Have you consciously decided to expose your growing child to 18,000 murders? That is what the average young person will view on television by the time he or she graduates from high school. Your child will have spent approximately 12,000 hours in formal classroom learning but will have watched approximately 22,000 hours of television.
Those figures explain the results of a recent World Almanac poll of 2,000 eighth-grade boys in the United States. The poll asked them which people they wanted to be like when they grew up. Their leading role models were, in order, Burt Reynolds, Richard Pryor, Alan Alda, Steve Martin, Robert Redford, and the late John Belushi. Traditional names such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and other noted figures in American history were conspicuously absent from the published list. In fact, no one was named who was not an entertainer or a sports figure.
Whom do your children want to emulate and admire? Will they someday say, "Aw, come on," if you suggest that they should want to be like Jesus?