What have we done?

Services for Real Estate Pros

When my grandfather was 13 years old, he was asked by his parents to drop out of school. He had just graduated 8th grade, and it was time. His father told him it was time to start earning a living and make something out of himself. My grandfather got a job at a cattle ranch as a cowboy. His first summer of employment, and he was to ride on a cattle drive. The drive would take the cattle from the panhandle of Texas to western Kansas. The trip would be a long one, taking more than a month just to get to Kansas. The cowboys slept on the ground in cotton blankets. They ate hardtack and beans. They had coffee to drink. My grandfather ended up doing that drive twice that summer. The job he got hired to do was ending. My grandfather heard there was winter work up in Montana, so off he went, on his horse. In Montana he worked 6 days a week, from sunup to sundown. 13 years old.

Notice that my grandfather's father told him what to do. No mention of a 13 year old being owed anything by his parents. No mention of welfare or food stamps because he was only 13 years old. No mention of fair treatment at work. Work or starve. Be a man. Pride.

Both of my grandfathers came from desperate poverty. Both of them worked pretty much all of the time in their working life. 6 days a week and long hours. Both of them had very little education. Both of them wanted to become men. Men that took care of their families. Men that acted like men. Men that dressed like men. Men who worked hard.

What have we done as a country to our men? We have boys that want to be men. Boys who live at home until they are 30 years old. Boys who get their girlfriend pregnant and do not support her or the child. Boys who live with the mother of their child, and live off of her foodstamps. Boys who grow up without a father. Boys who call women derogatory names. Boys who think work is for fools. Boys who have been taught that they are owed something by society. Boys who were raised by single moms and have no clue what a man is supposed to do or be.

What have we done with our men?


Comments (24)

Hugh Krone
Weichert Referral Associates - Hamburg, NJ
Realtor, Sussex County NJ

Kevin, Personal responsibility has become a joke,and our country is suffering because of it.

Jul 13, 2008 04:10 AM
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer


I am probably a bit weak in stating my opinion. As the father of two sons (one is a teenager), I am constantly fighting today's norms. I was raised to work hard.  Like Carrie above, we had no time for partying. Just work. Our 13 year old is starting to work now. He told me that work is hard. I told him to join the club.  I told him that work is hard but the rewards can be huge. He is starting to understand.

Jul 13, 2008 10:35 AM
Raylene Lewis
Century 21 Beal, Inc. - College Station, TX

It is up to the parents to raise our children correctly and teach them what is acceptable and what is not. Parents refusing to take responsibility for their children's actions and refusing to hold their children accountable is a big part of the problem.

Jul 13, 2008 10:39 AM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Kevin, I can't disagree; it is hard as a parent to teach personal responsibility but I still think it is possible.  We still have young men who choose to serve and protect their country.  Our son is in the Army with his second infantry group and it is all young men that have volunteered to serve their country.  Yes infantry groups are still comprised of mainly men.

Jul 13, 2008 02:45 PM
Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs
Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186 - Wilmington, DE
Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics

Dont worry Kevin, when obama gets in we will feel better about socialism.

Jul 13, 2008 02:55 PM
Micheal St. Peter
The Bayshore Group - Traverse City, MI

Kevin- I agree 100%!! The hollywood left, womens movement and liberals have beaten the traditional man to the ground and made him politically incorrect. This is the real reason this country is going down the tubes. Real men need to stand up and take this country back.  We have become pussified and all of our enemies no it.

Jul 14, 2008 05:57 AM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Great post Kevin ~ We are a country of boys not taking responsibilities for their actions. It is shameful. When Hillary lies about being shot at, oh it was a mistake. When Obama can't tell us why he stayed under the teaching of Rev. Wrong. He can't or refuses to tell us. The list goes on and on. Sad but true.

Jul 14, 2008 06:09 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

This is really powerful Kevin. I am going to feature it in Silent Majority because it needs to be heard by everyone.

Jul 14, 2008 08:46 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

Kevin - Congratulations this post is now featured in Silent Majority Group of Active Rain. 












