Words from Dic(tionary)
I am thoroughly convinced that a conservative philosophy would work beautifully if those who pursued it were actually faithful.
Likewise, I have no doubt that a liberal agenda would be equally as positive if the people adhering to its tenets would not swerve from their conviction.
The problem is inconsistency–and nowhere does this show up in our society any more than in our dealings with our children–and especially with our teenagers. Let me give you an example.
Teenagers are supposed to have the wisdom to study for school, take care of their lockers, drive a car, decide what college they want to go to, study for the SAT, make good choices on not drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, and control their hormones.
Yet by the same token, we turn right around and say they are irresponsible, childish, silly, that their brains don’t fully develop until they’re twenty-five years of age, and that they are just as capable of lying as they are of breaking out in acne.
We have to make up our minds.
If our children are able to drive a car down the street, are they not also mature enough to make decisions about their own sexuality?
We don’t want our children to be drug dependent, while simultaneously living in a society that has a free flow of alcohol and is discussing legalizing marijuana–to further deaden their personalities.
They can’t drink until they’re twenty-one, yet in every movie or television show, we see high school students freely consuming alcohol products, as if they just stopped off at the local party store and picked up a bunch.
Somewhere along the line, we need to get a handle on what we really believe the young humans are capable of achieving and what we think they aren’t.
I firmly believe that the teenagers who came through my house were capable of doing anything at all–as long as they were adequately motivated and supervised. I believe they were nearly worthless if left to their own initiative.
I don’t know whether that is a positive or a negative–it’s just my finding. To me, young humans are very similar to guns. In the hands of the right individual, who is responsible and willing to point the implement in the correct direction, there can possibly be a powerful use. But guns left lying around will always fall into the wrong hands.
Such is the case with the teenager.
So it is time for our society to realize that when puberty is striking people at the age of twelve or thirteen, to ask these individuals to withhold their urges for ten years in order to complete a college education is not only ridiculous, but may be the definition of impossible.
So what am I saying about the age of consent? I know we have to have a legal number so as to run our society in a prudent way–but I do think it is the duty of all parents to sit down with their children and candidly walk through the entire process of human sexuality–and let them know the consequences of all actions.
So what is the age of consent?
I really do not think human beings are able to consent to their own choice in sexuality until they have been taught what is destructive and what is valuable. For some folks, that means they probably shouldn’t kiss until they’re thirty. But for other kids, it could be much younger.
Our culture is desperately in need of some consistency. I welcome the concept of freedom … as long as it is intentionally and ferociously linked to responsibility.