Poster Children

I’m here today to ask for your help.

It’s great that people are trying to help protect cats, dogs, farm animals, laboratory animals and exotic pets. I support those who go to bat for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual teens. I applaud those who devote themselves to people with disabilities, orphans from overseas, and other worthy causes. These are all important, and it’s routine to turn on the television and hear movie stars and other entertainers talk about these. But we need to do more.

Every day, normal kids get up, pack their lunch and head to school. There are no cameras; no news reporters following their efforts.

These kids spend long hours sitting in classrooms trying to absorb reading or math skills. Some of these normal kids head home to a house that’s empty until their parents get home from work. They often find that they are forced to do homework or practice a musical instrument. Some even have chores that they are expected to complete.

It’s not uncommon for normal kids to play competitive sports like soccer sometimes as part of an organized team. Their families force them to travel to games on weekends. Other kids play pick-up games of basketball in driveways or toss a football around.

In desperation, many join gangs like the Scouts, the “Y” or even churches.

Many face years of continued learning. Not content with a high school education, their parents may insist that these kids go to college or even graduate school. To ensure that they do, some parents even pay to keep these kids in school.

The pressure, as you might imagine, is intense.

If you can get these kids away from their patents and talk with them, they’ll open up and tell you how their life really is. Almost every one of these will confess that a sibling is treated much better. They’ll tell you how their friends have nicer homes, fancier cars, better vacations, and are not subject to any rules.

Brad Pitt, Bono, and Madonna have turned their back on these kids.

This has gone on long enough. We need to reach out to these kids and break the cycle. Otherwise we’ll have yet another generation of educated and productive adults. Our cities will continue to be filled with doctors, lawyers and business leaders.

The future is in your hands. You’ll know what to do.

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