Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD

Imagine that you have raised your child be self-reliant, self-directing, honest, law abiding, considerate of the rights and feelings of others, and committed to cooperating with others toward shared goals for win-win outcomes. Imagine that you have taught your child to act with honesty and forthrightness in his occupational and financial dealings and personal relationships. Imagine that you have taught him the usual standards of decency in respect to sexual, aggressive and acquisitive impulses and that modesty and restraint are better standards than showing off.

Imagine that you have taught your child that when he accidentally harms or injures someone, especially through some negligent act, he is morally obligated to apologize to his victim and attempt to compensate him for the injury as best he can.

Imagine that you have taught your child that he must accept the risks and consequences of his actions, whether good or bad, take personal responsibility for his mistakes, hold himself accountable for his failures, and try to remedy his shortcomings. Imagine that you have taught him to judge the faults and failings of others as objectively as possible, but not falsely blame or scapegoat others for wrongs they have not committed.

Imagine further that you have taught your child that it is morally wrong to use force against others, exploit others, manipulate others, or deceive others for personal gain at their expense. Imagine that you have taught him that in a free society he and every other human being has a property right in his own body that protects him from being enslaved or indentured by anyone, including a government, for any cause whatever. Imagine that you have taught him that he has a right to own something that he has earned or acquired by mutual consent or by gift or by luck. And imagine that you have taught him that he has a right to defend himself and the things he owns.

Imagine that you have taught your child that altruism is a virtue and that charitable contributions and volunteer efforts on behalf of persons who are disadvantaged is one way of being a good person, and a legitimate basis, among others, for self-esteem.


Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD

Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD is the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago and served for two years as a psychiatrist in the United States Army. He is currently in private practice in the Chicago area.
 
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