The Values We Lost
The Values We Lost
After Parkland, I wrote a lengthy post about how we treat others and their isolation playing a huge part in how they react to us and how they exist in society writ large. Kids get bullied, they get hurt – both physically and emotionally – and sometimes their pain spills over. They can’t take it anymore. They explode. Their agony boils, and all they can think about is stopping those who have made their lives hell. Permanently. I saw a tweet from someone named Bill Mitchell – the host of something called Your Voice America – claiming that certain characteristics in a student almost certainly mean that said student is a potential mass shooter.
How simplistic and unhelpful!
All this serves to do is to further isolate an already lonely kid. Said kid might not be a potential mass murderer, but this kind of cruelty may push him or her to become one.
How about offering this kid a hand in friendship?
How about helping them overcome their shyness?
How about alleviating their loneliness and not automatically and callously branding them a potential murderer, avoiding a self-fulfilling prophecy?
It seems that somewhere along the way, we lost our humanity and our ability to relate to one another, and this Mitchell jackass isn’t helpful.
We have forgotten the values that bind us together.
Family, respect for our nation, community, service, helping our neighbors, and respecting our elders and others with more experience and knowledge.
Today, kids are taught they’re special without having to actually achieve anything. They’re told they deserve a trophy merely for showing up. Grades are no longer an assessment of knowledge and hard work, and teachers are discouraged from criticism and issuing fair performance assessments.
Families are broken because we’re encouraged to go for whatever desire happens to strike us.
I say this as someone who was divorced. It would not have been my first choice, but when your spouse spends all your money while you’re on deployment, fails to pay bills, let’s the house fall into disrepair, and allows the kids to skip homework and let their grades lapse, you’re better off going at it on your own.
There are circumstances that warrant splitting up, surely. Abusive spouses do exist. Irreconcilable differences do exist. Sometimes divorce is the only option, but it’s not optimal, and we are so accustomed to easy solutions in our society, we give up instead of putting in the work that’s required to make marriage a success.
And while it would be great to have mom stay at home and raise the children, in today’s society, that’s not always possible. I made twice what my ex did. We couldn’t have made it without my income. Additionally, I grew up wearing clothes, sitting on furniture, and playing with toys rescued from other people’s trash. I had the opportunity to make my kids’ lives better than what I had growing up, and I took it. And anyone who tries to tell me my kids would have been better wearing hand me downs, never having the money for a candy bar, and eating plain chicken and rice or potatoes night after night, as long as mommy stayed home while daddy went to work, can eat a phallus.
That said, a society that shits on moms who have the opportunity and make the choice to stay at home and raise their kids is a society that expects Hillary Clinton’s village to raise the kids while women put their interests ahead of their children’s and follow their desires. It’s a society that puts wants and desires ahead of responsibilities.
An old teacher of mine used to say “responsible adults do what they have to do before doing what they want to do.”
We have somehow forgotten to teach kids this crucial lesson along the way, making their wants and desires a priority, and making any failure to attain said wants and desires a national tragedy in their minds. Is it any wonder that the kids of today lose it at the slightest hint of failure?
Religion. Some say the elimination of God from families is also a contributing factor. Church fosters community, communities work together to help one another, and accountability to a higher power makes us better people. I have nothing but respect for folks who go to church and who feel responsible to God, and more power to them. I’m not one of those people. My parents tried to instill religion in me; it never stuck. I don’t do the right thing because I’m afraid of going to hell. I do the right thing because it’s the right thing.
The problem is somewhere along the way, parents stopped teaching their kids what the right thing is. Somehow, they no longer give them a moral compass. They expect nanny government to do it. They expect the schools to do it. They have stopped teaching their kids objective right and wrong, and have begun teaching them that their desires trump right and wrong and are to be achieved at any cost – even if it hurts others. Whether they are taught this at church or by their parents, they need to be taught it.
Traditional values like individualism, achievement, love of country, and community. This is not up to the schools to teach. It’s up to the schools to reinforce. The parents must instill these basic values in their kids. They must teach them respect for authority, respect for their elders, and respect for their teachers. I know it’s en vogue to be buds – on first name basis – with their teachers. I know it’s fashionable to challenge authority, and it sometimes does need to be challenged – we are thinking individuals after all. But thoughtfully questioning and defiance for the sake of rebellion are two different things.
Instead of defending the weak and alone, kids gang up on the freaks and weirdos.
Instead of giving everyone a basic modicum of respect, kids slap around those who are different – those who don’t fit in.
Instead of working to achieve and win on their own merits, attaining a sense of pride in their accomplishments, kids are given participation trophies and to compensate for their shortcomings, because they have nothing on which to base their dignity and self-respect, so they belittle, demean, and disparage others to make themselves feel better. Instead of growing and progressing on their own power, they stagnate and push others around to create the illusion of success for themselves.
The Santa Fe shooter was reportedly rejected by one of the victims whom he murdered. According to reports, he got more and more aggressive, somehow feeling himself entitled to the girl’s attention. It’s likely he was never taught that failure and rejection were part of life. And when inevitably failure happened, he knew no other way than violence, explosives, and guns.
And while hysterical gun grabbers scream for politicians to “take action,” and “do something” about guns, perhaps they should look at themselves, look at their agendas, look at their continued push for the abdication of personal responsibility, their endless drive to substitute the state for parental involvement, their interminable yowling about giving everyone a participation trophy and not allowing anyone to fail as causes for the spate of violence we are seeing.
Perhaps they should look in the mirror.