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Protecting The Vigilance Of A Child's Belief
Cliff McKenzie

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1178 DAYS,--New York, NY, Friday, December 3, 2004--The greatest gift a parent or loved one can give a child during this or any holiday season is the treasure chest of belief.

Parents who berate America in front of their children strip the children's belief in their country

Belief is the great weapon that neutralizes all the Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies issued by the Beast of Terror, for if a child believes in belief, he or she knows the Beast of Terror has no power--no real power--to harm, only to scare.

But a child stripped of belief is naked in land of frightening shadows.

Where does a child learn belief?

At home, where all the roots of a child's persona are formed.

When parents attack and destroy things with words such as lacerating the credibility of the United States as a great nation seeking to do great things for the world, a child learns not tobelieve in his or her country.

The child starts to believe that "evil" rather than "justice" rules
The child starts to believe that "evil" rather than "justice" rules

While the parents may be lashing out against a certain leader they detest, the fallout of such vilification rains upon the child. The child starts to believe that "evil" rather than "justice" rules, and that no amount of "faith" can change "reality."

The same holds true when parents attack other people in the presence of children, calling them names like "stupid" or "jerks" or other critiques of their personality. Again, while parents may not think twice about the acidic core of their conversation, if the child is within earshot an uncle, aunt, cousin, grandparent, relative or family associate or friend who is the subject of the conversation loses credibility. That person now becomes suspect. The belief the child held in that person as "good" or "nice" is now scarred by the radioactive commentaries of parents.

Religion is another example. Parents who hold various views on religion--either their own or others--and express those opinions in critical, hostile, bigoted or prejudiced ways in the presence of a child--ultimately undermine a child's faith in a power greater than himself or herself that is just and universal to all.

A child hearing a parent insult certain religious beliefs suggests that God is discriminatory
A child hearing a parent insult certain religious belief suggests that God is discriminatory

Hearing a parent barbeque a certain religious belief suggests that God is discriminatory, and that the belief in all faiths as something good now is delimited, narrowed, fragmented. Belief stops being universal and becomes selective based on culture, skin color, ethnicity or whatever criterion the parents conjure.

Then, of course, there is Santa. Santa is a symbol of belief yet there are those parents who feel it necessary to kick the legs of Santa from under him and walk over his back to show the child that "reality" is more valuable than "illusion."

Some parents find it necessary to explode Santa as a myth
Some parents find it necessary to explode Santa as a myth

Such a parent destroys the magic of belief by ripping and shredding the right of the child to imagine there is an ultimate source of happiness and joy who comes on December 24th down a chimney and eats the cookies and drinks the milk left for him.

I found it interesting the other evening while watching a Law & Order program that there is a fine legal line drawn between a child and an adult. In this show, the line was fourteen. The plot regarded a father sexually abusing his daughter. When finally caught, the father wanted to enter a plea bargain, but the law was firm that such a violation of a child by a trusted guardian--a parent--was dealt with severity. Life imprisonment with no option for parole was the penalty.

The law, in this case, punished a parent for ravaging the innocence of a child. In the law's eyes, a no more egregious crime is committed than to destroy a child's innocence. In this case, the dividing line was under the age of fourteen.

Destroying the magic of belief also destroys a child's innocence
Destroying the magic of belief also destroys a child's innocence

In a minor but nevertheless egregious way, stripping a child of his or her rights to believe in countless things is a Crime of Vigilance. It is Vigilance Neglect. It is Vigilance Rape.

Parents who rail and undercut institutions and individuals in the presence of a child are chopping away at the child's right to believe when the child has no way to defend himself or herself from the fact that his or her parents' comments are simply their "opinions."

If a parent were to forward such comments with an address to the child such as: "What Daddy is about to say may or may not be true. It is just Daddy's opinion and it could be wrong. And, I want you to know that when the time comes, it is your job to make up your own mind on what I am about to say and not be influenced by my comments. I want you to use your power of free will and free choice to look at both sides and then decide what you believe, and never to just believe or disbelieve in something because someone else does. True belief is an inside job. Okay? Good."

Oftentimes, a parent's comments are merely...
Oftentimes, a parent's comments are merely...

The practicality of ammending one's comments with such a disclaimer may seem cumbersome and unrealistic, but if you put yourself in the shoes of a child and think how many beliefs you had in things that were crushed by "adults" and "loved ones," you'll come up with a long list of robberies.

...his or her opinions
...his or her opinions

What was stolen was your innocence--your right to believe.

In the Law & Order case, the child had a right to sexual innocence that was horribly stolen from her. A child has the right to belief innocence, and a parent has a duty to not steal those beliefs by trying to "toughen" a child up for the "real world."


Parents of Vigilance have the duty to foster "belief" in their children
Parents of Vigilance have the duty to foster "belief" in their children

A Parent of Vigilance also has the duty to foster and feed a child's "right to believe," by urging the child to look for the good in everything, including the bad things that happen. If a child is to learn how to make sound, mature decisions, the greatest tool a parent can offer is how to look at things from both sides of the coin. Only when the issues are clear can good decisions be made.

Believing in things is the same right of the child as is his or her sexual innocence.

Protect it.

Be a Parent of Belief Vigilance.


Go To Yesterday's Story: "Why Mothers And Fathers Kill Their Children: A Failure Of Societal Vigilance"



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