(Creation being a challenging business on the 9th day God woke up, looked around and thought: "What do I do now? I’ve painted myself into a corner and I’ll have to get out!")
Pennsylvania is in a sad state. An estimated unemployment rate of 10% and it looks like another 15% are underemployed, working multiple part time jobs to make ends meet. Today in nearly 2/3 of the Keystone State’s households with children under 12 both parents work and 30% of Pennsylvania’s children live with a working single parent.
("Maybe I’ll swim out," God thought. So He made three great rivers and a great lake. "No," God thought, "after all of this creating, I’m too tired to swim, I think I’ll walk." So He made paths through thousands of miles of forested mountains.)
Recent studies indicate that children have more unsupervised time than ever before. This void appears to be filled by TV and video games. The average child under 12 now consumes the raw violence, tasteless plots and unnecessary entrees into adulthood that these media serve up for more than 14 hours a week. Is it a wonder that 30% of violent crimes are committed by juveniles?
(On the way out between the mountains and the lakes there were now almost 45,000 square miles and God left behind long, flat plains that someday would be dotted with cities and villages.)
In the demands of what none dare call a depression we seem to work around the clock. We’re on call 7 days a week. That fact is that time is now the coin of the realm and there doesn’t seem to be much to spare.
(We really don’t know how God got out. Tradition holds that at about this time there was a controversy over an apple tree and a snake and the Deity had to leave in a big hurry to get back to work.)
The great Pennsylvania industrialist Lee Iacocca’s fondest memories of his daughters was the rule that Sunday was family day. He wrote about the drives they took and how important it was as the girls entered their formative years. His message was plain: make time for your kids.
The next month is the best time to do it. Turn off the PDA, Blackberry and forget the emails for a day and pack the kids into the car. You see on the 9th day God made the glorious colors of autumn in Pennsylvania. As they used to say in this state, ‘the memories you make may last a lifetime.’
Albert Paschall is Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, a non-profit educational foundation with offices in Harrisburg and King Of Prussia. Dianne Ryan Paschall is former publisher of The Main Line Times. Somedays is syndicated to leading newspapers and radio stations through out Pennsylvania. [email protected]