Jul 14, 2008 08:47 AM
Bill Schwent
Casa Tierra Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Broker


Excellent story and background on your fore fathers.  The answer to why the world is so different today is not a simple one.  A lot of complex issues all mixed together pulling and pushing today's boys and men into doing and acting a lot differently than in your grandfather's day.  Probably the biggest issue is population.  There are too many of us, most with extreme poverty issues, and we can't teach the children as was done by our grandfathers.  The best we can do is one family at a time, like you are doing. 

Jul 14, 2008 10:31 AM
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Kevin - terrific story. I think Hugh hit it right, parents are no longer instilling responsibility into their children. It means that they might have to demonstrate some themselves. Personally, I am glad that there are child labor laws today and that most children don't have to go off and support themselves. But there are plenty of ways left to instill a work ethic and responsibilities.

Jul 14, 2008 11:35 PM
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer

I too agree with child labor laws. My point is that we have created a class of men that are not even men at all. They are boys and unfortunately, will always be boys.

Jul 15, 2008 01:23 AM
Jon Michael
DeGeorge Realty LLC - Long Branch, NJ

This country is full of grown boys, who would not know real responsability if it bit them in the butt.  We as a society need to really look hard at the term MAN, and either revise it to fit what passes for manhood now a days, or we need to just change our society.  Lets make our boys Want to become Men...but it all starts with US.

Jul 15, 2008 03:47 AM
John Hersey
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - York, PA
e-PRO Realtor

Kevin, thanks for this great post.

I am part of a men's ministry at my church and this is so true.  A lot of men do not have very good examples growing up.  Someone needs to teach them and be that example.  You are fortunate to have had the example you did.

Jul 16, 2008 02:59 AM
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

Great post! I moved out when I was 18 years old and never looked back.  What's funny is how many men in their late 20's, early 30's would ask me out and they lived AT HOME. I wouldn't date them.

It starts at home. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Aug 27, 2008 04:41 PM
Bill Schwent
Casa Tierra Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Broker


Do you supose that those "boys" you describe may be looking around and seeing that the commander-in-chief has 'started a war in Iraq', suspended the right of habeas corpus, tapped all telephone conversations that "they" see fit, etc., and are thinking, "I'm no where near that level of intimidation."   As hard as it was for your predessors, think about how much easier it was for you.  We all share that common history.  Now, however, we are seeing that our children are less than we were, that they have not the background or support that we had, that they face a lifetime of paying off this generation's debt'; and most of them have now registered to vote and will be voting for Barach.  So, where did we go wrong?  We didn't.  It's just we did not conceive that our grandchildren would not see the inspriration we saw in JFK being duplicated in their lives by Barach Obama.  We don't understand that phenomenom, so we use Hannity and Limbaugh to attack the Democrat Obama while ignoring the absense of unity from the last eight years of GW and Cheney and their corporate partners.  We are fortunate that our children are wiser that we are.

Aug 27, 2008 07:10 PM
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer


Your coach just called. He is moving you back into left field.


Aug 28, 2008 03:41 AM
Carrie Perez
Elk Rapids, MI

So sad that we live in a country that allows us to find theinformation needed to determine the truth, yet some of us take the easy way and just believe the talking heads because it is easier... This is an important decision-take the time to find reliable and credible info. The truth can hurt when we hear ir about anyone we have faith in-for any of us because no person, especially a leader is perfect and no one person can please each of the millions within their own country, let alone the world.

Our boys(and girls) are spoiled-life is easy for many but not for all. They weren't taught to do for themselves in many cases. They will get a hard reality check someday. My son is one, now and we are working hard to see that this does not happen for him...it won't.

Aug 28, 2008 07:14 AM
Bill Schwent
Casa Tierra Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Broker


I will gladly move to left field.  What disappoints me is that a marine would not understand that GW's and Cheney's war was a big mistake and made the nation take its eye off the target.  I feel deeply for our comrades in arms and their families who have borne the heavy load while the rest of the nation got on with their everyday tasks.  Kind of like the 60s.

Aug 28, 2008 04:07 PM
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer


I do not believe that the war was a big mistake. We can hash that over another day.

You are correct about soldiers carrying a heavy load while others simply go on about their business. That is what a soldier does. Kind of like a good father. Work hard long hours so your family can live a great life. Being a soldier means giving to your country. It is a gift that a soldier bestows upon the citizens of this great country.

Aug 29, 2008 01:58 AM