The following post reflects my political views on the free lunch program. You may disagree with my views. I am hopeful that you will recognize the principle I learned and you may still find personal application as you ponder on this principle also.
Our family are conservative libertarians. We believe in limited government and state sovereignty. We believe that family sovereignty is the most fundamental unit in our country.
Every summer we have participated in two week swimming lessons in a neighboring town. After our swimming lessons every year I allowed my children to go and grab a “free lunch” provided in the city park adjacent to the swimming pool. Every time I allowed them to go get this “free lunch” I squirmed.
Why would I squirm? In the Constitution it says that I have “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” However, no where can I find that it says that my children are also entitled to free lunch. I have been told that I pay taxes so I shouldn’t feel guilty about free lunch. However, I don’t want my taxes to go toward “free lunch.” I want my taxes to go toward our “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
It’s so much easier to let them get the free lunch though! It’s easier than packing a lunch. It’s cheaper. Little kids are whinny when they are hungry. Oh, it is so much easier. Like I said though, I squirmed every time. Have you ever done things you didn’t believe in because it was easier? I’ve reflected on this. I don’t like that I’m not being true to myself. I don’t like that I’m not being true to our family’s core values.
It is swimming lesson time AND “free lunch” time again. Day one: we are leaving town for a quick day trip to Utah to buy a car. I let them grab the lunch. Grrr. Yes, I should be the parent who packed a lunch a head of time. At 7AM that morning when I realized this I noted we were out of bread. Also, how do you pack salad?
The next day before lunch Imagination said to me, “Mom don’t you think we are supporting President Obama every time we get a free lunch.” My first quick reflex thought is, “I’ve taught you to well. Grumble. ” But I said, “Thank you Imagination. You are right. What do you think we should do?” A discussion ensued with the children and it was unanimously decided that we would no longer participate in the “free lunch” program. We decided that we will either pack our lunch or just go home.
So now we go home and eat salad and fruit which is better for us anyway. It’s not easier though. However, I no longer feel guilty anymore. I feel better.
I have learned that for me to be a “mother who knows” I need to be steadfast and immovable in the things I believe, even when it is easier to do something else. I know nothing horrible will happen if we eat free lunch, but I’m doing something I don’t believe in. I’m not true to my own principles. Since then I’ve been reflecting on what other things in my life I am participating in or am accepting of that I don’t believe in.