All across America on a Saturday morning, in a small local diner or a McDonald’s, over in the corner you will see a group of retired men from different backgrounds, sipping coffee and checking the pulse of America. Their caps reveal something about them: some military, some farmers, some sports fans, others with no caps at all, but they all have one thing in common. They all love America. They seem distracted this week. Finally someone asks, “Is America going to hell?”

Lately, some of the young people seem to have totally lost their sense of responsibility and are angry about everything. With a lack of control, unemployed, or confined to home and unchallenged to find constructive ways to spend their time, they feed on negative news and constantly check their phones or tablets for the latest “like” and post “selfies” of ridiculous antics that only show their disdain for humanity and their ignorance of reality.

They don’t care about the Constitution/Bill of Rights or that their neighbor died so they would have the freedom they have chosen to misuse. They are too self-absorbed to care about anyone except themselves. They even devised ways to cheat on their home-schooling during the pandemic. They take to the streets and dare anyone to disagree with their hateful destructive march across America. They use any excuse to justify their hatred and seem eager to rebel against any sensible logic only to prove that they are puppets being controlled by hate-driven self-proclaimed leaders.

Finally, one of the men asks, “Where did we go wrong? Where did the grandparents, parents, schools, churches and the community go wrong?”

The first step is to acknowledge that there is a problem. We must stop making excuses for out-of-control behavior. For too long we have allowed, and even encouraged, the government to take control of our children and their future. The government did not give birth to these children. The parents did. We must take back the education of our children by deciding what is taught. We must get the government out of the child-care business and back into the hands of the parents. Parents and grandparents must spend quality time with their children: reading, studying God’s word, playing together, laughing, and getting rid of “self-absorbed” devices. Children must be taught self-reliance, morality, self-respect and respect for authority, and that choices have consequences. They need to learn that “no” is an answer and living with less is OK. Children expect to be disciplined and feel unloved when they are not held accountable. Parents and grandparents must be good role models that children want to imitate. Most important, children need hugs. Being a parent is a full-time responsibility that never ends, even after the children have left the nest, because love has no expiration date.

In many countries the grandparent is revered as the one who knows more than anyone else. In other countries the grandparent is just someone you have to tolerate until death. In America, there seems to be two kinds of people not wanted: the unborn and the old.

Another gentleman asks, “Why can’t we be more involved in the rearing of our grandchildren? Are we going to let America go to hell?” “Not on my watch!” they yell. They order another cup of coffee, grab more napkins and begin to scribble down some ideas.

National Grandparents Day is Sept. 13. This year seek the wisdom of many years of experience of grandparents so that the next generation will not be subjected to the false indoctrination forced on America today.