Supporting The Kids Supports Our Future

There have been many posts in the recent weeks since the latest mass school shooting. Rightly so, everyone is embroiled in the emotions that surround these events. They are filled with outrage on both sides of the issues – and there are more than one each time – yet it takes some distance to see the cards being played behind the scenes. The biggest question in it all is what are we – not they, the left, the right, big brother, big guns, or the entitled – going to do about stemming the horror from happening again? Recently, and shocking to me how anyone can think this way, there has been an outrage against students speaking up for themselves. I stand for and respect any student who chooses to peacefully protest – against guns, for school safety, for their education, or whatever is for their highest and best. We need to cease our egotistical rantings about our future selves exercising their own fundamental and inalienable rights; of which they are guaranteed at birth regardless of our choices. Finally, we are getting to the root of the problem – our future.

Let us briefly rewind for some background clarification on the Second Amendment. It reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Individual right theorists have blindly fought the semantics of the difference between “people” (a collective majority or group of persons) and “person” (an individual majority of one). US v. Miller (1939) held the collective rights theory for seventy years until the individualists controlled the Courts in 2008 with D.C. v. Heller and Caetano v. Massachusetts in 2016. What does this all show? Adults have emotionally argued for over two centuries over the semantics used by our Founders. The collective versus the individual can be left up to the persons or people sitting on the Supreme Court. To that, we have no control. Our divided politics sadly determine this. Remember this is not the issue, but it needed some clarification.

“If you can’t use the tool properly, don’t use it at all.” - M. Nathalie Jacques

A strong and abused woman raised me to understand my responsibility in life. Grandma J’s standards should still hold; no matter the tool wielded or wielding. I personally do not believe that anyone in the civilian sector needs an automatic weapon. Tools of war are relegated to those who fight the war – neither the inadequately trained, teachers, administrators nor weekend warriors needing to blast a defenseless creature from the earth for their sport instead of their sustenance. Still, once again our personal attachment to our things is not the issue. The problem is knowing how to properly use the tool. Guns, knives, cars, or anything else can wield someone’s anger and emotional blindness just as much as any other. The issue is the emotion or emotions that wield the tool.

The unheard masses of youth (students in this case) are now congregating to properly use the tools given them – their voices. They are not given the same rights as adults, so they are using the only means to which they have control – their voices. They hope their voices will be heard and heeded. They are calling on all youth around the country to speak in solidarity with them. I support them one hundred percent, and I will stand with each as they peacefully raise their voices to take control of their future.

My former high school students in a small, conservative town know that I will always support their highest and best; now and always. Sometimes, as they will attest, it meant telling them no, and to move on beyond their emotions. However, this time as adults, we need to listen to their emotions, move beyond our own blindness to our possessions, and think of THEIR highest and best – not our own. THEY are our future. We can either seem them as mindless, hopeless, and thoughtless zombies stuck behind their phones and computers; or see them for the intelligent, troubled, and conflicted possibilities of our future. THEY will be taking care of us in our old age, so WE need to take care of them. We ALL need to invest in the care of our children, and not the money.

Follow these simple rules and we all can get along and progress (just ask my kids):

  • Responsibility for your actions. Your actions are the foundation of your future. Construct carefully and with strength of character.

  • Expect to give your best. There is no try, only do.

  • Speak kindly to others. They will treat you just as kind.

  • Pride in your actions. You worked hard to get where you are. Humbly appreciate that path.

  • Encourage one another. Others can learn from your example, and only cooperation can strengthen our world.

  • Come prepared to learn. Every moment can teach us something. School is never over.

  • Treat others as you want to be treated. We teach others how we wish to be treated. If you help, so will others.

We all need to invest in the care of our minds, and in the true value of RESPECT. Do not support anything less than that which creates a tool of building. End of sentence, end of the debate, and end of the story.

Mr. J believes in you!