Coming to the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood this next October is a four-week parenting class which, chances are – as the community board has begun planning – we’ll entitle ‘Roots and Wings’ attributed to Hodding Carter from his 1953 book “Where Main Street Meets the River.”
According to “Quote Investigator”, the expression “was credited to an anonymous ‘wise woman’ who said, ‘there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these she said is roots, the other, wings. And they can only be grown, these roots and these wings, in the home. We want our sons’ roots to go deep into the soil beneath them and into the past, not in arrogance but in confidence.”
Like the question before the Lakewood City Council at its annual retreat this April 7 where planning will take place through the year 2020, our neighborhood board considered recently a similar 2020 vision question: “If you knew that you could not fail, what initiative/project would you start in Lakewood?”
Here’s how we, as elected leaders in Tillicum, answered that question, given the world in which we live.
The lack of, and need for, the roots and wings of which Carter wrote 65 years ago, which ‘the wise woman’ said “can only be grown in the home,” serve still today as a clarion call to responsible action – as written about previously in this publication – to address what Suzanne Venker called “The desperate cry of America’s boys.”
“Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken,” wrote Venker.
“Broken homes, or homes without a physically and emotionally present mother and father, are the cause of most of society’s ills.
“‘Unstable homes produce unstable children,’ writes Peter Hasson at ‘The Federalist.’
“America’s boys are in serious trouble. As Warren Farrell’s new book, ‘The Boy Crisis’, explains, boys are experiencing a crisis of education, a crisis of mental health (as in the case of Nikolas Cruz), a crisis of purpose. And at the root of it all is fatherlessness.
“Indeed, there is a direct correlation between boys who grow up with absent fathers and boys who drop out of school, who drink, who do drugs, who become delinquent and who wind up in prison.
“And who kill their classmates.”
“Among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes,” writes Emilie Kao for “The Daily Signal”, this March 13.
“Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.”
And of course it’s not just sons who suffer the absence of a father, daughters need dads too.
Grounded, not as in discipline although that occasionally too – but rather as the title of Chris Lassiter’s book “You’re Grounded – Rooted in Truth in a Shallow World.”
And enabled to fly, to address with confidence their future, to decide as did John Robbins (of Baskin-Robbins fame) as described by Kouzes and Posner in “The Leadership Challenge” that “inventing a thirty-second flavor was not an adequate response” for living out the purpose he’d discovered for his life.
You need, said Robbins, “to find your voice, the song that’s within your heart,” one that you can “sing with your life.”
Roots and Wings.
Coming to our community this Fall.