Even though I wrote “Breakfast at McDonald’s:Reflections on Voices and Values” in 1999, I still remember the thoughts that were running through my mind that day like it was yesterday. I don’t think I ever shared it with anyone except Molly’s mother because I felt like it was too negative, too pessimistic. I felt that I was being too critical
As I read it now I realize that the situation has become exponentially worse in the past 16 years. Children learn from the experiences and the models we provide for them. I shudder as I think about our candidates for the President of the United States as their role models. What kind of leaders can we expect them to become? How can we fault them for disrespectful language and behavior when that’s what they see every night on the news?
I also wonder about the young people who are being “radicalized” by ISIS. Has anyone stopped to think about where they were, or what they were doing in 1999 when Molly was so disappointed because the Beanie Babies at McDonald’s had all been gobbled up by toy collectors? At least Molly was surrounded by a family and friends who cared about her and made her feel like she was an important part of her community. She was not one of the “Invisible Kids” who turn to violence to be noticed – or to feel like they belong. What kind of role models did they have when they were 10 years old?
Why are we surprised that when we model greed and violence that we get greed and violence?
All I really have are questions … but as I read where my mind was the day I wrote this, the more concerned about what our children are seeing and hearing these days . . .
NOTE: These links in the footnotes don’t work in the PDF: