I Am Sending The Wrong Message To Our Nation's ChildrenCommentary • patriotism • Opinion • ISSUE 34•19 • Dec 9, 1998 By Horace Pinkston Horace Pinkston To grow up right in this society, children need role models they can look up to. They need adults who, by the way they act, set good examples for how to live one's life with integrity, honesty and morality. Well, count me out, pal, because every day and in every way, I am sending the wrong message to America's young people! Take last week, for example. My wife caught me in bed with my secretary. It was bad enough that I was unfaithful to my wife, but when she confronted me about it, I lied to her face, swearing that it was the first time I'd ever strayed and that I'd never do it again. Was it the first time? Hell, no–it was probably the 450th. Would it be the last? Absolutely not. What kind of message does my behavior send to kids? That commitment and trust are meaningless? That it's okay to cheat, so long as you don't get caught? That lying is an acceptable way to get out of difficult situations? These aren't the kinds of messages kids should be receiving. But they're definitely the ones I am sending! Young people lack the experience to make their own informed judgments and are therefore vulnerable to the influence of others, particularly older people they look up to. That's why it's so bad that I smoke pot in the presence of minors. What's worse, while I'm smoking the pot, I loudly exclaim things like, "Boy, do I love to smoke pot!" and "There's no better feeling in the world than getting really high!" When I say these things in front of kids, it could influence them to get hooked on drugs! Why don't I ever stop to think about the consequences of my actions? Recently, a 16-year-old from the neighborhood asked me for advice about birth control. I told him that I do not use prophylactics because a real man would never use a condom. By saying that "only pussies are afraid of AIDS," I probably gave him the impression that caution is unnecessary in this day and age. In fact, the more teenagers hear me say, "The bitch can deal with it if she gets knocked up," the more they will believe it. This is absolutely not the sort of message we need to be sending the future leaders of our nation. There are a million other bad lessons I'm sending young people. Among the many messages I'm sending are that people should look out only for themselves, that dishonesty is rewarded, that it's okay to drink and drive, that money is the most important thing in the world, that women are to be treated as sex objects, that chewing tobacco is tasty and fun, and that the elderly are useless members of society who are to be mocked and treated with disrespect. How much of a chance does America have if impressionable kids have people like me to emulate? Not much! Fortunately, there are people out there living decent, upright lives and serving as positive role models. These selfless people are doing their part to undo the harm done by people like me, foregoing fun things like drugs and random sex in order to set good examples for our kids. Suckers.