Most of the time, I enjoy being around the kiddos for the limited amount of time that they’re in the clinic. But it is hard to see the future staring you in the face. It’s hard to watch children who you know will grow into the trashy pregnant teenager or the pot smoking mama’s boy who never moves out or the smart kid who will be ruined by bad friends or the fat kid who’s going to be made fun of and ultimately end up sucking medical resources all because no one ever taught them how to regulate their habits.
Of course the children aren’t to blame; it’s the parents’ fault. People tell me, “You should be kinder. People are trying their best.” I agree with that. The parents I see on a regular basis truly are trying their best most of the time. What’s pathetic is that what they’re doing, the effort you see from them — that is their best. Their best is still so damn incompetent. Their best is criminally irresponsible. Their best is shameful. Their best should inspire everyone to support involuntary sterilization.
A 5th grade boy puts down his pencil and stares at the teacher, “I’m not doing anymore work today.” The teacher looks away, ignores him, because there is nothing she can do. His older brother once had the same 5th grade teacher. He was a bright student but his grades got worse and worse over the year. The teacher asked him why and he replied, “Why should I even try? My brother supports the family.” The younger brother has asthma, therefore he’s in special education, therefore he literally can’t be “failed” in school and a nice fat check is sent to mom each month. In 3rd grade he told his teacher, “My mom says I don’t have to work because I bring home the money.”
It’s a failed system that produces incompetent citizens by promoting laziness and a lack of accountability. I’m not around the kids long enough to see the outcome that awaits them. I’m also not voluntarily choosing to care for the useless adults they may turn out to be. Instead, I will instill small amounts of hope now (like, reminding them how important good grades are for their future aspirations as a professional magician) for the pure purpose of making myself feel better (and a tiny chance that it might push them in the right direction).