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of a Boy with a Big Need
R. Jerry Adams,
Evaluation and Development
Once upon a time there was a boy, about 12 years old. He shared an allowance of $30 per week with a brother and sister, but he wanted much more. He had several chores to do each week to earn the money, but he wanted to do something else with his time.
Over time, the boy found out that his brother and sister weren't paying close attention to either his expenditures or his chores. He came up with a plan to spend more than his $10 dollars each week and do less than his share of chores. It would be easy.
He would go to the local lumber yard, where his parents were well known, and tell the owner that his parents would pay for the supplies and equipment he took, even though he didn't have the money himself. He said, "Just charge it." The owner put the materials on the father's credit card each time. Each month, the father failed to notice. Soon the boy had run up a huge debt on his father's credit card. The entire family would bear the burden of the debt.
At home, the boy was supposed to mow a portion of the yard that could not be seen from the house. It was way in the back. He simply stopped mowing it. When his mother asked if he had mowed the back, he changed the subject. Weeks went by and the grass was replaced with tall weeds. Snakes and spiders soon found the weeds to be a good hiding place.
Life was good...for awhile. The boy began building an additional little house with the extra time he had because he stopped mowing the yard. He placed the new little house in the back of the yard, near the tall weeds that had grown, because he didn't want his parents to see all of his new purchases.
One day a spider came out of the tall weeds and bit the boy. He ran into the house to show his mother. His mother saw the bite and asked him to take her to where the spider was; she needed to see what kind of spider bit her son.
The boy ran to the back of the yard and showed his mother the spider as it slowly walked across a bare section of ground where the grass had died. "Not poisonous," said the mother. The boy was relieved. But not for long. The mother noticed that tall weeds and bare sections of earth now covered the area where a beautiful yard had been. She saw expensive purchases that her son could not have afforded.
The mother and father worked quickly to correct the situation. The son could no longer gain credit from any store. He lost his allowance. He had to mow a larger portion of the yard--easily seen from the house--to pay off his debts. After many months, his debt was paid off. Little by little he earned more trust from his parents, but he would never regain the level of trust he had before he violated it.
The moral of the story is that with high trust comes high responsibility.
The "parents" are the American people.
The "brother and sister" are the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.
The "boy" is the President of the United States.
Building the "little house" is building an American presence in a foreign country.
The "expenditures not covered" are the wars.
"Mowing the invisible part of the yard" means taking care of our infrastructure, such as levies.
The "spider bite" is a free press noticing the difference between government pronouncements and facts on the ground.
Alas, as "parents" we are not really taking care of the problem. We continue to borrow from China, Japan, and others to pay for our wars. As our debts are rising, Congress is reducing our income from taxes. Any family that reduces its income while its debts are rising is on a road to disaster.
-Copyright © 1996-2005 EDI
and Dr. R. Jerry Adams-
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