It amazes me when truly terrible ideas enjoy broad and enduring popularity. One of those surprising ideas is about the way we teach our children values.
Some years ago one best-selling book recommended that every family teach a new value each month of the year. So far so good. Children need to be taught values and how to enact them. They do not learn life-affirming, healthy values by accident.
We all have ideas that make us miserable.
Commonly those misery-making ideas come from our popular culture and we tout them as timeless truth. But bad ideas—popular or not—can cause a lot of mischief.
Let me give you a historical example of a misery-making idea.
In response to hoarseness and a sore throat, doctors bled George Washington, the ailing past president and a national hero. Bloodletting was the standard practice in many medical dilemmas. In 12 hours, the past president was drained of 80 ounces—about 5 units–of blood. That’s 35% of all the blood in his body!