Here’s the Nonsense: We’re evolving to a higher level in our society and mankind is getting better.
Here’s the Horse Sense: Society is at an all-time low. When a political party starts supporting and promoting the kind of behavior that we see in this society it is apparent to all except the most blind that we are about to self-destruct.
Upon seeing the drunken tailgate partying at a football playoff game, Adrian Monk, Tony Shaloub’s character in the hit cable TV series Monk, struck really close to home when he asked, “Did you enjoy civilization…? I sure did. It was a hell of a run. Eight thousand years.”
The holidays are here. Thanksgiving has just passed and we’re on our way to Christmas and all that goes with it: Christmas shopping, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pushing, shoving, rudeness, anger, hostility, and any other kind of narcissism you can think of. Mankind’s true nature is showing through.
Yes the holidays are what we talk about as a great family time of year. We have memories of family, friends, and wonderful happenings. But somehow we aren’t making as many of those kinds of memories as we used to. Just look at what happened on Black Friday this year.
In South Charleston, West Virginia a man collapsed in a Target store while shoppers walked around him and stepped over him. The man died after being taken to the hospital.
Over 20 shoppers at a Los Angeles WalMart were injured when a shopper sprayed pepper spray at the crowd so she could get an advantage in shopping. And if that isn’t enough, at least one media source simply referred to the woman as a “competitive shopper” when reporting the story. The media doesn’t even acknowledge how wrong her actions were.
A Victoria’s Secret in Pittsburgh was the site of women hitting and punching each other in a fight over yoga pants.
A shopper in San Leandro, California was critically wounded when she was shot while at a WalMart and a robbery occurred outside.
If that’s not enough, some other incidents reported include gunfire at a Fayetteville, NC mall with resulting chaos among shoppers. Myrtle Beach, SC had a robbery attempt near a WalMart in which a woman was shot. And the last, but far from least, incident I will share with you had a report saying that an off-duty police officer was hired to help with security at a Kinston, NC WalMart. He used pepper spray on disorderly shoppers trying to grab products before the store staff was able to finish placing them on the display. (This is supposed to be a professional trained to handle these types of situations?)
Yes, civilization has clearly ended. No, I don’t mean it’s just a little worse. I mean that virtually all vestiges of sanity and civility have left and moved on to a better world.
When I was growing up we would go shopping for the holidays and there would be crowds and busy stores, but if you went for an item and the supply had run out it was not uncommon for another shopper who got there first to offer you theirs.
If you went somewhere that was crowded men and children would give up their seats so that ladies had a place to sit.
People held the door for others, sometimes getting themselves caught with such a crowd coming in that they might stand there holding that door longer than they had expected. But when the crowd had passed and they rejoined their party they would do it with a smile and not be upset at the little delay caused by taking the time to be polite and show what was then common courtesy.
Today common courtesy is very uncommon. The fact that it is missing is one of the glaring signs that civility has ended.
We have entered the self-centered age. The age of narcissism. It’s all about us and as long as we get what we want we are happy… at least until we want something else. That was seen recently in the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The Occupy Wall Street protest movement said they wanted to boycott businesses on Black Friday. Quite a contrast to the Tea Party groups that countered those actions by setting up “buycotts” to encourage the support of businesses.
The Tea Party certainly represents what little is left of civility, honor, and hope for our society. When the Tea Party had what was estimated to be well over a million people (some estimates were two million) on the mall in Washington, DC for a rally, the park officials said that they left the area cleaner than when they arrived. Quite a contrast from the Occupy Wall Street protesters who numbered at most a few thousand and had to be forced out of Zuccotti Park in New York and the area had to be power washed and sanitized to clean up the disgusting mess these people were living in.
The Tea Party rallies have been places that families could go to be involved in efforts to bring back the values that this nation was founded upon. The Occupy protests have become so dangerous that violent crimes have been reported over and over again across the country. Safe tents have had to be set up so women could rest there and be safe from being attacked and raped. Theft is rampant at these protests.
America has come to a crossroads. On one hand we have the Occupy protesters who have been endorsed and encouraged by the Democrat Party and the President’s administration. These protesters are the people demanding that we spend more money to give them what they want, even though we are a nation who can’t pay our bills. The protesters demand more taxes on the rich who already pay a higher portion of the taxes than the rest of the country and are the very ones who create jobs for the rest of us. These protesters want the government to have more power, even though the government is what created the mess we’re in. These protesters want to replace the Constitution, yet they don’t even understand our Constitution or the fact that it is because of the Constitution that they have the right to protest. These protesters are people of irresponsibility and self-centeredness.
The Democrats and their leader, our president, have embraced and praised the Occupy protesters.
On the other hand, the Tea Party are the people who say the government needs to stop spending money that we don’t have. They want the government to take responsibility, stop spending, and get out of debt. They understand that the answer lies in less government control and more accountability by the government to the citizens. The Tea Party are the ones who realize that it’s time for citizens to pick up the pieces of this mess and take responsibility for how government handles things. They realize that more taxes are not the answer, but spending cuts and responsible use of the tax revenues that we allow the government to have are what is needed. They understand that we need to restore the Constitution, not abandon it.
In my recent book, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage, I talk about the character traits of leadership. These are the traits that we should be looking for in the people we elect as leaders. These are the traits that cause those leaders to be driven to put the nation above themselves and lead us out of the mess we’re in. These are the traits we should all seek to find in the people we elect for political office. We should also seek to have these same traits in our personal lives so that we build an America that leads the world by its example once again. We need these traits in each of us so that we can teach our children the values that make them the best people they can be. These are the traits that formed our nation and, until we allowed ourselves to get so self-absorbed, caused us to live in a society with honor, virtue, values, courtesy and manners. A society where we raised our children to put values above personal interest. A society that looked for good things we could do to help others. A society where the events that occurred on Black Friday would be unheard of.
Unfortunately we have moved past that time and it’s time to reclaim it. It’s time to give civilization another good run for thousands of years. If we don’t I’m afraid what is left might not even last another 100 years.