
it is in their power to take care of it." No, ma'am.
And when you look into that face unmarked by grooves,
hear the voice which has yet to finish changing, consider the
obsession with fast food and sex on the fly, note the abrupt changes
of mind, and evaluate the knee-jerk "I didn't do it!"
response, you begin to see why veteran columnist Mary McGrory
labeled him "America's Oldest Teenager." It is with
the utmost regret that one sees the President of the United States
as an adolescent; it is with the greatest trepidation that one
contemplates his hand on the controls, should the ship of this
nation encounter a killer storm.