As long as society has been around, we have been “telling” our children to do what is right. We say, “Follow the rules, obey the law and always be an honest person”. Yet on any given day, just driving around, these same people are seen talking on their cell phones while driving, running the red lights, speeding, taking every little extra they can. They lie about being at home, about having affairs, and various other minor crimes. Granted the cell phone thing is not a law all over the country. However, it has been shown over and over that using one while driving, creates all kinds of hazards. All you have to do is get behind someone on the phone. It is obvious they are not paying attention and it is also obvious they don’t care that is dangerous. Do you think your children are not paying attention? Actions are louder than words. Sound familiar?
The situation with the illegal downloads on the college campuses is another example. I heard a young man comment on the news saying, “You won’t ever stop it from happening”. Most of the kids that go into a college are from families who taught them to do the right things. They are obviously not “blatant” criminals or they would not have had the discipline to go to college. The examples we are setting for the next generation is, “Whether it is a law or not, if you can get away with it, then do.” I think sometimes, the people who are obviously living well, are the worst offenders. These people feel if it is not an outright major crime, it is OK. Their children learn the same mentality. No matter how you tell the story, illegal downloading is stealing.
It seems to be the pattern of choice these days to get away with whatever you can. Our society has allowed this to become the norm. Our TV is blaring with disregard for the right thing. We see all of the cop shows, yet the cops will do anything it takes to make a case, lie, cheat, threaten. A lot of these shows are out of line with any kind of rights. I understand the bad guys, but it is a general attitude to abuse whomever it takes. The show “House” is about a doctor who is strung out on prescription drugs, yet allowed to continue to practice. Sure all of his cases make it, but reality is, “Does the fine, upstanding, real doctor out there diagnose everything right and always come out on top, while he is under the influence? And you know there are doctors practicing under the influence. Lie, Cheat, Steal, Abuse. Yet, they are the pillars of our communities.
What about the fine CEO’s across the country who have abused their positions with lies and theft. Are the people who lost out on that, ever going to get the benefit of getting “any” money back? Fine, Upstanding Citizens. Another example: President Bush and Iraq. I don’t think I could record all of the lies that went on with that situation. What was the real motive? Oil, redemption for dear ole dad, Texas Posse Mentality, Control. Not genuine concern for what is right or wrong.
It seems we have misplaced our moral structure. We are becoming so caught up in the almighty dollar, we are losing our concern with real “right and wrong”.
What used to be a society who worked hard, did the best possible to live an honest life, and was trying to pass that on, has become a society of “If it takes doing a “small wrong” to keep up with “The Joneses”, then its acceptable. With all of the technological wonders today, it makes it seem “less wrong”.
99 cents downloads don’t sound like a big deal. If you steal that much each day or 3 times a week or whatever, it tends to add up. Wrong is wrong is wrong.
If we continue to show our children, it is OK to do wrong for self benefit, the future will not be a surprise.
Maybe we should take a lesson from the working poor who have little choice but to do the right thing. Most of them can’t afford to buy their way out of legal problems. They all have learned to live within their abilities and have determined to be honest regardless. They take the hard, inconvienent and the bad parts with a little grit. Easy is only truly good if you earn it. Getting away with something is only easy if it never affects anyone else. Most of the time, we don’t truly care if what we do affects anyone else. If you are going along with wrong for your own gain, that is selfish. There is usually always someone else watching or affected. If you set that example, what results do you expect?
There was a saying years ago, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Society is not concerned with that anymore. We are just making it up as we go nowadays.
No one wants to hear later, “I wonder what went wrong”. That is definitely a “DUH!”