Loss of Morals and Innocence; Where Did It Go, How Do We Get It Back?
I am sure many of you have had friends and family ask, “We used to have values, people would help people, we knew what was wrong and right; where did we lose our way, what has happened to us?” Others look at what is going on, they hide in their homes, shut out the world, live their lives in their safe cocoon, but that is not very good either, it causes us as a nation to split, lose our unity. As a famous storyteller, Aesop, so long ago taught us with “The Four Oxen and the Lion” and indirectly in “The Bundle of Sticks”, as Jesus said in Luke 11:17, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.” We need each other, for as a nation we need unity, as a family, we need our communities to bring our children up in a way that is right. But more then all of this, we need to get back to our roots.
Where we came from
Charles Manson, a character from the past that showed how an individual who had a charismatic personality could lead young people to do terrible things. Add to this the fact that drugs, sex, and Rock were involved, they only added fuel and rage for the people in power at the time; even more, America was in the midst of a cultural revolution, the older generation was reeling from assaults on all that they stood by morally for hundreds of years. Out of this America would never again be the same, but was it for the better? That is questionable.
There was an innocence of the time, the young were still sheltered in many ways, access to information was nothing like we have today, you basically had national newspapers or three channels that showed the news at night, outside of that you were kept in a rather sheltered cocoon. Back then people trusted the news, knew that if they saw Walter Cronkite say something on the evening news, it had to be so, our leaders were far more trusted then they are now (we had not yet gone through the scandal of Watergate), and even though we had lost JFK not long before, there was still a dream of what America could be, we were headed to the moon and soon beyond, sadly not long after we lost patience with this as well.
We still dreamed, but the assassination of JFK in Dallas on November of 63, followed not long after with RFK followed his brother in the same tragic ending by the hands of a Palestinian assassin in 1968, named Sirhan Sirhan, who claimed he targeted Kennedy due to his support of Israel. The young and old were able to stand with RFK, now he was ripped away, what did they have left? Nixon and Humprey due to Johnson pulling out. America once more was feeling they were voting not due to a man that sparked their spirit, rather they were picking out of the two lesser evils.
After this we saw Vietnam explode into a much worse war, divisiveness started not only with the youth over the war, but the press played very much a hand in driving those divisions to even greater extremes, no more did they act as the gateway of information coming to us Americans, they started to believe they had the right to control and manipulate that information, thereby controlling our perceptions, we see now the result of this, no one trusts them anymore.
Nixon was caught having a hand in a break-in, that turned into Watergate, lost tapes and so on, soon he was leaving the office of president in disgrace. Ford stepped in, actually brought a sense of calm to the nation, rather than focus on that, the press’s continuous attacks soon swayed the voters, America wanted a change.
Along came Carter, who to be frank was the most inept president we had in the last 100 years, although one could argue that Obama did much more to put this nation in a worse way then Carter ever did, the rise of Reagan and Bush, Clinton that saw the White House shine fade even more with scandal after scandal, then Bush, the Iraq war, and finally Obama and his assorted scandal’s all in the name of progressive ideology, although listening to his team you would think there were none.
During that time we saw video games that started to rip the innocence from our youth, a kid today seems more death in a week, even if it is all play, then a child back in the 60’s would have seen in their whole life. moral absolutes were tossed out the window, we were taught that life was no more about personal responsibility, rather the left would have you think it was about whom was victimized and not. Social networks changed the way we and our children communicated, kids would sit across from each other on a table, rather than speak would use chat functions on their phones.
Where we are at
Soon violence was everywhere, violent video games, violent TV, violent movies, soon we became jaded with blood and senseless loss of life. We saw a slaughter of a record number of people just this October by a madman, the nation took a collective breath then forgot. You had people tweeting that they did not feel bad for them, they were bible thumpers who most likely supported Trump, others screamed for gun control, screamed about the racism of the thing, that it was only White Middle Aged men that were doing this type of thing, seems they forget about the black man that shot officers in Dallas and another in Atlanta or the Muslim immigrant that ran people over with his car in Minneapolus, and naturally it was in their view conservative white male and a female that must have done this as well, they were only from Saudi Arabia, what else could they be?
The press talking heads came out and determined that White conservative males were the greatest danger that America faced, naturally they conveniently ignored the fact that the last two men that slaughtered all the people were active in the democratic party, they ignored that over 50% of this nations murders are committed by less than 7% of this population, Black Males, instead they focused on their racist attacks of “White Privilege”. Seems that the press no longer felt they had to be honest, as long as they tickled ears, that was fine. Our president called them out for this, humiliated them, let the people know their true face. Reporters in the Leftist news outlets cried foul, even FOX’s Chris Wallace missed out on the fact that the reason no one trusted the press had nothing to do with Trump, he was just reacting to already terrible and biased press, he only aided in exposing them. In short time the press in their fickle way had already turned from the carnage in Las Vegas and Texas to making up stories and attacking Trump.
Amazing how quickly we forgot about the worst murder in American history by a single individual or the next one that came along, a psycho the military screwed up on with its lack of reporting to civilian authorities, thus he was able to buy guns. He went to a church and started to execute rather calmly defenseless people in the church who only came to worship, then being a typical coward ran for his life when someone showed up with a gun to shoot back. All this has happened, yet a couple of weeks later, no one is even affected by this, we have more zombies to cut heads off of, more avatars to slaughter, such violence now is just a hiccup, we see it one day, sit in shock for a day, then all is forgotten.
