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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, December 2 2001

Respect

The concept of respect has been on my mind a lot in the past several months, particularly as it relates to the attitude one has toward his or her property and in general the attitude one has toward the person and property of others.

From my perspective, the two go hand in hand. More than once, we have taken foster children into our house who came with little more than the clothes on their back. In the beginning, we always assumed that the children came from poverty-stricken families; that is, they didn't have sufficient money to take care of their basic needs. However, after learning more about the families, we have usually discovered that with welfare, food stamps, and the aid of social organizations and churches these families often have a higher income than many middle-class families.

Nevertheless, by the end of each month, these families have nothing. During the first weeks of the month, they go on spending sprees on junk foods, expensive gadgets like electronic games and exotic pets that require care they are unable to give. Or in even worse situations, one or more of the family blows all the money on cigarettes, drugs, and/or alcohol. During the last several weeks of the month, the junk food is gone so they head off to the local food bank. The toys are broken and the pets are dead. This monthly cycle continues until the county Children and Youth Services (CYS) or some other state agency intervenes because the children are being neglected and/or abused or someone else in the family is getting hurt.

Foster families like us take these children and try to work with them and the natural family. It quickly becomes apparent that the families, both children and parents have no respect for their property or themselves and they bring this attitude into our home. They waste food, break toys and tools, and have no remorse. Because we have more than their parents have, they assume we make more money when, in fact, the opposite is usually true. Their parents made more money than we do. Often the children we have in our home are third- and fourth-generation foster children. Once in a while, we see a child break out of this cycle and it is because they have learned to respect themselves and others and the property of everyone. And this respect helps them to evolve into a responsible citizen who contributes to the community rather than being a burden.

I know this subject has a resemblance with Jon's essays this week but I have neither the time nor intellect to make the connection. I just know that when we see these families waste, it is very frustrating, especially when their children become part of the waste.


 

Determining the sex of houseflies

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a flyswatter. "What are you doing?" She asked.

"Hunting flies," He responded.

"Oh! Killing any?" she asked.

"Yep, three males, two females," he replied.

Intrigued, she asked, "How can you tell?"

"Three were on a beer can, two were on the phone," he responded.

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Advent thought for the day

After the events of September 11 in New York and Washington, I saw a cartoon that touched me. There were headlines all over about terrorist attacks and war in the picture. But in the middle of them was a little girl sleeping soundly, with her Daddy's arms around her. That's where your family's sense of safety really is—in your loving arms. Whether you're a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle—you are a harbor in a stormy world. Make sure they feel safe in your love.

Ron Hutchcraft
Sent by Jim Martin

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