As I said in a previous post, we’re experiencing a moral decline in America. It seems as if some people believe that there is no accountability for their actions. This behavior, in my opinion, is something that we teach our children. I’ve seen people say that they don’t need a belief in God to be moral, that it’s an insult to say that religion or spirituality keeps people from hurting others. They’re offended if someone dares suggest that morality is linked to the Bible or anything other than their own choices. Offensive or not, it should be accepted that being taught that it’s wrong to lie or steal or murder surely doesn’t hurt. Because there are those nowadays who damned sure aren’t being given a strong lesson in Doing Unto Others.
If the legal system fails to be enough of a deterrent for people to not commit crimes, then a belief in a higher power – instilled in most of us as children – is, often, something that helps keep the more anti-social behavior to a minimum. If you take away faith, take God or a higher power out of the equation, then you have an overloaded justice system that is less strict than it should be, and you have an entire generation of parents who refuse to discipline their children for whatever reason.
I learned a very long time ago that when someone says, “Oh, that’s just the way he is,” that it means basically the person they’re talking about is a mean, nasty, difficult person whose behavior is so offensive that they need the unfortunate people who love them to apologize for it. The fact that they’re apologized for should humiliate them and force them to at least try to learn to act with a modicum of civility. Unfortunately, in many cases, it doesn’t and we either ignore the bad behavior or we avoid the people altogether.
To be fair, some of these difficult people may have mental disorders that could be helped with medication and/or therapy. Others, however, have been taught by their elders that their behavior is, somehow, excused or accepted.
For instance: My daughter is grown and gone, but when she was growing up she knew there was a line. She’ll tell you to this very day that there’s a line. The Uncrossable Line was a Line she’d reach where Mom would give her a death glare and if she crossed said Line she’d get a boot up her ass.
That line is drawn for most of us. It’s the line between being a good person and being a spoiled, hateful individual who believes that the universe revolves around them, personally, and that everyone else in the world is a bit player in their lives. To those people, we’re all just bit players; two-dimensional characters that they manipulate into doing what they want. Those types of people are the ones who hurt others, bully them, and who will take people and use them up and then throw them away like so much used tissue.
Recently I came across an article that most people have probably already seen. It warned that the story was one of the worst incidents of racial violence people would see that day and, as it turns out, it was definitely a jaw-dropper: a three-year-old girl being bullied by girls twice her age while an older boy took video and told them what to do. The first article I read included screenshots taken of the video which was posted to a now-deleted Facebook account, the video itself, and the audio of the article’s author speaking with the mother of the children doing the bullying.
I do need to stress here that, after the video of the bullying went viral, the father of the older children went to the neighbor’s home to apologize, telling the toddler’s father that the situation was being dealt with.
That being said, the audio of the interview with the mother was disheartening. She said something to the effect of, “That’s what kids do.”
No, ma’am. It’s really not. But if not taught any better, kids to whom that behavior is normal will grow into young adults to whom that behavior is normal, and they will grow up into adults to whom that behavior is normal. And that may be the way it is, but it is not the way it should be. That’s unacceptable.
I can’t even stress how hard that hit. Because, you see, lady, that little girl? You know the one. The one on the Big Wheel who went up to your kids with trust, wanting to play; the kid to whom color meant nothing … that kid? Will be afraid. Maybe she’ll start to see color.
And, just in case you’re unaware, that is a sad thing.
There is absolutely zero accountability these days.
From news articles of kids on field trips dropping trash into the fountains of the National September 11th Memorial to stories of churches being vandalized, we’re seeing an increasing lack of respect and disdain for anything that contradicts the individual’s right to do whatever the hell they want.
More simply put: They don’t give a damn.
There’s no respect for authority, for private property, for other peoples’ views or feelings. If it doesn’t benefit these people, if it makes them angry or upsets them, then they’re well within their “rights” to proceed with any kind of retaliation they can think of.
And these are kids. They’ve been taught this lack of responsibility and accountability by the adults in their lives. Oh, it’s not their fault; they’re sorry.
That’s enough, right there, to get you steamed. Then you see an article where four boys were caught vandalizing a family home, but now it’s the property owner who’s facing charges. It seems that the man who caught them doing over $40,000 worth of damage to his father-in-law’s renovated house scared them when he took away the hammer they were using to trash the house and then made them get into a closet and stay there until police came.
The police showed up at the man’s house to arrest him two days later.
A case could be made that the man was afraid for his life. If I had to confront people, no matter the age, who were using a hammer to violently destroy my property, I think it wouldn’t be unreasonable to be a little concerned for my safety. That violence is troubling. I don’t know if those people have pets, but if they do they should count their blessings (assuming they can still count their blessings these days) that said pets are okay.
Final thought, here.
What would have happened to us if we’d done something like this growing up? I don’t mean just ending up in a juvenile detention center, because that’s more than likely what would have happened to us under these same circumstances and exactly what should happen in this case, but what our parents would have done do if we stepped out of line.
At the very least, we’d be threatened with some kind of punishment, whether that punishment was being grounded, having our allowances cut off (if you were lucky enough to even get an allowance), or both. Some of us might even have gotten a spanking, or worse a belt-whuppin’. (And, if you were of my dad’s generation, you might even have gotten the SWITCH®, of which we heard plenty when I was growing up. That was like a belt-whuppin’ of epic proportions.)
Now, not only is there constant erosion of values, morals, or anything approaching civilized behavior, but it seems as if the current generation of citizens is woefully lacking in the simple art of respect.