Culture Challenge of the Week: The Siren Song of Malevolence

Rebecca Hagelin

1/4/2011 4:20:39 PM - Rebecca Hagelin

America’s children have been taken captive by a brilliantly deceptive culture that offers them a world of pleasure, limitless fun, and the possibility of a utopian harmony with all mankind. The tune is the melody of self-absorption and instant gratification, insidiously crafted to manipulate their vulnerable minds into a numb acceptance of whatever the deceivers tell them. Not unlike those whose imaginations were captivated by the siren songs in Greek mythology, our children are being steadily and brilliantly lured into a dark and dangerous world that seeks to destroy all that is right and just – and their very souls.

Our children desperately want to be rescued. At some level, their little hearts recognize that the messages of Hollywood decadence and government-as-God don’t ring true. They long for their moms and dads to help them sort through the glitz and gleeful tunes to find truth they can count on. Tragically, most parents are so busy listening to their own generational deceivers that they can’t even hear their children’s cries for help.

How To Save Your Family: Teach Your Children To Reason.

Michael Sabbeth’s challenging book, The Good, The Bad and The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values equips parents to help rescue their children. (Available at www.KidsEthicsBook.com.) Based on over twenty years of teaching ethics and moral reasoning to elementary school children, Sabbeth reveals that children are hungry to learn how to reason through the noise, recognize the deceptive messages and discover timeless principles.

Michael teaches by presenting life and its events in a metaphoric context, that is, to illustrate the character or ethos of an event or of a decision and demonstrating that the event or action has qualities that go beyond itself.

For example, the decision to stop and help a driver on the side of the road that seems to have a flat tire is the product of dozens of pieces of information, competing values and complex risks, Michael points out. Some reasons are better than others. Some risks are more unreasonable than others.

Doing ‘good’ is not easy, Michael writes, “and if we teach children that it is easy, we weaken children, subvert their intellect and moral development and raise apprehensive children that have no faith in or motivation to pursue virtue when challenges are difficult.”

By encouraging children to think within a framework of moral principles, such as Sanctity of Life and Justice, and virtues such as Competence, Conscience, Courage and Character, we can inspire children toward enhanced morality. “The stronger they become as moral thinkers, the greater the probability they will act with a will consistent with a moral character,” Michael asserts.

The book is about engaging in dialogues, a word derived from the Greek language and which means approximately to “speak across, to share words.” It starts with a parent simply asking his child, ‘What do you think?’” The implied but powerful message is: Your thoughts matter to me. You matter to me.

Themes of the book include:

1. That good and bad can be measured, contrasted and evaluated.

2. That when good is identified and measured, people are more motivated to do good.

3. That parents are, as a general rule, the best and most credible disseminators of morality and ethics.

4. That children want and expect moral leadership from their parents. Children must not only know that parents are in charge. Children should know that parents deserve to be in charge.

5. That spending time with your children talking about ethics and other serious matters can be a soul-churning joy.

If one theme dominates all others, it is that parents are competing against the world for their children’s time, respect and as a legitimate dispenser of moral authority. To be effective, parents must be credible competitors, and that requires a parenting foundation based on reason, ethics, compassion and moral strength. Become your child’s rescuer – visit www.KidsEthicsBook.com today.