Every parent knows what I’m talking about. That moment after the moment when your toddler lets go of your hand. Or you let go of the bike. Or you don’t run to the rescue when you hear the crash. Or they go under water for the first time. Or you don’t say, “did you remember to do your homework?”
Sure, there’s fear. But don’t let them see yours. Self-reliance. The most critical step in development. The proud moment. The most natural of all coming-of-age’s moments. It is repeated billions of times each day by nature’s parents. Baby birds take wing. Tiny seals slides down the ice and disappear into the water. And humans hand their teenagers the car keys.
We are all amateurs in this – and so codependent. Letting go only to grab on again because we fear the fall. Running to rescue. Comfort before tears. Galoshes at the chance of rain. And in each of these moments, we teach our fear. We teach the limits. We stunt development. We give extra points for security in the poker game with reward. We deny the very experience that must be learned. Repeat this long enough and they will never be healthy on their own. Inevitably, they will end up as wards of the state.
I am not without empathy, but I am running short on sympathy. I have just heard too many excuses for why they can’t hack it. How it is unfair for them to compete with others when life has been so unfair to them. I have let them puke their self-absorbed fantasies in front of me too often. Heard the wretch of their indulgent rationalizations of why they can’t develop methods to cope.
I’m writing, of course, about big, entrenched, widely-held-on-Wall-Street, K-Street-represented, American businesses. The companies too big to fail and the industries too important not to be given transfusions of money, tax-breaks, incentives, regulations and/or de-regulation. What we did for textiles, steel and cars, surely, we can do for them. Screw the people who will have to work their asses off for their entire miserable lives by scraping the bottom of the barrel for basic needs while tithing taxes and being priced-gouged in order for these companies to live in luxury, worry-free.
On the other hand, maybe big business does deserve a break. They are, after all, a bunch of bastards and had no role models to teach them right and wrong, honest work for honest pay, or healthy self-reliance.