Before Karis was born and while Jennifer was pregnant we participated in a childbirth class. It was something that was recommended to Jennifer, and she thought it would be helpful for us.
As her pregnancy went on, her enthusiasm for the class waned. Once Jennifer was put on bedrest by her doctor, she became even less excited about the one day intensive on the joys of giving birth . The class, as it turned out, happened to coincide with a visit from my wife's father and my wife's aunt. We decided to attend anyway, believing that since we had paid for the tutorial, we most likely should attend.
We showed up to the event in Pueblo. The building was approximately 45 minutes from our house. We were told we needed to bring our lunch with us, because we would work through lunch. In order to be prepared for this lunch, we drove to Rocky Ford (about 25 minutes one way) to get the Subway sandwiches we wanted.
We showed up that morning on time. The meeting started about ten minutes late. Although some of the information was basic, we learned a few things in the class. Jennifer was getting tired. It was getting to be lunch time.
When it was time to have lunch the instructor asked how many people had brought their lunch. About half had not. So the instructor told the class that instead of taking a short break and working through the class they would take an hour break and let people go out and get their lunches and come back.
This made me very angry. I had made a special effort to be prepared for the "working" lunch. I had made an effort to get to the class on time, and it had started late. We both were perturbed enough to confront the issue directly to the teacher.
"I thought we were having a 'working lunch', weren't we?" Jennifer asked.
"Yes, we were," the instructor responded, "but half of the people did not bring their lunches, and we cannot go to four without letting them eat, can we."
"You know what you are doing," I responded, "you are catering to the least responsible among us."
She shrugged. We went out to the car. We ate our lunch. We skipped the rest of the childbirth class because we were frustrated with the way the class was run, and because most of the second half of the class was a lot of standing up and moving.
This class demonstrates another reason why I consider myself a conservative. Many liberal policies and liberal persons tend to be so enamoured with their concerns with mercy and justice that they enable people's lack of responsibilities. Instead of offering people subsidies or incentives to become stronger people, liberals tend to pity people and offer them handouts to keep them weak and dependent. At their worst, liberals cater to the least responsible among us.
Compassionate conservative ideals (though often not conservative practice) attempt to address poverty and injustice through offering incentives for people to be more responsible. This is one of the reasons I became a conservative when I was young. This appeal to the best in us instead of the worst in us is also why I continue to consider myself a conservative today.