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The Cultural Snowpocalypse is upon us

The Cultural Snowpocalypse is upon us

By Wayne T. Lewis


Every kid loves a snow day. A break from the grind of school and a chance to reach new levels on the Xbox game du jour. It was no different for me growing up except that Mario and Luigi were the pinnacle of game technology. Despite the differences in game console power, one other thing stood out. Snow days were rare.

It’s not that we had less snow, ice and cold. Growing up in Rochester, NY made getting snow parkas, boots and other warm-weather gear a Christmas ritual. Not surprising, since Rochester averages more than 3 times the annual snowfall of Columbus and colder too.

Yet, people back then (here and there) were expected to overcome the adversity of weather outside of the most extreme circumstances. This life lesson was more valuable than the few hours spent in a classroom on a snowy day. It taught responsibility and commitment. It taught that risk wasn’t to be avoided at all costs, but managed and overcome. Probably not much different than for those living on the Gulf Coast or in Tornado Alley.

And here we are in 2015 with three inches of snow and 18 degrees having shut down virtually every school in the city. No one would have even bothered getting in front of a TV or radio back then to see if school was closed. Just put your damn boots on, kid!

This isn’t about snow intolerance. Though these days I wouldn’t be surprised to see some group spring up to protest it.

It’s the positive values in our culture slipping away as we breed weakness and fear into our kids. And this lack of risk taking has already neutered so many of the Millenials.

In a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal, the share of people under 30 who own businesses are at a 24-year low. The most striking factor cited in this article is the shocking increase of “fear of failure” in keeping this generation from engaging in entrepreneurship.

When you send the message that hunkering down at home is how to deal with the adversity of a few inches of snow, should we be surprised? This is just one small chapter in an avalanche of lessons that advance a certain social narrative. For decades, so many children have been increasingly isolated from competition, hard-work, risk and failure. I fear we will all pay a tremendous price for this social experiment.

Yet some parents will put their kids to work today – shoveling their driveway and maybe those of their neighbors for a few bucks. They’ll help their kids overcome the paralyzing dogma they’re surrounded by and reinforce some useful life lessons. Kudos to them. More kids though will sit in front of their screen of choice, devouring hours of mindless YouTube videos – well on their way to becoming semi-productive drones of the State. Progress, baby.

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


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