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JANINE TURNER: A Call to Arms for America's Parents

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JanineTurner.com

In 1775 Israel Putnam was farming in Brooklyn, Connecticut when he heard the British had fired on the American Militia in Lexington, Massachusetts. He immediately dropped his plow and rode 100 miles in 18 hours to Cambridge, Massachusetts to join the colonial soldiers.

On the way he spread the call for "every man who is fit and willing" to come to his countrymen’s aid.

Israel was resolute when revolution beckoned. He was fit and willing. Are we? Are our children? Or is it time for a 2010 resolution for a revolution?

Revolution conjures thoughts of guns and soldiers, passions and pageants. The revolution that currently beckons is an awakening – not an awakening of political parties or partisan politics but of our youth’s minds.

America’s future lies with them.

What is happening to Americas promise? Their intellectual stimulation is benumbed with mindless text messaging, Xbox and reality television. There is an extraordinary, seemingly boundless amount of information available at their fingertips but the question begs: will it be used benignly or brilliantly? Will our children become hypnotized or revitalized? Unfortunately, I see signs of complacency. Recently, I stumbled upon the following words:

The average age of the world’s greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependency;
From dependency back to bondage.

Where are our children on this scale? Complacency? Apathy? Are they walking the plank of dependency, over an ocean of bondage? Awakening our children’s sense of faith, courage, tenacity, selflessness, and lessening the belt on prejudice, is paramount for our country’s survival. 

We need to unite -- unite in our efforts to rekindle America’s flame.

We come from a lineage of a great, stoic, hard working, positive, philanthropic people who believed in Divine Providence; a Divine Providence that was both the anchor and the launching pad from which dreams were made. America was a land of hope. We cannot become a land of dopes.

We must tell our kids to go outside and look at the stars, sit under a tree, read a book. We must encourage them to seek, understand and value our rich heritage and to do that -- they must study, they must read. We must teach them. We need to turn off the television and read a book of history at the dinner table; be the example. We need to revolutionize our thinking, our moral foundation and our academia.

To quote from one of my favorite forefathers, John Adams:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

We have come full circle. We have studied painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain for too long. We, both as citizens and as parents, need to study with our children -- history, politics, war, mathematics, natural history and engineering. We, and they, need to be fortified with wisdom, inspiration, Yankee Spirit and American can do attitudes. We need to be both prudent and provocative.

We need a resolution for revolution.

We must no longer rest on our laurels as the aristocracy of Europe did in the 18th century. 

Ignorance is the surest way to bring on the demise of our great land. Our children may end up in our enemy’s hands. America will be taken with a subtlety and a craftiness that will feed upon our children’s complacency. The rug will be pulled from under them before they even know there is an enemy in the room. It is not just the terrorists or reckless spending that threatens our country. It is our children’s lack of education and intellectual fortitude. It is apathy. Woe to us, and shudder to think what lies before us, if we do not recognize that knowledge is power.

Our children’s fates and their futures are being carved by our culture -- cultivated and manipulated by a senseless, meandering, electronic society. We must be the hand on the brush that paints our children’s fate.

In our house, one of the ways to paint is with text messaging, Facebook, and Twitter, stimulating thought provoking conversation and patriotism with Latin quotes and American history.

My daughter’s most recent text: “damnant quodnon intelligent.” --They condemn what they do not understand.

Actress and author Janine Turner is founder and chairman of the Constituting Culture Foundation, which deals with issues regarding faith, freedom, fidelity and family. For more information on Ms. Turner and her projects, please see her Web site, www.JanineTurner.com.