What we told the children
We teach and tell the children many things and many good values, don't cheat, be honest, be kind, be helpful, be caring to others, etc etc. These are values that the children take seriously and many would live by them as they turn into adults. As they grow older, we teach them more, serve the people and country, be prepared to fight and die for your country, honour, integrity and loyalty. But do we believe that they will live by them as adults? Or these are just values that are good to have, good to believe or aspire to, and that's about as far as we believe in them? In the world of the adults, the good values may be the same. But they are moderated by pragmatism. Be real. The adult world is not a world of make beliefs. It is a world where idealism is only idealism. It is all about what is in it for me. If there is nothing for me, forget it. Just enjoy the goodness of the meaning. It is better to be practical, pragmatic and live with a new set of values that will enhance one's self worth, material wellbeing and all the other trappings of being successful. Let the children and losers believe in all the goodness of things like honesty, loyalty, honour, integrity, fairness etc etc. Now I can understand why some people feel so disappointed about the national pledge. The more they believe in it, the greater is their disappointment, and the greater they feel like being a sucker. It is just another good to have, good to believe value. Not to be true, not to be real, not achieveable. Just an aspiration.