Uncle Sam's Other National Treasure
by Ornesha De Paoli
Lollypops and sunshine are the thoughts that should be passing through children's minds during their growth. Maybe even what they want to be when they grow up might find its way into the corners of the conversation now and then. But it would seem that instead of kids saying, "Mom, I want sprinkles on my ice cream for dinner tonight", they're saying, "Mom, I saw on the Internet at school today where this lady named Monica something was having sex with President Clinton...and why is everyone talking about some dress she was wearing?"
Does this question mean there's too much information kids are privy to? I don't think so. Their young minds are made to absorb as much information as we, as adults, will share with them, and give them access to. Does this mean that we should censor the information going to our children? Of course, to a point. But we can't keep them in a bubble so that they never hear or see anything we don't want them to. All you have to do is wait for them to get home from school each day to hear all the new and interesting words they've learned from their friends. Then, explain to them what the words REALLY mean.
So why is it that parents are having to explain to children about the leader of our country having "very private moments" with an intern? I'm quite sure it has happened before with other Presidents. I'm also quite sure it has happened with other married men and women. However, being placed directly on each and every person's "plate" at this time so that we all too thoroughly understand it, requires a little more attention on our part. This way we can help the younger, up and coming generation learn to digest it in its proper perspective. We live in a high tech world with communication super highways. When a person does something on the other side of the globe this morning, we know about it here before lunch. It would seem that the more information we have access to, the more information we need. Sounds a bit like an addiction, doesn't it? Alas, it remains the way it is for the time being. So, for the kid's sake, it needs to be dealt with. Our children must understand that it IS possible to have a really terrific relationship and be married at the same time. They must understand that the people who are elected to represent our voice are still just people, and from time to time make choices that are looked upon by many as mistakes. They must understand that grown ups (who by this time in life would benefit by being aware of this) sometimes make choices that aren't in their highest interests, and hence, are served the consequences, which are occasionally painful.
The entertainment industry has fed the public with the greatness of the office of the President, and built into the minds of those watching, the strength and moral stature of the one who holds this office. Naturally, it becomes confusing when the messages now being sent to them conflict extensively with the ones being sent through the movie theaters and television shows. And, so, with tempers flaring from adults, and opinions galore, a child gains a handful of apprehension regarding not only the fiber of this nation, but also about what he/she has been told is right or wrong. For example, "If it's all right for President Clinton to not tell the truth, then it should be OK for me to do that too."
So, what is it that children are to learn from this? What is the message being sent to them? There are several things that can be learned from this, but the concentration must go to the positive points:
As we watch our nation becoming further divided, it is our duty, as parents, to instill the thought in our children that the United States is still a great nation with resources and opportunites that are boundless and endless. That no matter what the outcome of these perils of government may be, the children are still the national treasure.
About the author
Ornesha De Paoli is the author of several articles; owned Performing Artists "Casting Company" from 1991-1994; Producer/Director of "I Want to See", a weekly cable television show in 1995; Writer/Producer of "My Son," a feature film in 1996; writer of "Hearing Heaven," a screenplay, and author of "Walking Through the Milennium."
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