Family values, our children and our future

Published 8:26 am Saturday, July 2, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Dawn Burleigh, editor of The Orange Leader, has assembled quite a variety of folks writing for our local newspaper. Her regular contributors write on a variety of subjects for various sections in our paper. For the Religion page, she has been able to attract interesting and informative pundits whose perspectives are diverse and compelling.

Demetrius Moffett particularly grabbed my attention in the Saturday, June 25, edition with his column titled, “Empowerment or Imprisonment”.

Moffett offered many thought provoking questions. His observations were designed to point out societal deficiencies, as I understood him. He questions the status of family values, the manner in which we raise our children, the prevalence of single parent homes and the large number of males willing to father a child but not take responsibility for their child. He points to the lack of authority within the home which can lead to our children not showing proper respect for authority.

Not content with pointing out symptoms Moffett also offers solutions. To summarize, he offers a challenge to responsible males to be more prominent in the lives of our youth explaining that ‘our sons and daughters draw a template of what a man should be from the man they see growing up’. His challenge involves being present where young males are present, specifically in our schools. Men modeling responsibility will provide young men a pattern or a recipe to follow. We all know the value of a manual complete with written instructions, photos, lists and diagrams to aid in the successful completion of some assembly or task. Roadmaps are essential to traveling to an unknown destination. Recipes allow our prepared food to taste so much better. Following this principle in training our youth seems like a natural approach.

There is much of value to be considered by Moffett’s observations and proposals.

I have no doubt that others read the same words I did and agreed wholeheartedly. Getting lost in a discussion about the definition of family and the correct set of values to apply is not the goal here. Moffett is clear, be a man in the presence of those soon to be men and set a good example. Take responsibility for yourself, your family and your children. Include within the scope of your responsibility the duty to model responsibility for others, for others are watching and learning.

I am grateful Moffett did not call a committee together or a group rally. Rather than that he issued a challenge to individuals to step forward and become involved in our schools where he encourages men ‘to not only step up but to step out’.

This country is not perfect for none of its citizens are perfect. We will always have struggles and differences of opinion. But we can all agree, I hope, that family and children are the building blocks of our future. Many have sacrificed much for this nation. We should be willing to do the same.

We have published The Declaration of Independence as a part of this edition. This is the document declaring our nation’s sovereignty and the freedom of its citizens. As you celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2016, take time to read it and reflect on the values upon which this nation was founded.

Have a safe and Happy Independence Day!


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at