Think of the project as an investment. It’s a fundamental principle of economics that you get more of whatever you subsidize. If you subsidize corn production, you’ll get more corn. If you subsidize unemployment, you’ll get more unemployment. And if you subsidize non-productive, irresponsible, dependent, accident-prone children, that’s what you’ll get. All I have to do is say “government schools” to prove my point.
Child labor laws and state intervention in child-rearing in general have put our children at greater risk than ever. At the age of twelve, Jesus Christ was able to find food and shelter in Jerusalem and carry on an intelligent discussion of complex legal and religious matters with his elders. To be sure, he was exceptional, but Western socialist societies are not using that as a model or target for what a child ought to be; instead of producing kids who can take care of themselves and others by the age of twelve, we’re extending their uselessness into the young twenties and beyond. Adolescence is proof of our social bankruptcy.
When I was a kid, it was a singular shame to have to ask someone to borrow their pocketknife. Nowadays I teach my kids never to lend a pocketknife to another kid, because it’s almost a sure thing they haven’t been taught how to use one. They don’t know how to work, survive, or think, either, but if your kids don’t know the latest Justin Bieber song, they act like your kids are the ignorant ones. I guess pop music fandom is more civilized than the ability to produce wealth.
Don’t get the wrong idea about me — I’m not down on kids. I love kids more than a lot of people do. In fact, I love kids a lot more than our culture does. Our culture is destroying their potential and their opportunities in many ways including the theft of their future earnings (see The Myth of Social Security and How Government Debt Steals Your Future).
What You Can Do About It
We might not see perfect government in our lifetime, but even a little improvement is worth shooting for. As with all long-term endeavors, we have to enlist our children and grandchildren to the task. Our long term goal is less of the generational theft, dependency, unemployment, crime, and general degradation of civilization that all result from socialist welfare state, and more of the productivity, self-sufficiency, wealth, charity, and accountability that result from a liberty-based society. That’s a tall order, but as they say, a journey of a thousand leagues begins with the first step.
One of the most productive things you can do to bring about long-term change in society (while reaping instant benefits for yourself and your children) is teach children some principles of self-reliance, and teaching life skills is a fun way to accomplish this. They learn not just how to keep themselves alive; they also learn the fundamental concept that they are the first and best provider of their own safety. “Self-reliance” is the theory, and learning life skills puts it into practice.
The Life Skills for Kids Project
I surveyed dozens of professional and amateur survival experts and emergency service providers and asked them to list the most important things a kid ought to know by the age of twelve, and then prepared the following video in which we count down the top five responses. This video was initially prepared as an exclusive bonus for new subscribers, but we are now making it available to everyone — free.
This is not just a video — it’s a project, and you’re involved. To change the world for the better, just take the following steps:
- Watch the video with your kids, grandkids, or whatever kids you can find.
- Send a link to this page to a few people you think will be interested in this topic.
- Ask your friends to do the same.
Also, posting comments at YouTube is a great way to share your own insights in teaching kids how to provide for their own safety. The more we share, the more we learn.