Nowadays, “But I want it” is a hedonistic permission slip. We are all so up in our own heads and our own subjective “truths” that nothing we choose not to recognize has any demand on us. More to the point, no one has any demand on us.

Last year, I was at Mass when someone’s phone started ringing. Look, it happens. It does. Sometimes people forget to turn it off. So there was some general looking around by everyone and smirking while everyone waited for someone to turn off the ringing phone. And then guess what happened. A young girl of about 14 years of age picked up her phone and…ANSWERED IT! Yeah, she did the half whisper thing but she didn’t even run out. She talked for a full minute. It was unbelievable.

Time and place.

I think to recognize “time and place” you have to recognize others and the duty you owe them. And that’s not a popular idea. I think it has something to do with humility. We teach children that they can change the world but we don’t tell them that they should learn from the world. The assumption is that they know best and the world just has to catch up to their wonderful imagination. We don’t socialize our children. We expect society to adapt to our children.

We teach our children that 1st place and 5th place are similarly deserving of a trophy. We teach them that Shakespeare is no better or no worse than any other author who ever took quill to parchment.

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