Saturday, February 23, 2013

Respect, A Dying Trait in America?

"These kids today, I tell you what..."  How many times has that been said by every generation in America?  Probably too many to count.  I do believe, however, that the kids today have outpaced previous generations' youth in their complete lack of respect for, well, just about everything.  Who's to blame?  The kids?  Their parents?  Our declining public education system?  Hollyweird?  I say, all of the above.

Children today are literally bombarded by bad examples of behavior.  Compare today's "role models" with those of yesteryear.  As a child, my role models were guys like Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, and my dad.  Who do kids today have to look up to?  Professional athletes are  habitually in trouble with drugs, the law and all manner of other unsavory things.  Musicians?  Please!  Most modern entertainers can't even spell "role model."  Youth role models of today are best known for their latest brushes with the law, trips to rehab, or sex tapes.  What about the examples set by their parents?

I'm well aware of the fact that there are plenty of great parents out there, but the number of worthless parents seems to be climbing at an alarming rate.  When was the last time that you saw a parent discipline a child in public?  Many are fearful of reprisals from busybodies and law enforcement personnel, under the guise of "child abuse."  Others just cannot be bothered to teach their kids right from wrong, because it requires effort on their part.  How can we expect a kid to grow up into a good man or woman if their parents are lowlife scumbags?  Schools are no better these days either.

Most public schools seem to have completely abandoned the idea of disciplining students who misbehave.  If a child is not being disciplined at home, and their teachers don't bother to discipline them when they act out, take a wild guess as to how that kid will turn out as an adult.

Media outlets are plastered with examples of our youth's lack of morals.  Take a look at the "occupy movement."  All of those encampments were dens of crime, drugs, and all manner of filth.  Most of the participants were misguided young adults with a twisted sense of entitlement.  Where are they getting this sense of entitlement?  They're being taught at every level of education that they can rely on the government to take care of their every need, and a free ride is only a vote away (See also: Venezuela).  Thank you, higher education.

All of this is nothing new, but most of us go about our daily business without any real sense of alarm about this trend.  I don't know what the solution is, but an examination of what our kids are being taught in school is a good first step.  Since there are absolutely no repercussions for being a worthless parent, that fight will probably never be won.  I'd be interested in your ideas; fire away in the comments section.


Dan O. said...

All I can come up with is cliches. It's going to get worse (yes, I'm afraid it is possible) before it gets better. The whole country looks like it's going to have to implode before it improves. Look who was RE-elected last November. "WTF" just doesn't cover it anymore.


My wife and I were just talking the other day. Our children know what "bad words" are and don't use them. They say their prayers over food, and at night, and the morning prayer as well.

Every Friday night before we light the Shabbat candles we put money in a box (called the Tzedekah box) for those less fortunate, and they understand that even if they can only afford a penny, it's important to do that.

They're kind, and helpful, and caring. Traits that are becoming rarer and rarer these days. Alas.

Just John said...

@NITZAKHON: Thanks for stopping by. It's refreshing to hear about good parenting examples in this day and age.