This I Believe

Ross - Belleville, Michigan
Entered on April 18, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe

I walked into my girlfriend’s house the other day, and I find my girlfriend holding a six-month-old baby. The baby belongs to a young woman who is living with my girlfriend, and her daughter. My girlfriend and her daughter are supporting the young woman, and her baby, while the baby’s father does not contribute anything to support his child. He does not support his baby, or even offer to watch her while her mother attends college classes.

I asked my girlfriend why she helps this young woman and her child. Her response surprised me. She told me that she felt it was her duty, as a concerned citizen, to make sure that this young woman receives direction that she did not get when she was younger. She feels that the young woman’s parents had not been educated her on the responsibilities you incur, when you bring a child into the world. She wants to make sure the child is properly cared for, until her mother can support her. My girlfriend’s response did not surprise me, but it gave me something to consider.

In today’s society, we see single, unwed mothers all over the country. Everywhere you go, young women and their babies can be see grocery shopping with food stamps. How are these young women supporting their families? Are the fathers supporting the babies, or are mother and child living off money provided by the government? Society has accepted single, unwed mothers as a norm. These families live on welfare because the parents are too young, or are not inclined to work to support their offspring. It scared me to think that I am supporting these young people and their children, with the taxes I pay every year.

I grew up in a single parent household, with a full-time working mother. My mother worked a 45-50 hour a week job, and then came home and did extra accounting work. She also kept the townhouse we lived in, and cooked dinner every evening. She did whatever was required to make sure we had a roof over our heads and food on the table, but never asked for a handout.

When I was a teenager, my girlfriend’s mother was divorced and supporting her two children, without support from their father, or a government program. She was the manager of a convenience store/pizza shop, and she worked seven day a week to support her family. She never asked for any help, from anyone.

I believe that parents are responsible for teaching their children how to care for and support themselves. However, I do not believe that parents are teaching their children sexual responsibility and about birth control.

We live in a society where our young people become sexually active at a very young age, but they do not understand the responsibilities of having a baby. Our society does not demand that these young people work and be useful members of society. Instead, they are allowed to run wild, and without responsibility.

It is time that society takes responsibility for teaching our young people what their parents have neglected to teach them. They need to be taught about the responsibilities that come with being adults, and having babies. They need to be better educated on what it means to be physically, emotionally, and financially responsible for a family. Then, if they are irresponsible, there should be programs that allow these young people to work and support their families.

I believe that everyone can work, that everyone can be a useful part of society. It is time that society takes on some of the responsibility of directing our young people, rather than supporting them. Let the government use our tax dollars to develop programs so that unwed mothers and fathers can work, to support their children. Let them be useful members of society, rather than a drain on it. This I Believe.