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Changing Cultural Values


Harry
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Changing values in society

 

We the people of the United States are failing to provide our children with the tools, infrastructure and environment to develop their minds, bodies and spirits to become world class citizens educated in the arts and sciences at the highest levels. This is not the fault of the government or the education system alone; it is the fault of society and our culture in general. Our society has changed dramatically since WWII when the middle class began to rapidly expand and baby boomers began graduating from high school. Our problem is a cultural one and I don't know if it can be "fixed".

 

Over time it became necessary for mothers to find jobs in order to supplement the father's income. The American dream was to own a home with a white picket fence and get out of the city into the suburbs. As a result kids were left on their own when school was out and would naturally want to spend the rest of the daylight hours outside playing or inside watching American Bandstand, anything but homework. Rock and Roll music was much more important than studies.

 

When soldiers got home from the war they had the GI Bill and many went to college to learn professions. They became doctors and lawyers and such and raised their families in nice houses in good neighborhoods. Home building loans were available from the government under the GI Bill and the post war economy flourished.

 

Some others came home injured psychologically with what was called "shell shock", now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Many of them suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction. Nothing was done to help fix their disorders and they raised families in conditions not conducive to study and learning. Inner city schools were filled with students from financially and psychologically inferior households and then as now the education system didn't generally attract the best teachers to those schools in the ghettos. There was a whole segment of society that did not get a good education and this is still true today.

 

We can blame parents, school systems and government but blaming doesn't solve problems. Somehow or other we need to change the way society values the human condition. We need to understand the importance of the well being of our brothers and sisters in humanity. We need to understand the damage that is done to society when the number one priority of individuals is to accumulate wealth without regard or respect for others. A social system, regardless of size, that places personal gain above all others is a system without compassion and empathy and doomed to failure.

 

We see this lack of empathy and compassion in capitalism and conservatism in modern day society. In the book "It Takes a Village", Hillary Clinton presents her vision for the children of America. She focuses on the impact of society outside the family has on a child's well-being and advocates a society which meets all of a child's needs. Even though her book remained on the New York Times top sellers list for many months it was derided by conservatives. Bob Dole said during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, nominee said "... with all due respect, I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child." Then in 2005, Senator Rick Santorum wrote a rebuke to the book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good. I agree with Hillary, it takes more than a nuclear family even though a nuclear family is the cornerstone of society; it takes the extended family and support of society in general to educate and raise a child. Children are the products of society.

 

One of the major differences I see between conservative and liberal thinking is that liberals look at a bigger picture than conservatives. Conservatives are primarily concerned with themselves and their own families and liberals are concerned with their fellow man throughout the nation/world as well as their own families. The term "compassionate conservative" sounds nice but from what I can see it's an oxymoron. I continually hear conservatives make the argument that spreading the wealth around is somehow evil socialism. They are against using money they paid in taxes on others who rely on government for welfare assistance.

 

If we truly want to live in a nation that will endure for more than a couple of hundred years we need to create a society where children of all backgrounds are afforded a fair shot at realizing their potential. We will have to re-prioritize our selfish materialistic goals and focus more on the actualization of humanity's potential as a whole. We are all connected in human spirit and all human DNA is 99.99% identical. We are all intimately connected to the earth, Gaia, and must learn to respect and care for the environment so our children will have a place to raise their own families.

 

Dinosaurs were on the earth for about 160 million years before they became extinct; during the history of the earth many species have come and gone. The Human species has been here for a mere 200,000 years. It's my conclusion after observing typical human behavior for the past 70 years, that if the seven deadly sins were to overcome the seven holy virtues:

 

Liberality vs. Greed

Humility vs. Pride

Kindness vs. Envy

Abstinence vs. Gluttony

Chastity vs. Lust

Patience vs. Wrath

Diligence vs. Sloth

 

Homo Sapiens will self destruct and will end up as another extinct species. Perhaps a new hybrid cross between humans and robots, a homo cyborg, is the next step .

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Harry, I agree, I work at an at risk school teaching science, math and English. These kids are so strong. They face tremendous tension at home, in society, school and among their peers. Gangs are not bad, they are a reaction to these pressures. I think as a society we need to see the symptoms and be concerned as you stated. I feel it can be turned around, but we need to incorporate our youth, gang members and preppies in respect and compassion to learn from each other. I also feel the elderly which includes me need to be around the youth. They need our calming wisdom and guidance as they find their own way.

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Changing values in society

 

We the people of the United States are failing to provide our children with the tools, infrastructure and environment to develop their minds, bodies and spirits to become world class citizens educated in the arts and sciences at the highest levels. This is not the fault of the government or the education system alone; it is the fault of society and our culture in general.

 

I somewhat agree, although I really don't see it as a hopeless situation. I see it as a period of malaise. We raised our children to approach the world with a sense of wonder and to appreciate the beauty of life. Consequently, they chose like-minded friends to hang with. It is very encouraging to see young people who are curious, creative and responsive to the needy, the environment and each other.

 

 

The American dream was to own a home with a white picket fence and get out of the city into the suburbs.

