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Men To Fathers

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“It sounds like men are just plain lazy and are hopeful that women will carry them along!   Women have discovered their worth, have better people skills, etc. so are taking advantage of it.   Look at Sarah Palin – from small town mayor to governor to perhaps the new leader of the modern feminist movement.  Do you see a similar guy on the horizon?   I don’t.    Most women work harder than men and put forth more effort to get ahead.  (They have to be better or won’t get promoted.)   Let’s face it…you need to tell the guys to get off their duff, get to work, earn an education, act like men!   Lazy won’t get it and women today won’t put up with it…who wants to be married to a lazy guy?”

What can I say?  What dare I say to the response C. B. Overton sent me in reply to last week’s article?  I’ve know CB for 30 years.  We worked together on a project for the United States Army that is still being used as a model that projected many of the things that are happening in our country today.  When we wrote that the Army’s key to a successful recruit was someone who finished high school, it’s mindboggling that more money is spent by researchers to tell us the same thing. Graduating from high school shows a certain tenacity and stick-to-itiveness. Graduating from high school was an indicator recruiters used as they grew the all-Volunteer force.  Graduating from high school was a ticket to other things.  But graduating from high school is not an end in itself.  Education is the rubric by which our young people are being and will be judged.

CB was my boss; a grandmother who as a research sociologist was a trailblazer in the Army.  She competed with men at a time when men were still the majority in the workforce, and things were not easy. There was a glass ceiling that few women were granted entrance.  Most could just see it.  Bea rose above it.  She learned what worked.  Knew like many before and after her, if she didn’t fit a mold, she’d have to adapt.  She did. Even signing her name, C. B., was a way to eschew her way into the hallowed halls of the Pentagon, and many places that were sacrosanct to men.  In the process this driven woman achieved a level of success at home and in the workforce.  In the process, she and her husband, who was a principal at a public school, raised two boys to leave home.  Both young men got degrees, and as Bea often laughed, they may not have liked what she served them but NOW they appreciate it.  Babying boys is the worse things mothers can do, short of not loving their fathers, and Bea didn’t baby either of their sons.

Our younger son asked me if there was anything I regretted in life.  What an opportunity for a life lesson!  What an opportunity to unload on an adolescent that given a different choice, a different opportunity he may not be there.  Sometimes when we listen God gives us answers so profound we wonder who’s speaking.  What did I tell my son? “There is nothing in our lives that we do that we don’t regret, but there is nothing we can do about it, so why worry about it?”

I’ve made plenty of mistakes.  Each day I think God looks down and sees what Archie will do to have him ROTFL.  For you old folks, that’s ‘rolling on the floor laughing.’  You see I know God has a sense of humor, and everyday he gets at least one laugh from me as I make mistakes I’ve never made before.  I travel a road I’ve not taken.  I have a different take on something I’ve never realized before, because God keeps me grounded.

Right now, he’s grounding men.  He’s been doing it for sometime but many men are just getting the gist.  With more women in the workforce than men, nowadays, men have to step up their game or they will be one of those standing on the corner ‘begging.’  I’m not denigrating those who have been humbled to the point of being homeless, but rather I’m extolling men to look out. You got to do something with all the lemons you’ve been picking, particularly if you haven’t learned how to make lemonade.

I go back to Dr. Overton’s comment [an honorary degree I’ve awarded her, as she’s continued to be a bastion of knowledge for me] and as I go back, I realize she’s right.  I don’t see a man like Sarah Palin who has the chutzpah, gravitas or testicular fortitude to get men to rally behind him and say in the inimitable word as the new anchor in ‘Network,’ “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to stand for it anymore.”

And we should be, men.  Spending more money for prisons than we spend on education, that’s something to be mad about.  We have states that are going bankrupt and are releasing small time felons because of overcrowding.  Recently, on the nightly news, it was reported by the California’s Department of Finance, California spends $47,000 annually per inmate.  They also reported that the state also spends 2.8 billion ‘more’ dollars on prisons than higher education.  That’s right. California spends only $6.5 billion dollars on higher education, but $9.3 billion dollars on prisons.  Has anyone thought, maybe that why some men may choose prison over an education?  I’m sure that’s not the reason, but tell me what will those prisoners who will be released early do if they can’t find a job, in a job market where there are more senior citizens working than teenagers, something that’s not happened in my lifetime.  These ex-cons can’t be hoping to find a wife to take care of their felonious ‘lazy’ butt.

Men, we have to get tough.  We have to realize as Dr. Overton admonishes, get off your duff, ‘get to work, earn an education, act like men!   Lazy won’t get it…women today won’t…be married to a lazy guy. Then tell me, who will our young boys have to look to as they attempt to become men who want to be fathers?  Think about it!

“‘if they feel God has deserted them,’ do they think it’s because God left them, or they left God?”

Father Max [p. 38]

from “Murder Behind Closed Doors” by Jere Myles

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