Our nation has forgotten our innocence, we may never get it back, but we can give it back to the generations to follow. Our youth being raised now, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, they have been exposed to mayhem and violence since they were little kids. It is little wonder why it was after the advent of these video games that you started to see the first wholesale slaughter in schools by other children in the 90’s and on, this is when these games started to rise in prominence. Sadly in that time, we have seen hundreds of young lives snuffed out starting with Columbine High School massacre continuing on even now, now people are just jaded by this.
Where to go from here
So what can we do? Maybe the first thing we can do is start to put pressure on the gaming world to stop all the realism with death in games. My kid has an Xbox One, he is 12, I and my wife allow him to play on the box for an hour a day during the week, in the weekend for two hours. We go through all the games, but even by doing this you still can’t escape the violence, and it is not right to cut him off 100%, so we try to minimize the exposure, look to racing and sports games, and no, we would never allow Grand Theft Auto, we both research before we buy anything, then rent them out at the game store first, that way we can check before we buy. We have looked for games like Unravel, Minecraft, and other such games, and at no time is the video game looked upon as a babysitter, we have to be with him while he is using it. We as parents need to be selective in what our children are taking in, my mother used to say what you put in will one day come out, many times we seem to forget this.
Then listen to the music they are playing today, you have rappers that disrespect women, calling them names no one would ever allow to be used on their mother or sisters, they sing of their guns, shooting people, raping others, how women should be used as an object or used as prostitutes, there video’s leave little to the imagination. Then when shootings start they are quick to cast blame, but fail to realize when you put this garbage in it is going to come out. When you sing songs about raping and killing, play video games where people are killed and pick themselves back up, others where the player get points for ripping prostitutes off in the back of a car and get points for it, then run them over for even more points, they start to think life is this way. It is little wonder that in cities like Chicago we see more murders then we see in Afghanistan, seems many forget that life is not a game, when you shoot and kill someone, you don’t have a reset switch.
It is the same with movies and TV, my wife is much, much more strict them I am on this with our kid, she does not like Cops, shows dealing with criminals, she says it does not put good idea’s in our kids head, instead she coaxes him to look at some of the on-demand sites that go over robots, interaction with the technical world or animal shows, something she knows will interest him. We feel that even at 12 we have to watch like guardians what he takes in, our responsibility is to aid in his discovery of the world, to be gatekeepers to how quickly he finds out about things, to allow innocence to stay as long as possible, innocence once lost can never again be found.
We find faith is everything, not the religious teachings, something that in many cases is tuned out and not paid much attention to, but rather to show the amazing complexity of nature, how everything works together, how nature while it can be cruel, it can equally be beautiful. We teach faith in a higher power, teach that there are reasons for morals, but morals should never be used to condemn, rather as a means to set your path.
Acceptance is equally important, remember one day we passed some Muslims playing, he turned to me and said, I can’t talk to them, we are Jewish, they all want to kill us. I stopped my car in shock, asked where he heard this, while I am very honest about the problems of Islam, I have never, nor would ever teach that Muslims as a people are inherently evil, so we had a talk, I tried to gently explain this, then took him to a mosque, met a Imam, he sat and spoke with my son, soon that problem was solved.
I am a fighter for the truth but never can stand bigotry. While truth, even if it is brutal is always great for exposure, it is only the truth. But bigotry is not truth, never will be, in just the 1900’s we have seen tens of millions slaughtered because of bigotry, be it from the Ottomans with the Armenians, Hitler with the Jews (not to mention the Gypsies, Religous Groups, Russians, and Poles), Saddam Hussein gassing the Kurds to ISIS slaughtering the Christians, along with the Yazidi and Kaka’i communities.
We need to learn to love life, except that it is not a commodity, rather something to be held in a sacred trust, and this should go for all life. We need to teach that all things have consequences if you act, there is and always will be a reaction, most of the times good, sometimes not. And last, innocence, it seems that kids will always be in a rush to lose their innocence, I wish I could stand and say I wasn’t this way as a child, but I was, but I had a mother who stood as one of those heroes of old, she guarded our innocence like lion-guarded her cubs, I would love to think I do the same. Being busy is not a excuse to not do, I remember this lesson as well; today I am faced with taking care of a child, a child with Williams Syndrom (for the most part means you get lots of hugs, they call it the hugging disease, these kids love everyone), but I am doing so while my wife in hospice, so in a way I am taking care of two, but being tired is not an excuse, you have to do what you have to do, remember people, you only get one chance, there are no do overs in parenting, you can make mistakes, and we all do, but being a parent is knowing when you are wrong, what to do to correct it and keep going.
Will all of this restore our innocence? Of course it won’t, but it can with the generations to follow. We need to know that with all this new tech comes new challenges, we need to be ready to face it and deal with it. I have no desire to be like the Amish and hide from the modern world, neither do I want to go blindly, ignore the pitfalls and be shocked when I discover them. We need to be vigilant, yet remember the joy of discovery. We need to demand our news be free from censorship and political manipulation unless it is presented as an opinion piece, and we need to demand more of our politicians, but more then anything, we need to demand more of ourselves.