Are You Raising a Cheater or a Fighter?

Are you inspiring your children to fight for the solution for any of the many things that afflict this nation and planet or are you demonstrating for them what it looks like to cheat life?

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By Nathaniel A. Turner, J.D.

I have a question for you to ponder. Are you raising a cheater or a fighter? I’m not asking if your child cheats on tests or video games, I’m wondering if you have any idea whether or not your behavior has inspired your children to cheat on life.

I’ve been observing our children for quite a while, and I’m convinced that too many of us are raising cheaters and not fighters. Daily I meet children and their parents who can best be described as corpses cheating life, members of the walking dead. Just like the undead, it’s as if these children and parents lack the empathy required to understand their obligation to make the world a better place.

In the tradition of Zombies, these parents and children go from day to day as if they are mindless, soulless creatures. Twenty-four, seven, three-sixty-five the Zombies exist without significant purpose. They give little or no thought to their responsibility to improve the human condition.

Just Being Selfish

A great many parents and children exemplify just how selfish humans can be. We are selfish people who now find ourselves teetering on extinction. Wealth and income inequality, expanding homelessness, racial strife, gender discrimination, plant and wildlife extermination are just a few of the planet's most pressing issues. Yet, rather than take a personal interest in solving today’s problems, rather than fight for a hopeful tomorrow, like Zombies we sit and wait for someone else to roll-up their sleeves to repair our planet.

Our selfish ways cause us to cheat on our responsibility. Our selflessness deprives the world of our unlimited collective potential to expeditiously right our wrongs. The problems we face were not caused by one person, and since the resolutions benefit us all, we all should be working on solutions.

Wake Up Mom and Dad

Maybe cancer and other cruel diseases would be cured if more parents didn’t cheat life and took the time to look beyond a report card to be absolutely sure their children were experts in science. Perhaps we could stop or reverse the disastrous effects of climate change if more parents required their children to be great at math and utilized free educational tools like the Khan Academy. Perchance the choices for national and world leaders would be enhanced if parents stimulated instead of extinguished theirs and their children’s thinking with intelligent conversation rather than obsessing over social media nonsense. It might even be possible if parents fought for their children’s mastery of reading and writing to eliminate the term “fake news” and all the social destructiveness that ensues.

Wake up, mom and dad! It’s time that you stopped cheating life. It’s also time you awakened and discontinued raising cheaters. Because that kid who lives with you, plays video games habitually, hates to clean their room, and seemingly has an extra appendage called a phone might be the next Albert Einstein, Ada Lovelace, W.E.B. DuBois, or Susan B. Anthony. But you probably don’t recognize your child’s enormous potential because you are too busy cheating your life, them, and the world.

The Present is the Future

Whatever we do or don’t do today determines who we are tomorrow. When shirking from our academic and social potential becomes the norm, we create a world where empathy, facts, and truth are despised. When we raise children without the willingness to fight for greatness or the desire to stretch their potential, we produce a nation of adults who cheat life.

Folks, life should not be akin to sitting in a theatre waiting for the premiere of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. For goodness sake, please stop waiting on the remaining Avengers — Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and Bruce Banner to appear. No heroes are coming to save us. Our planet can only be rescued when every real-life human being makes the commitment and puts in work to make super their human ability.

Q & A

So let me ask are your children maximizing their potential? Have you encouraged your children to not merely aim for the moon but to imagine visiting new galaxies? What are you doing in your daily life that makes the world better? Name the ways your daily activity serves the greater good? Do you model what it looks like to fight for societal progress or exhibit what it looks like when someone sits on their butt and spectates? Are you inspiring your children to fight for the solution for any of the many things that afflict this nation and planet or are you demonstrating for them what it looks like to cheat life?

Now I’ll ask you one last time are you raising a cheater or a fighter?

This story was originally published on The RS Project and republished on The Good Men Project.

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