We worry much, these days, about our youngsters — possibly over-much. Often they seem to live in a world of their own, far more distant from ours than a difference in decades would justify. They hear talk of peace and they know of three - now four - wars within a span of a half century, the bomb hangs over their heads and the earth shifts before their eyes. They are exhorted to work and yet they see an existence on the dole presented not only a possibility, but as a respectable way of life. They have seen legal group protests get confused with illegal destructive riots; they read about depressions of the past and economic collapse in the future; they have grown so sophisticated that they are embarrassed by their parents' ignorance about the birds and the bees; they tend to welcome change whether it means progress or retrogression in education, industry, morale, clothes, or the dance. Of course, they live apart from us. At least, praise be to the Lord, they have not wholly lost their sense of humor.

A boy came home from school one evening recently, I'm told and handed to his father this printed notice devised by one of his fellow students:

In the event of atomic attack, the law prohibiting prayer in school will be temporarily suspended.

My confidence in young people has been justified many times in war and peace. That does not mean that it can forget about the unfortunate circumstances in which many young people still grow up, trusting that good will flowers out of evil. Such a course would be cruelly irresponsible.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1967

Note: In the 5th sentence, I inserted the phase "economic collapse" in place of "runaway inflation." There are no other changes.



February 2017



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