FPQ- March 31, 2021

FPQ

Is there really such a thing as a necessary evil, or is it just a way for us to rationalize or justify doing something bad?

This is a provocative question extraordinaire.
I believe it can be alternately phrased do the “ends justify the means”?
I’ve struggled with this for years. I just can’t answer it simply.
My knee jerk answer is “Yes, it’s an excuse.” for many people but, more importantly, most governments use that excuse for horrid behavior.
But secondly, framing the question in a more benign form, “Do we need to do unpleasant things for the ‘greater good’?”, my answer is also ‘yes’.
If you think parents might be happier to just ‘give in’ to their kids and never restrict their movement or activities, you’re right. In fact, lazy and indifferent parents often do.
But, those who deem it their duty to train their kids to be responsible adults choose the hard road. Parenting isn’t a popularity contest, it’s a gauntlet.
Making your kids realize that they, and they alone, are responsible for their own actions ( and reactions) is a trial. At some point, all kids will be confronted with troubles (That’s life) but smoothing out their young lives isn’t a wise choice. Protecting them from troubles or ugliness, isn’t a good rule either, unless to protect their innocence at tender ages.
What you get if you overprotect kids are kids unprepared for life. Like the ones hiding in ‘safe spaces’ at universities these days.
No one has a pass… no one deserves not to be challenged… no one gets stronger without meeting resistance and parents have the difficult responsibility to watch their beloved children fail.
A distraught 6 year old who forgets her library book, because her parent didn’t remind her on library day, is hard to watch. Parents’ hearts hurt watching that. But better a few of those failures than having a young adult who believes rules and deadlines are arbitrary or someone else’s fault when they’re not met. That arrogance won’t serve them or society well.
So, I’ll say “unpleasantness, disappointment, and being offended” are necessary ‘evils’ that parents need to offer their kids in the form of backing off with parental protection. How they learn to deal with those things will make ALL the difference in their later success and, most importantly, their happiness and self-confidence.


Fandango’s Provocative Question #115 – This, That, and The Other (fivedotoh.com)

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