Parents, Bosses, and Boundaries

In the midst of working the other day, I decided to take a break and turn on the television.

Two stories were on about Lake Michigan swimming conditions. There was a reporter with his back to a sign that was emblazoned with “Red Flag. No Swimming.” Much to the reporter’s chagrin, there were many people ignoring this sign and frolicking happily in the roiling waves.

It is the same all along the lakeshore of Lake Michigan. Communities put up flags to warn the public to be cautious and not to swim, but when you look in the water, you see adults, kids by themselves, people slipping on the wet soaked piers, and you ask yourself:

“How can these people be so dumb?”

I believe that these vacationers have waited all frozen winter to have that week at the beach, and by gosh, they are going to get in the water if it kills them…..and the irony is it just may. It’s as if they are saying: “RULES” damned. It isn’t that bad.”

Where is this rhetoric coming from?

These attitudes are not new. Human beings tempt fate each time they go over the speed limit, smoke a cigarette, drink too much, cheat, lie….You get my drift. But currently, pushing back at the rules is in vogue.

Look, we have all done it in some small way or another. We have either gotten away with it or paid the price. You will repeat it if it made you feel powerful or you will tell yourself you will never do THAT again, learning from your close call.

The difference in this modern day of 2019 is, I believe, the lines between right and wrong are blurred. No one feels they are doing anything wrong….if they don’t get caught.

And if I hear “Kids will be kids” one more time, I will hurl.

One may further go on to note, parents don’t set hard boundaries today.

After all, many of them were raised in the late 80’s and early 90’s by parents of the 60’s and 70’s that saw a boundary as a stifling barrier to creativity. These modern parents are all about the “good time” and the “experience”.

It has created a generation of over-privileged and over-served young people.

I was talking to the boss of some young people yesterday. The shift had begun and the worker was nowhere to be found. Never called. No text. It left the other workers with a hole to fill in addition to their own jobs. Normally this would be grounds for termination. But these days, bosses get put in tough spots when the numbers of possible workers has declined to a trickle, and might give the worker a second or third chance, to forego the chore of new hiring and training. The slap on the wrist is nowhere near as important to that employee, as a conversation and possible termination.

Face the facts. We are asking for training on what’s right and wrong to come from the home. If these parents never were taught, they become a much more serious detriment to the livelihood and safety of their children; at work and at play.

What seems obvious to anyone who has seen a drowning victim fished out of the lake, does not resonate to those that have not seen one. In fact, these people were still in the water when a rescue and bevy of emergency boats are actively searching for a victim.

Rules must be enforced.

Boundaries must be solid.

Consequences are necessary.

Thanks for listening.

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