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July 28, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS: Passing along life skills

By LARRY M. JONES

One of the things that separate humans from most other species of animals is our necessity to teach requisite life skills to our young.

Unlike many of God’s creatures, our progeny are extremely vulnerable for years and may require nurturing for decades. Other animals such as fish or insects enter this world completely on their own, never knowing any parental influence. They are born/hatched with all the instincts necessary to survive.

They are equipped knowing how to seek food, shelter, and grow to adulthood in order to perpetuate the species.

Despite being at the top of the world’s food chain, we humans are perhaps the most vulnerable of all. In fact, the entire mammalian class is normally quite helpless at birth and requires parental nurturing to survive. Many require only the mother’s love and care, but it seems the most successful species have learned to flourish in family groups, with each member being responsible for certain aspects of providing for each other. Humans learned early in our evolutionary development that this was ideal.

The family unit has been the mainstay of civilized man since earliest time, yet in recent decades we Americans seem to have minimized its value. With all the modern conveniences for making life easier, with government childcare programs, independent attitudes and feelings by many of greater self-entitlement, the need for the family unit is greatly underestimated. Hillary Clinton purportedly wrote a book in 1996 called, “It Takes A Village,” about raising children. At the Republican National Convention that year, nominee Bob Dole jumped on the bandwagon and said: “... with all due respect, I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child.” They were both right, but I think the good senator from Kansas was a bit closer to the mark.

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