Micro liberalism and conservatism
On introspection, I have found the need to practice what some might see as a “Conservative” approach to dealing with my son. You see, my son is likely one of the laziest and selfish youths in all my extended family. He will be 19 in February and has been out of school approaching two years now. In dealing with his attitude and behavior, I find myself exemplifying a “micro conservatism” in dealing with him.
Having not been a part of his life, most of his life, upon marrying my wife I inherited a son who had not been conditioned into understanding that to get something means.... that something must be given up on the part of the receiver, in turn. He was also not properly conditioned to the concept that he could do what he wants, as long as he is willing to accept and bare the burden of the consequence of his actions, set forth by those who make the rules, justly. His mom, a single mom at 18, was simply not consistent in dishing out rewards and punishments to develop him along that path. His biological father was simply a terrible example and role model, but he was/is active in his life.
Now, I have a son, whom I love, who has been out of school going on two years who wakes up around 11:00 am, forages for food in the kitchen, watches TV, listens to blaring rap music, then spends the rest of the day at his girl friend folks home or at the gym. He has a job in sales at a local shoe store, but my wife and I recently learned that he only works about 13 hours in a two week period. We always wondered why he was so broke all the time, not being able to put anything on the car insurance we pay for him each month, or to pay his cell phone bill, which was recently cut off. The bottom line here is that he simply does not want more hours and had the job only because my wife had threatened to kick him out unless he enrolled into college or found a job.
So, my wife and I, plus our new little daughter, decided that we would take a vacation somewhere warm this winter, So we made our plans with my wife siblings and their family. Our son was not in the travel plans,though, to his dismay. He is begging and pleading with his mom so that he can go, but of course, he has no money to contribute to his expenses. Had he demonstrated the willingness to work hard, the ability to show gratefulness and appreciation and the ability to be humble, I would be willing to pay his way…without payback and without a second thought, if he lacked the funds. However, the one thing that I refuse to do is to subsidize his laziness and bad attitude.
There it is folks.....the exemplification and practice of a conservative philosophy, but at the micro level. In truth, one of the things that irk me the most is lazy people. They are second only to lazy people who want something from me, without giving something in return. Thus, one might properly then ask why I am not a conservative, because this is part of the conservative philosophy. Well, the reason is quite simple, which is that I only invoke this response when I can personally bare witness to the truth that an individual is lazy. I cannot make that assumption on the macro level, about millions of people whose lives and personal situation I cannot bare witness to say that a conservative approach is what is needed. For that matter, I cannot bare witness to when a liberal approach is what is needed either.
In light of this inability to be specific and precise, this is why I am not a conservative or liberal and I do not consider myself an independent either...hell...I don't even vote. The problem with the system is the options it provides. Each ideology only offers a cookie cutter, mutually exclusive, white perspective and approach to dealing with social and behavioral issues, when one size does not fit all. Also, what is offered always has to be different or opposite than the opposition, so that people will not vote to for the different idea and thus the different party.
Thus, the system must oscillate between the two approaches. As each produces certain problems over time, this creates opportunity for change and opposition canidates. Given that that the choices in a two party system are binary, we just keep going back and forth, rarely curing or solving what ills us socially. However, this oscillation is what creates opportunity for opposition politicians, who are dependant upon things not going well so that people will vote for a change…and thus create opportunity for them. Besides, these two approaches are the options because they are the cheapest to implement. To specifically target people, based upon their unique situation, with oversight, would be extremely more expensive than the current liberal approach. But remember, you get what you pay for. Furthermore, the black situation in America is unique enough to require a targeted precise program directed at our peculiar instituational situation.
On the micro level, When I was a youth, I benefited from a liberal mother, who stuck by my side and supported me, when my micro conservative father did not. You see, I always worked hard. When I was a youth I always had a job. In the summer time, I worked two jobs, when the economy could support that. I have been working since I was 14 and before then, I use to hustle carrying ladies bags as the neargy grocery store. However, I had no vision or guidance in regards to what to do with my life and my education suffered. I actually flunked the 11th grade. I decided to enroll into college and I struggled initially due to my poor training and lack of direction. I had moved to Atlanta to go to school and escape Michigan. I enrolled in Dekalb community college; I roomed with this older lady whose son had referred me to, while I was living in a hotel on Stewart Ave.
To make a long story short, even though I was working and going to school, I needed funds to make ends meet. My dad would not help out, but my mom would send me cash when she could afford it. That little bit actually kept me from “beating” from the local stores for provisions….cause a brother was hungry and had to much pride to ask folks for help. Some times I would get a letter in the mail with a money order for $20 dollars….and tears would come to my eyes because it was like God knew when I was in the most need. Eventually, I moved back to Detroit to finish school. It took me, all in all, 61/2 years to get a 4 year Bachelor of Science degree.
Had it been left up to my dad and his micro conservatism, I would likely have never graduated from college, because my dad never gave me opportunity for failure or mistakes, which I had many. But my mom’s liberalism did. Consequently, I finished college and ultimately a good paying job. I also later found that I had a pretty high IQ. Thus, my mom’s liberalism allowed me finally progress towards my full potential, notwithstanding mistakes and bad choices on the way. I would like to think that it was because of the fact that I have always worked hard and sacrificed….when it was something I wanted. However, I know that such is often simply the loving and nurturing nature of mothers….especially towards son. Also, my fathers influence did help balance out the nurturing, which helped me to become a man.
When I think of my son, I often wonder is my macro conservatism denying him the ability to evolve and recovery from mistakes. I rationalize a difference between the two of us, at that age, based upon willingness and desire to make sacrifices for what we want or desired. Even the things he loves and desires most, he will not make the personal expenditure of energy to try to make it reality.