How many people remember the days when children played tag, jumped rope, roller-skated, drank from a garden hose and, didn’t have a cell phone?  Remember when they had self-respect, respect for elders, manners and fear — that’s right, fear- of their parents, their schoolteachers and their ministers?   Remember when children understood that they were children and didn’t expect to be treated as equals to their parents?  Remember when children had paper routes and sold lemonade instead of marijuana and cocaine?  Remember when it was only the “bad guys” who sold illegal drugs and, all you had to do was be inside before the street lights came on in order to avoid them?

Remember when children who were thieves were made to give the stolen items back to the owner along with an apology and, if the items were stolen from a store, made to provide free services in the form of mopping, sweeping, etc., to make up the debt?  Remember when children, after having been bad, expected and received discipline without court intervention?  Note that I said discipline and not abuse.  Remember when they weren’t synonymous?  Remember when children received spankings at school and/or were made to write, I will not —,” until their hands got tired?  A few of us do.  We remember a time before this one, when abuse was clearly understood to be foul and discipline was clearly understood to be love.   Now, no one knows, or cares to know, the difference.  Now, a light tap on the arm is enough to warrant criminal charges, even when more severe actions against the child would have been justified.

And what of the abuse that parents are now supposed take from smart-mouthed, well-dressed on their parents’ dime, video-game addicted, non-curfewed unless imposed by the state, parent supplied cell-phone sporting but still refusing to check in because they have more rights than adults, little hellions?  When did that happen?  When did children receive more rights while living in their parents’ homes than their parents have as mortgage/utility paying, grocery buying, adults?   Does anyone remember when parents were allowed to discipline their own children as well as other people’s children? At the same time, does anyone remember when we weren’t afraid to walk the streets at night? Do we remember how they both mysteriously changed at the same time?

Remember when children never even considered dialing 911 on their parents unless it was an honest-to-God emergency?  Remember when a simple spanking didn’t count as such?  Remember when people understood that calling the police every time you get a spanking minimizes the plight of those individuals who are truly abused in this country on a daily basis?!  Every day, it gets harder to remember those times.  Nowadays, society/police want to discipline your children with a billy club after mandating laws that allowed your children to become monsters in the first place.  Can you really cripple a dog and then marvel at the way he walks?  Can we be surprised that children are so out of control when the ability to rear was taken away from parents and given to agencies that were already overworked?

So, when world-renowned Pastor Creflo Dollar laid hands upon his wanna-be-party-going-fifteen-year- old-daughter who didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer, my memories came back to me, and I applauded him for his courage and willingness to go against a society that is determined to self-destruct!  I applaud Pastor Dollar for not only providing excellent instruction to his congregation, taking back the reigns of his household and, for leading by example.  I applaud him for remembering the lessons that we were taught generations ago and have since been forgotten.  I applaud him for remembering that he, not his children, is the true parent and that it is his role to govern their lives and not the other way around.  Maybe, just maybe, I will have a chance to applaud others, not brave but responsible individuals who bring discipline back!

Can anybody hear me?