 

Ugh! I'm a city kid, and living in the burbs was never on my "to-do" list!

 

Unfortunately, I suspect that you are correct. A majority of Americans were duped into thinking that suburban life is THE American dream. The exodus from our cities to the suburbs has created a lifestyle revolving around automobile transportation. This makes our children lazy, our neighborhoods ugly (many homes have large, three and four-car garages facing the street-scape), and our culture fast-paced in order to compensate for long commutes to work.

 

Gone are the morning constitutional (a walk; for those too young to remember), reading the morning newspaper on the bus and chats with the neighbors on the front porch or in the local pub.

 

As a result kids were left on their own when school was out and would naturally want to spend the rest of the daylight hours outside playing or inside watching American Bandstand, anything but homework. Rock and Roll music was much more important than studies.

 

When soldiers got home from the war they had the GI Bill and many went to college to learn professions. They became doctors and lawyers and such and raised their families in nice houses in good neighborhoods. Home building loans were available from the government under the GI Bill and the post war economy flourished.

 

Some others came home injured psychologically with what was called "shell shock", now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Many of them suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction. Nothing was done to help fix their disorders and they raised families in conditions not conducive to study and learning. Inner city schools were filled with students from financially and psychologically inferior households and then as now the education system didn't generally attract the best teachers to those schools in the ghettos. There was a whole segment of society that did not get a good education and this is still true today.

 

We can blame parents, school systems and government but blaming doesn't solve problems. Somehow or other we need to change the way society values the human condition. We need to understand the importance of the well being of our brothers and sisters in humanity. We need to understand the damage that is done to society when the number one priority of individuals is to accumulate wealth without regard or respect for others. A social system, regardless of size, that places personal gain above all others is a system without compassion and empathy and doomed to failure.

 

Good analysis of the post-WWII era!

 

We see this lack of empathy and compassion in capitalism and conservatism in modern day society. In the book "It Takes a Village", Hillary Clinton presents her vision for the children of America. She focuses on the impact of society outside the family has on a child's well-being and advocates a society which meets all of a child's needs. Even though her book remained on the New York Times top sellers list for many months it was derided by conservatives. Bob Dole said during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, nominee said "... with all due respect, I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child." Then in 2005, Senator Rick Santorum wrote a rebuke to the book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good. I agree with Hillary, it takes more than a nuclear family even though a nuclear family is the cornerstone of society; it takes the extended family and support of society in general to educate and raise a child. Children are the products of society.

 

The "nuclear family" is a really BAD idea in my opinion. It is selfishness incarnate. In the inner city where I grew up, families tended to include more than one generation living under one roof. My grandparents and my mother's sister and her kids lived in our house at different times. We were exposed to all different cultures and religions. Often, the neighbors in the next apartment would babysit when my parents weren't home. We looked out for each other, and I think it gave me a greater appreciation for different ideas.

 

When I was in the 7th grade, my father was transferred and we moved to an outer-ring suburb and I hated it. The kids were all the same color, religion and shared a myopic, parochial worldview. My mother didn't drive and there was NO public transportation, so the only way to get anywhere was on a bike. Needless to say, I didn't have much of a village to turn to.

 

One of the major differences I see between conservative and liberal thinking is that liberals look at a bigger picture than conservatives. Conservatives are primarily concerned with themselves and their own families and liberals are concerned with their fellow man throughout the nation/world as well as their own families. The term "compassionate conservative" sounds nice but from what I can see it's an oxymoron. I continually hear conservatives make the argument that spreading the wealth around is somehow evil socialism. They are against using money they paid in taxes on others who rely on government for welfare assistance.

 

I'm not so sure that I see it as that simple. I know plenty of conservatives and liberals alike who are apathetic to the world. I can count on one hand the number of conservatives and / or liberals who will take time to volunteer for some charity or some such. I know that I agree more with liberal rhetoric than I do conservative, but actions speak louder in my book.

 

If we truly want to live in a nation that will endure for more than a couple of hundred years we need to create a society where children of all backgrounds are afforded a fair shot at realizing their potential. We will have to re-prioritize our selfish materialistic goals and focus more on the actualization of humanity's potential as a whole. We are all connected in human spirit and all human DNA is 99.99% identical. We are all intimately connected to the earth, Gaia, and must learn to respect and care for the environment so our children will have a place to raise their own families.

 

I agree 100 percent!

 

Dinosaurs were on the earth for about 160 million years before they became extinct; during the history of the earth many species have come and gone. The Human species has been here for a mere 200,000 years. It's my conclusion after observing typical human behavior for the past 70 years, that if the seven deadly sins were to overcome the seven holy virtues:

 

Liberality vs. Greed

Humility vs. Pride

Kindness vs. Envy

Abstinence vs. Gluttony

Chastity vs. Lust

Patience vs. Wrath

Diligence vs. Sloth

 

Homo Sapiens will self destruct and will end up as another extinct species. Perhaps a new hybrid cross between humans and robots, a homo cyborg, is the next step .

 

I always imagined that the chimpanzees will develop speech and kick our asses!

 

NORM

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