stumbled across an article that gave words to my very thoughts as I have stared
in revulsion at most of these protestors currently occupying different streets
throughout our country.
Obviously, it's advice that is sadly belated but serves as a future warning
to parents raising little entitlement minded kids all over this nation.
you, Marybeth Hicks, for saying what we've all been thinking.
are 5 things that OWS mothers should have taught their children, but didn't.
Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters
without thinking, "Who parented these people?"
As a culture columnist, I've commented on the social and political ramifications
of the "movement" - now known as "OWS" - whose fairyland agenda can be summarized
by one of their placards: "Everything for everybody."
Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it's clear there are people with serious
designs on "transformational" change in America who are using the protesters like
bedsprings in a brothel.
Yet it's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but
rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are
some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along.
Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their
children but obviously didn't, so I will:
1 Life isn't fair. The concept of
justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile
moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality
are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."
No matter how you try to "level the playing field," some people have better luck,
skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have
all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they're
dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find
jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid
2 Nothing is "free." Protesting with
signs that seek "free" college degrees and "free" health care make you look like
idiots, because colleges and hospitals don't operate on rainbows and sunshine.
There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers
and "slow paths" to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you
neither a degree nor an annual physical.
While I'm pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are
not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs
to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears
on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars
are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.
3 Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate
student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry
in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces
you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don't require
loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support
yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college
student is not a state of victimization. It's a privilege that billions of young
people around the globe would die for - literally.
4 A protest is not a party. On Saturday
in New York, while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid
you, I saw what isn't evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations:
Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober
pursuit of social and political change don't dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like
attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are
clearly high and you don't seem to realize that all around you are people who
deem you irrelevant.
There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged
ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for
the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only
4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4
percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's
Hicks is the author of Don't
Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid:
Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom.
her on the Web at