He’s been all over the news this past week, but not for good reasons.
Michael Rotondo is the 30-year-old man who’s been living rent-free in his parents’ home his entire life. Much to his chagrin, however, a State Supreme Court judge ruled on May 22nd that he has to leave his parents’ residence in Camillus, NY, something he had gone to court to prevent. He’s been featured on nearly every television, radio, and internet program in existence, with people from both sides of the aisle chiming in on his lifestyle of delayed manhood. Yet it would appear that his best defense came in the form of a job offer from Villa Italian Kitchen, a restaurant which posted on Facebook that they would train him and give him a job at any of their locations, along with a $1,101 signing bonus. But if the story still isn’t delicious enough for you, he told Good Morning America that instead of using the money to move out, he “spent it on other things.” Raise your hand if you’re shocked.
Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Rotondo is real-life example of what happens when you feed the bears. Here’s what I mean…
I was fortunate enough to grow up in East Tennessee. It’s a wonderful place, filled with great people and incomparable scenery. It’s also the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place I visited frequently as a child. I can’t wait to take my own children on a regular basis when they are older. It’s there in the park, at the entrance to numerous hiking trails, that you’ll find a sign:
DO NOT FEED THE BEARS.
Now, while this should be obvious to most people, I’m going to assume it’s not and tell you two good reasons to avoid giving Winnie the Pooh your last pot of honey. First, it will make the bear follow you (and then kill you; it’s a bear thing). The bear will soon learn to revisit the areas where generous humans have left behind their morsels, and that means local rangers have to start keeping an eye out for a bear who is where he shouldn’t be. Second, there is the chance the bear will grow dependent on handouts, leaving himself unable to fend in the wild. This creates another public safety hazard, as an unskilled bear is a needy bear. It won’t be long before Yogi stops killing his food and dragging it home, and instead chooses to sit on the park bench waiting for your minivan (and corresponding cooler) to show up. Nobody wins.
This is happening to Michael Rotondo right before our very eyes. Instead of setting out on his own, starting a family, being gainfully employed, and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, Michael has been hand-fed by his parents. The analogy is crystal clear here. The bear (Michael) has been allowed to hang out where he shouldn’t be (his parents’ house) for a decade, being hand-fed each day and growing larger and larger until one afternoon the park visitors (his parents) are forced to call the park rangers (the court system) to have the bear (again, Michael) removed. It should have never been this way! The bear should have been running around the wild (interacting with other people), developing his instincts (getting educated), marking out his territory (finding a job), and growing his own family (marriage and children). Instead, the poor bear has forgotten how to hunt, grown lazy and slow, and has to be put down by the rangers in order to protect the park visitors. How tragic!
The irony is that liberals have such a strong sense of protection for animals, but don’t see just how real their same policies impact humans. Progressives support signs prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, but they see nothing wrong with giving handouts to humans. They advocate for rewards-based training for dogs in order to create proper behavior, then scold capitalism for doing the same thing in our society. These are the people who say hard work is now racist (see the video below of Melissa Harris-Perry). Everything they believe works for animals is completely ignored when it comes to people. It’s sad, really, because it doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s not hard to avoid feeding bears in Smoky Mountains. It’s literally as simple as just not feeding them. Leave them alone and they will make their way through the mountains as they’re supposed to do. Everyone can enjoy their picnic, splash around in the mountains streams, take the perfect Instagram photos, and be back home in time to watch the game. It’s only when we subvert the feeding process that things end badly, both for people and the bear.
I don’t mock Michael Rotondo any more than I would mock a bear. No, I pity him instead. He’s of the age when he should be leading the world, not at it’s mercy. This is the prime of his life, but he isn’t able to enjoy it because he has been coddled for far too long. The immaturity produced by this culture of dependency and welfare has set him up for a lifetime of mediocrity.
In our society we need strong, capable men more than ever. We need spiritual men. Educated men. Powerful men. We need men with ambition, internal drive and determination, and men of character. Men who will protect women and children, defend values that are eternal, and boldly stand against evil.
But we can’t expect to have any of that if we keep feeding the bears.