Where did we go wrong? Where has respect gone? Can we ever get it back? Can we change enough to make an impact?
As a parent, as a male, as an American, I am appalled at the behavior recently exposed in the headlines. A visitor to our country is ruthlessly gunned down by a group of untethered thugs and a World War II hero is beaten and left for dead. Yet the headline on MSNBC website reads “Might as Well Just Die”: Transgender Prisoners Go to Extremes for Sex Change”. As most American’s sleep, the country is falling apart from the inside out.
Theories abound as to why we have de-gradated so far. Some blame the lack of jobs, some blame education, and some blame society. Ultimately it is the degradation of the American Family that is to blame. Well over 50% of our children live in mixed, blended, or single parent households. Even those in “traditional” families, both parents often work. The result is our children are left unsupervised for long periods of time. We leave it up to society to teach our children morals and correct behavior, while the parents slave away at minimum wage jobs. Too tired to “parent” these children are left to fend for themselves.
Our schools are no help. Underfunded and under staffed our schools barely have time for those students that excel, much less those that struggle. Cities are laying off teachers at a record pace, yet oblivious to current events our President promises Head-Start Pre-K for all and promotes the hiring of 500,000 new Science and Math Teachers. Amazing new technology is being developed, yet most schools cannot afford it. What happened to the “wired classrooms” promised by our government? So where can a child turn?
How about to the church? Well how about not! Churches have chosen to take sides as well. Leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton preach racial division picking and choosing causes to champion based off of their potential to line their pockets. Marches, protest, and boycotts were promoted when a want-to-be thug was killed while beating a “white-Mexican Cracker”, yet an innocent 89 year old war hero is beaten to death and “no comment”.
Where can a child go? Where can they go to learn about respect? Who will teach them moral behavior? Unfortunately there are not many places a child can go. This is the failure of my generation. We took too much for granted and fell asleep at the wheel. We did away with Corporal Punishment. We gave kids trophies win or lose. We made it too easy to advance through schools. We made it too easy for people to get, and stay on welfare. We handed out disability payments like they were candy. We vanquished the American Dream with the housing crisis. We, the nameless generation, made this mess. Now we must suffer the consequences. We no longer honor hard work; it is the cheaters that get a head. If we want to correct our errs, we have a lot of work to do, and it must start with a long hard look in the mirror.
Do you truly want change? Do you want our country to succeed? I challenge you to make a difference. Don’t allow you neighbor’s children to call you by your first name! Make them call you Mr. or Mrs. Tell them to make eye contact with you when they speak to you. Tell them to use Sir or Ma’am when addressing you. Teach them to respect each other, teach them to respect elders, teach them proper behavior.
Why is it a man who dug himself out of poverty to become a world renowned surgeon (Dr. Ben Carter) is called an Uncle Tom? We should honor and praise people like Dr. Carter. Our younger generation cares more about Jay-Z and Beyonce. Why do we allow derogatory comments towards women, gays, and various religious groups? We should be appalled when the word “bitch” is spoken towards another human being. We have grown too accustom to putting each other down and the result is that our children fell it is acceptable behavior. Take a stance; make a promise to correct someone if they use foul language towards another. It is about respect!
Take a second tonight, close your eyes and put yourself in the eyes of Christopher Lane’s family. They will never be able to see their son, their friend, their companion again. Now think about Delbert Belton, a man, a hero, that survived the invasion of Okinawa, only to beaten like a stray dog in the country he fought so bravely to defend. Now think about the 15 other people that were murdered during that moment. Make a pledge; make a statement, MAKE A DIFERENCE!!!