$ociety i$ $o $crewed Up!

I said something last week on how our society is structured and I think this is something I need to explore some more.

There has beena dramatic shift in my own lifetime.  Not politics, though you could say it is related.  Not religion though I will certainly have something to say about the changes, or lack thereof in that venue.  It has everything to do with the value systems that rule our lives.

I remember a time when we all knew our neighbours.  I remember a time when people gave up their seats on a bus.  Holding a door for someone, holding the elevator, helping someone carry their bags.  I feel like I’m 60 already!

I remember a time when money wasn’t the all consuming need of our lives.  And I remember a time when celebrities were an important part of our entertainment but their lives were not so critical to us.  Our heroes were leaders, not pampered princesses.  Sports figures were looked up to not demogogued.  Communities had leaders.  Politicians actually worked for the greater good not just their good or just their constituents good.

Love wasn’t a tv show goal.  Making love was something you did with a true love.  Sex was and still is meaningless without it.  Sex is not love.  The divorce rate explains why this is true.  People think a hot sex life is the ONLY thing that defines a relationship.  Talking, learning each other’s thoughts and dreams, common life goals, honesty, TRUST.  Anybody recognize those things?

More than half of everything on tv today is called reality but is based on nothing but the pursuit of cash, fake pursuit of love or just being fake.  How screwed are kids today?  What is this teaching them?  And no matter how hard parents try, it is so apparent that the biggest influences on most kids in their teens are outside the home, whether on tv or on friends who who have no parenting.

I can speak from experience.  Trying to teach your children right from wrong, what to do, what not to do, especially during those crazy teen years, seems hopeless at times.  And many will say that once they pass their teens, those lessons will still be there.  I hope so but it is so hard to know right now.

I’m not naive enough to think the things I’d rather they didn’t do happen.  But I look at all these two working parent homes.  I look at all these kids without guidance.  Kids with parents who are too tired to figure out what’s going on and try and stop it. 

Because we need money.  Because we have no time.  Because the toys have become as important as the time, as the feelings, as the caring, as the work.  I see a generation coming that is adrift.  There is no moral center in this world.  There is no sense of justice.  There is no sense of right.  There is no sense of fairness.  There’s just no sense.

Paris Hilton, Survivor, Big Brother, Tila Tequila, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Hills, Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, TMZ, Perez Hilton, Dancing with the Stars, Millionaire. 

Where’s the inspiration for this generation?  Obama is the closest thing they have.  And the media makes sure that everyone gets confused on what is right.  The media is nothing without the circus.  And the public won’t watch the real news and try and understand it, if they can find it.  If it doesn’t fit in 30 second sound bites, we’ll never see it.  Who understands the health care debate?  The torture debate (and my question on why this is even a debate)?  The war in Afghanistan?  Pakistan?  India?  Iran?  Israel?  Gun control?  Morality?  What’s black?  What’s white?  What should be black or should be white?  What’s gray and whether it should be?

Fake rules the day!  Vanity is the new morality.  Plastic surgery because no matter how you look, you’re ugly!  Didn’t you know?  Those blue eyes need green contacts.  Your nose?  OH.  MY.  GAWD!  That girl?  Has she looked in the mirror?  I WOULD JUST DIE!  Sadly, she might just do that.

When was the last time you did something for someone else?  Without being asked.  Without provovation.  Have you?  Try it.  It might surprise you.  It can be as stupid as giving someone a buggy at the grocery store without expecting the quarter or dollar you put in back.  You should see the faces when I do that!  Absolutely stunned!

Volunteer somewhere.  Pick up garbage in your neighbourhood.  Help someone.  Take food to the food bank.  Fill a few boxes while you are there.  Give something to someone who needs it.  Without expecting money in return.

And than there’s the important thinga you can do for your kids.  Talk to them.  Tell them what’s real.  Show them that what they think is real is crap.  Tell them what love is and what it isn’t.  And show them what love is and what love isn’t.  Remember your spouse?  Yeah, show them love.  Talk.  Explain.  Share.  And share pain and joy.  Life is full of both and they need to know both.  Not just the lies of one nor just the hurt of the other.  Teach them truth.  Teach them values.  Not just moral values but their value.  They need to know how far you would go for them.  Being tired is an excuse.  Most of us need to have  both parents working just to get by.  Don’t let that be an excuse for not parenting.  Love goes 24 hours.  Life goes 24 hours.  Be there.  No matter how much they say they hate it.

So when I look around the world today but most especially here in North America, I start to question the value of a free market society.  When everything is centered around money, values seem to get lost.  Greed becomes the be all and end all.

I sit and look at the economy recovering.  And all they say is they know it will be better when Joe Public gets back to his former spending habits.  Ummm, wasn’t that part of the problem?  Debt is overwhelming.  And they want everyone to get back to it.  And they say we need to be smart about it.  How many of us believe that is possible?

All I want is balance.  All I want is peace. All I want is a world my children can truly grow in.  All I want is so hard to believe in.  That doesn’t mean I won’t try.  Giving up would be th worst choice of all.

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