The Little Red Hen,
If you were born at least three decades ago you might remember the nursery rhyme “The Little Red Hen”. It is one of those stories that once you hear or read it again you will probably instantly remember it. The rhyme will probably impact you much more now than it did when you were a child too!
Confusing days to live in this modern world. It is even more confusing on how to parent in this modern world. When came across the old nursery rhyme it got me immediately thinking very deeply about how children are being raised in this world. Like it or not children are not just getting influence from you (the parent) or siblings and other children at school. They are bombarded by media everywhere. In these precious years of brain development, the constant barrage of communication from all sides of the aisle must be like drowning noise!
A lesson was written into this rhyme for our children, that was meant for us, that we can now give back to our children! The cycle needs to return to simplification. If I child can read this rhyme and understand it then so should we as adults. The sooner we can understand this basic lesson the better we can help filter the noise our children our speaking.
The best rendition of this awesome, yet simple, rhyme comes from our 40th president here in the United States, Ronald Reagan. I have included a link to where he reads his version. I’ve always had an affinity for the man’s voice. I grew up watching his films as a young boy, long before his politics meant anything to me!
In Reagan’s words:
“The Modern Little Red Hen.”
Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her neighbors and said ‘If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?’
“Not I, “said the cow.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the pig.
“Not I,” said the goose.
“Then I will,” said the little red hen. And she did. The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain. “Who will help me reap my wheat?” asked the little red hen.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Out of my classification,” said the pig.
“I’d lose my seniority,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.
“Then I will,” said the little red hen, and she did.
At last the time came to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?” asked the little red hen.
“That would be overtime for me,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my welfare benefits,” said the duck.
“I’m a dropout and never learned how,” said the pig.
“If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,” said the goose.
“Then I will,” said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and held them up for the neighbors to see.
They all wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, “No, I can eat the five loaves myself.”
“Excess profits,” cried the cow.
“Capitalist leech,” screamed the duck.
“I demand equal rights,” yelled the goose.
And the pig just grunted.
And they painted “unfair” picket signs and marched round and around the little red hen shouting obscenities.
When the government agent came, he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”
“But I earned the bread,” said the little red hen.
“Exactly,” said the agent. “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations productive workers must divide their products with the idle.”
And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.
Here is a link to youtube to hear Reagan with some nice “child simple” illustrations:
Reagans version was meant to show why extreme socialism does not work and creates a society of nobody wanting to strive for greatness or work hard. Everyone wanting the spoils but nobody wanting to do the work. The point is there for all of us to learn from.
So, what is my point in all of this? Folks, I am a pretty simple man. The noise in society has gotten so strong and intentional on confusing everyone. It does not have to be this way at all! We choose to allow all this noise. Is it easy to filter out all the various arguments our children are bombarded with? NO, but does that mean we roll over and just let their minds and even our minds to be so clouded?
Personally, I believe the noise is intentional. Life is not easy by any means and at some point, do we not just toss our hands in the air and give up? It shuts us down, stops us from caring, and weakens our fight.
I hate when I read articles or blogs and the author does not leave any suggestions on how to fix the issue and just complain about the problem. Part of fixing the problem is trying anything to help. Right or wrong when I write I always try to have some points to lend assistance to the fixing the problem.
The issue comes because in this modern world everyone feels the need to voice their opinion. The soap box has become a real issue. It is an amazing power that has been abused by many. I do not see the proverbial soap box being shut down anytime soon in modern countries. So, you have to deal with it.
Step 1) Protect your mind. Something very simple here and goes along with the nursery rhyme vibe but “Garbage in is garbage out”…what you put in your brain is what will come out.
Do not just guard your child’s mind but protect your own! If your mind is protected then you can better help your child.
Step 2) Realize you cannot change ANYONE. Engaging in arguments is foolish and the loser is usually just you because you wasted your time.
Step 3) Communicate with your child about the values you want to instill in them. They are a direct reflection of you! Call it like it is. Is someone is being a sloth then tell them and talk through it. They are smart, they want to understand.
Step 4) Value your values. Hard work, self-satisfaction, self-confidence, self-reliance all these basic values are not being shown through actions to our children.
Step 5) Walk the walk not just talk the talk. Children see right through this so do not even attempt to sneak past them. If you are reading the Little Red Hen to them and teaching them about the values of hard work and what not to be it probably is not in your best interest to let them see you acting like the other farm animals in the story!
I honestly think I could keep going with more points but truthfully, the simple rhyme and lesson are just that. You either get it or you do not. I believe that the only way you can truly change society is by affecting change in our youth, hope and pray for that to spread to their friends and the rest of their generation and eventually to their children.
Help your neighbors like you would want to be helped, but don’t lose your own values and work ethic in the process. Your child seeing a hardworking and honorable parent will do more teaching then you will ever be able to measure!
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