As I look at the world around me, and my country in particular, I find it somewhat of a shock to see how much has changed just in my lifetime. There have been great strides made in human rights, and the protections of the same. There have been huge steps taken for our safety, and medicine is nothing short of spectacular. Micro and macro biology, genetics, DNA research, vaccines, cures, the list goes on.
We have reached plateaus and summits that only a generation ago were not only science fiction, but also unrealistic and said to be just pipe dreams.
I do have a concern that we have also done something absolutely catastrophic to our future. We have certainly moved forward in many areas, but have we thrown out the baby with the bath water?
In the 1950’s, our culture was also going through spectacular change. Women were in the work force en masse due mostly to the effects of the war, with women filling the factories our fighting boys left vacant to go to ensure our survival. The peace movement was growing, and so was the use of illicit drugs. A massive upheaval and rebellion took place amongst our youth, and the teachings and values that their parents held dear were by and large denounced.
What took hold of us back then? Was it the trauma of the war? Was it the fact that women were forced to hand their kids off to become workers? Or was it simply the bitterness that a generation without fathers or hope spawned?
Media flourished in the 1950’s with televisions being found in more and more homes. North Americans were seeing things through a new set of eyes, a view that they were not accustomed to. Events were being reported more in depth and faster than ever. Little did we know back then how fast that would grow!
Something more profound happened as well. The cold war began after WWII, and the battle between freedom and communism was off and running. For the most part, our youth were eager to fight ‘the commies’ to protect the freedoms that their dads and uncles had sacrificed for. That sentiment would be short lived.
The Vietnam War and Korean War decimated the American spirit. They were bloody conflicts, and protracted ones. Americans saw footage and graphic details that the general public had been spared from the earlier wars. It came as a shock. The leftist media quickly engaged in anti-American reporting that only a short while ago would have been considered treasonous and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. At the same time, communism was reaching its tentacles into our secondary educational system, and would quickly enter our public schools. They had apparently already infiltrated the press.
Education had been for the most part a standardized fare, concentrating on the 3 R’s, and covering basics such as history and geography. That quickly changed and now resembles something very much like social engineering. Children who espouse a belief in right and wrong are chastised. They are asked to question what makes their beliefs right. They are asked to consider if their country has the right to spread its beliefs to others. What is actually occurring is our children are having doubts placed in them about our moral foundations, and those foundations are being removed.
We are inundated today with a barrage of talking points, and it seems that anyone who doesn’t tow the line is called something negative. I myself am a neo-con, according to a recent email. The press talks about leaders with a value system as wanting to drag the clock back, to those “dark days” of the 1950’s. I believe that there was a lot of good in our culture back then, and I am mystified why we were so intent on destroying it.
Our country, and that of our neighbor, were very much moral compasses for the rest of the world. We had standards, right and wrong thinking, and values. What is so wrong with that? These precepts made our two countries the light of the earth, a beacon of hope. We were where every oppressed person on earth wanted to get to. Our countries only got to their greatness because of the values and truths held dear by their respective inhabitants.
We have done something horrible to our land in the meantime.
In attempting to be everything to everyone, we have become what they left or fled from. We have discarded our value system, we have embraced no religious system, and are now morally bankrupt. We now don’t offend, but we also don’t inspire anyone, nor aspire to anything. We elect leaders who have no character, no integrity, and will re-elect them because we are afraid that leaders with a value system might feel inclined to expect us to have one.
I personally have plenty of opportunity to take things that aren’t mine. I have the opportunity to make a lot of easy money with little effort. I have had ample choice to have affairs on my wife, and I know that she would never find out. The reasons that I have rejected all of these choices is that I know they are wrong. This is based on my philosophy and my belief in God. When these are taken away, I no longer have a reason to be a good father, (who needs to, the state will support and feed my kids and wife),or a good husband. I no longer have a reason to be a good worker with a work ethic (who cares, and there goes our countries productivity), I no longer need to care for others, only myself. My motivation for telling the truth has been removed, and now I can be corrupt. I can concentrate on the most important thing in the universe. Me. Nothing else matters once I can discard my value system.
We have spent the last 30 years or so driving home the fact to our kids that standards are movable, thus the recent rulings on marriage, and that right and wrong are relative. These are falsehoods, and until we restore their honor and teach them as worthy precepts, we will continue to see the cultural insolvency continue. We will once again asking people “How could this have happened?”
The answer is staring you right in the face.