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Friday, August 01, 2008

In One Sentence: Why We are in a Pickle

There is one sentence in the letter to Rebbitzen Jungreis from the Jewish Press that perfectly sums up the issues of entitlement and financial erosion that make up much of the subject matter of this blog:

"we do not want our children to feel deprived or different from their friends."*

In a nutshell, the decision making process is limited in scope to the present time. Imagine if Yosef HaTzaddik limited his thinking only to the present? Solving issues of financial erosion in this era of entitlement requires leadership that only can come from adults, not adolescents.

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*Full paragraph:
It is a sacrifice for my husband and me to send our children to camp. Nevertheless, as difficult as it may be to write that check for camp fees, we do not want our children to feel deprived or different from their friends, and we do not think this is a matter of spoiling or indulging them. Nowadays, camp is not a luxury (although there may be some who consider it as such); if we didn't send our children to camp, they would be totally lost. None of their friends are in the city, so camp has become a necessity.

3 comments:

BrooklynWolf said...

As I said in my post on the subject.... if they're mature enough to go to sleep away camp, they're mature enough to understand financial considerations when it comes to family activities. They may not be happy about it, but they can understand it.

The Wolf

Elitzur said...

I put my comment at the Jewish Press cite (#3)

Ariella said...

Though I did send my 10 year-old to camp Sternberg for half a summer this year as she insisted she really wanted to go, I still do not think it was a necessity. Put it this way, her camp fees are not much higher than what some people pay for day camp in my area even for 4 year-olds. And I am sending 2 others to really low budget programs (and not for the whole summer) while my oldest daughter is actually working at camp and earning money. The real "necessity" of camp is for parents to put someone else in charge of their child all year-round. So many parents get positively desperate those couple of between school and camp because they really dread being responsible for the child's whole day on their own.

As to the attitude that a child shouldn't feel s/he has any less than the next one -- that's exactly the same view I heard from my students in community college who often had their children in high school and only worked on a GED. That's why they use their financial aid to buy fashionable clothes and have their styled. And they said positively they would buy their child $100 sneakers if asked (may I remind you that many are on welfare?) so that they wouldn't feel deprived or be subject to teasing by their better dressed peers. Ah, so self-worth comes only from without.