It seems more and more these days people are more offended by the silliest of things, and tend to be the biggest hypocrites in their arguments. Not saying that everyone who doesn't complain are perfect, but they aren't doing anyone any favors by turning the other cheek. When we look back as far as 40 years ago, or even a bit farther, we can look at how our culture has changed by watching what was popular then, and what is popular now.
I grew up watching reruns of the "Jeffersons", and "All in the Family", and onto other shows growing up like "Growing Pains", "Family Matters", and you can see over the decades how we became more sensitive and how we tried to be respectful of others, but what it did was open the door for a culture that honestly people probably didn't intend to create, but once the box was opened, no one ever looked back.
This created this culture of disrespect when people were trying to create a culture of tolerance and inclusivity. In my previous blog, I explained why we should not be tolerant, because tolerance breeds disrespect, it breeds deep resentment, don't believe me?...just turn on the TV and watch any news organization and listen to their propaganda.
If you look at recent events such as the confederate flag issue, now for some this may hold some deep meaning of hatred, others may not look at it that way, they may look at it as a symbol of history. Depending on who you ask you will get one of these answers, if you go up north, well, you might get a shoulder shrug with a look of, "and what does that have to do with me?" Now, I am not here to tell anyone that their opinions do not matter, but for many people who lived with the flag, it didn't affect their daily life, it didn't create a hardship, it didn't make their lives financially harder, but for some it did remind them of a time where true evil existed on a daily basis.
Again, I am not trying to downplay people's feelings, but this is leading to my point...we created this culture of disrespect because we allowed ourselves to take out each others differences, and not value what makes us...well, us. We allowed others to make our opinion for us, and we have take out the common sense factor and now we get upset about EVERYTHING!!
What did this do? it made us focus parts that were insignificant, and magnify them rather than focus on what was really important. This also destroyed the art of conversation and dialog. We are always talking over each other and not listening, and we keep raising the bar higher and higher, and guess what?....OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING!! I may sound like Helen Lovejoy, the wife of Rev Lovejoy..(Yes I am a Simpsons fan and this is a Simpsons reference..lol) where she is always screaming, "Think of the children!" but I am a father, so I am concerned.
As a leader we have to think about what legacy we create, the legacy we leave behind. The lessons and examples that we create, we are creating today, so what is it that we want to create? All I see overtime I turn on the TV, is another train wreck, just look at the girl that was on Dr. Phil...everyone knows who she is, I just refuse to mention her name or give her more free publicity. Just look at our college educators and institutions where they literally protest someone else right to speech just because they disagree with them, making themselves the exact thing they are protesting against...this is the culture of disrespect.
There is a great book that I recommend every person should read, even if you aren't a parent, it is titled "The Collapse of Parenting", by Dr. Leonard Sax MD PhD and in the book he made a great point, he said look at one of the most popular icons of today, Disney. Who doesn't love Disney, people spend billions of dollars a year on Disney products, my kids love watching the Disney channel, and to include many of the shows on Disney. One of which is called Jessie, where the main character is a nanny who is watching the kids where the adult butler is portrayed as a simple minded moron.
Where are the parents? The show makes adults as the morons while the kids are running the show. Makes for good entertainment but it leads to the bigger question...WHERE ARE THE PARENTS? We as parents are supposed to be setting the example. We are watching Jersey Shore, and other reality shows, and in no where do you see any influence of a parent establishing a moral foundation. Nowadays its all about trying to be their best friend, thus creating this parallel relationship with our kids and they think it's ok to be disrespectful because our parents are acting the same way.
We continue down this path of forgetting our place as leaders in our society, because we don't want to deal with the responsibility of being an adult! The bible in 1 Corinthians 13:11 says to put away our childish things as adults, because it comes to a point where we have to step up and be adults and set the example! We are creating this culture, we are creating this disrespect, we are creating this upside down world and where is it leading us? Where is it taking us? What are we gaining?
We need to become better leaders, we need to be more responsible and focus on reestablishing our morals, and respect, rather than walking on eggshells worrying about offending other people. We are limiting our beliefs, our greatness, our future. We should be getting upset about the heroin epidemic that is plaguing our nation, heck in south jersey alone in 2017 over 190 people have already died...and more everyday. What about the lack of real education, or how we as a nation are declining in real skills that create.
These are the things that we need to be offended by, we need to be offended by the lack of personal responsibility, the lack of basic human respect, we should be offended by the lack of civility in our society that is driving a deeper wedge in our communities. It's time be be social, it's time to learn how to be respectful. We need to fill the void of leadership by developing our youth and promoting real leadership. We need to stop breaking down each other and start celebrating each other. We need to stop bickering about bathrooms and start holding our elected leaders to a higher moral standard, and set the example for our communities.
How can you do this? Have a block party, take your kids to a museum, celebrate the holidays by singing christmas carols. Start a support group in your community or place of worship. Read more about self improvement, rather than listening to the news of self doubt, and self destruction. Find your moral compass, and show the world how great life is!! Life is the greatest gift we have, make the most of it, rather than wasting time complaining about who is less racist, or setting your DVR for the next reality series.
Whatever you decide to do, make the choice, make it a just and moral choice, and do it because your offended that right is being considered wrong, and you know better...and create a better culture that your kids will be proud of!