Culture Challenge of the Week: Micromanaging Friendships
They’re a natural, wonderful blessing in life, aren’t they?
Chances are, you have a favorite memory of your childhood best friend. Perhaps, like the little girls in our neighborhood, you topped your notes with “B.F.F” (“best friends forever”), bought trinkets with hearts and hands intertwined, and spent hours together after school and at weekend sleepovers.
Or, like some teenage boys I know, you shot basketballs together endlessly, jammed on your guitars for hours, and hung out in each other’s family rooms, always eating, glued to ESPN.
In the process, you grew in loyalty, trust and selflessness, learning how to open yourself and to “be there” for another person, no matter what. Even when that friendship wasn’t easy, or if it ended dramatically, you learned something about the value of intimate friendships and the trust that sustains relationships.
“Best” friendships in childhood don’t always happen, and they certainly can’t be forced, but when found, they’re a treasure.
Except in the minds of preachy liberals. For them, “best friends” are a threat, undermining the almighty value of “inclusiveness.”
The politically correct crowd, backed by left-wing “professionals” in education and psychology, has reached a new low: In schools across the country, they are taking aim at “unhealthy” childhood friendships. Not content with banishing sweet treats from vending machines and school cafeterias, the so-called “progressives” have decided that “best friends” have to go, too.
Why? Because their controlling ideology requires inclusion, sameness and equality of outcome. And the whole idea of “best friends” smacks of elitism, exclusion and preference. What about the kids who feel left out? Or who wish they had best friends, too?
Someone’s feelings might get hurt.
And in their empty mindset, freedom — even the freedom to have a best friend — is expendable in the great quest to make sure no one ever feels left out or has hurt feelings.
So education “experts” and school psychologists in many communities have decided that children must be “friends with everyone,” according to a recent story in the New York Times. Overheated rhetoric about the dangers of bullying and cliques provides cover for this latest experiment in social engineering. For these secular soothers, a safe educational setting is one that spares children from negative feelings of exclusion.
Part of the problem is that stomping out exclusive friendships — the natural inclination to pair off with a best buddy — is the only way these experts can think of to encourage civility and kindness in schools, camps and children’s activities.View Entire Story
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