Friday, August 01, 2008

"Camp Codependence"

Some people, many of whom are parents, just can't get enough of a bad thing. And some are so fixated on what they can get out of life for themselves and their upwardly mobile offspring that they see pampering as a right. They see doting not as a loving and occasional pleasure, used in moderation, but as a duty, a constant duty, probably because they fear losing status.

Judith Warner wrote today in the New York Times about summer camps that cater to the super spoiled, both kids and parents. It's an insightful article that raises questions about our society and American culture at large. Please see the article, "Camp Codependence."

And here is my response:

Perhaps it is NOT out of "love" that parents desire and demand such pampering, protections and special treatment. It may be overly generous to say that such parents parent out of love. Some are no more altruistic than the for-profit camps; they're acting out shark behavior to raise more sharks, not a loving matter but a Darwinian struggle for prestige and power.

In general, across all classes, Americans are raised to compete much more than they are encouraged to cooperate, yet cooperation seems to be the antidote to this sort of society.

Ask: what is simple? What is low maintenance? What is low stress? What helps the most people involved in a situation or with providing and partaking of a service? That is altruism, a sort of ethic much closer to real love, if we agree that "real love" is patient and accepting and tolerant and nurturing -- and gives sensibly and wisely, without considering what it might receive.


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