One of the perennial odd stories that go around the Internet is a costume experience for a 5 year old boy in some part of the U.S.A. Most young (non-Jewish) children dress up in costumes for the secularized celebration of Halloween at the end of the month of October.
This particular young boy decided he wanted a costume of his favorite cartoon character. That character happens to be a slinky female semi-action character on the cartoon Scooby Doo.
So the big deal of this odd story was that this mother encouraged her son to go through with his desire and bought him the female-dress-costume of the character.
Why am I bothering with this shtuss? The mother’s final statement of justification…
(The Mother: ) If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.
And all I hope for my kids, and yours…is that they are happy. If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then O.K. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person. I hope I am doing that.
And my little man worked that costume like no other. He rocked that wig, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
A generation of war led to a generation of tightly disciplined kids. A generation of very tightly disciplined kids led to a counter-cultural rebellion of peace, love, and no discipline.
Now we’ve reached a generation of NO STANDARDS, where parents feel that merely defining what is NORMAL is WRONG. But not to worry because we want him to be a GOOD PERSON, even if we can’t define what that is (because that would be defining normal, which is WRONG).
No discipline, you don’t have to work at it, no standards to keep things reasonable, moral, or headed in the right direction (just from past experience). No absolutes for morality or what is right (or not). Whatever we feel is “good” is good. And if someone else doesn’t feel that way…well, what right do we have to impinge on their thinking?
Indeed, today the religious Jews are the counter-cultural revolutionaries. With their standards and right and wrong business, with G-d and Torah and disciplines for life. With being GOOD actually defined, helping others, giving charity, loving your neighbor. With actual restrictions teaching one to control oneself and defining certain activities, foods, even certain speech as NOT GOOD.
Take a look where society is headed and make a choice. Me, I’m going counter-cultural, I’m taking a stand. And that itself makes one counter in this time.