Doing what we know is the “right” (correct) action isn’t always easy. It’s often not as plain and clear as many of us would like to think. Especially in these challenging times in which we live what sometimes may seem to be the obvious choice is occasionally complicated by outside factors or influences such as situation, participants, etc. This is particularly true when the choices presented to us are accompanied by conflicting values, attitudes and beliefs. The dilemma can and often is never-ending.
Young people, those under the age of 21 years old, are especially vulnerable in these circumstances. Their sense of what’s right and what’s wrong hasn’t fully matured and too often the lines dividing the two are unclear even to those who are older and experienced. Given the lack of clear direction available to youth in much of our modern world, they’re often influenced in the wrong way or along the wrong path by the misguided souls who should know better but frequently don’t bother to offer guidance.
It seems as though everyone wants to abdicate any responsibility for even trying to do the “right thing” anymore. There’s always an outside” reason for this disinclination to mentor and teach our young people responsibility and it usually results in frequent finger-pointing and a bit of blame-games playing with nothing concrete being accomplished or resolved. It seems to now be fashionable to shift the responsibility away from ourselves and onto the shoulders of others.
Parenting today is often fraught with balancing jobs, home, raising children and all the other assorted tasks with surviving and thriving in today’s hectic world. Add to this the fact that many of today’s parents are themselves products of inadequate parenting and consequently lack the basic skills needed to effectively and successfully instruct their offspring as to what’s right and wrong. Children naturally emulate the adults around them. If the adults within their households are unable to choose between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, who are the youth to follow?
If parents are less capable of imparting the difference between right and wrong to their children, then where does the responsibility of this task lie? The automatic reply of many is upon our social institutions, such as schools, churches, social organizations and our political leadership.
Our political leaders aren’t doing this. I don’t believe the current chief executive of this country has ever assumed accountability for any of his failings/failures/deceits. His fellow politicians, of all persuasions, aren’t having this either. The recent federal government shut-down, furlough or whatever it is being dubbed these days, is, in the eyes of many, always the “other” politicos fault. No one wants to acknowledge his/her culpability.
Our leaders in the faith communities are also engaging in this blame-game. Our current sorrows and sufferings are always the fault of others. The evangelical extremists always point fingers away from themselves and characteristically in the direction of whatever group rivals their extremism. If there is no “common enemy” (most recent example, the gay, lesbian, bisexual. transgender and queer (GLBTQ) community), then some other marginalized group, they point fingers at other extremists.
Even the Roman Catholic hierarchy fails to acknowledge its role in the ever-growing scandal of priests abusing young men (boys). Yet the controversy continues to widen and expand while few accept the blame or the guilt. It always falls on some other cleric and never the ones who conceal the sex abuse cover-up to bear the blame but what happens when the Church has exhausted all available bishops?
My blogging buddy and fellow blogger, galby68, the author of the blog, atleasthaveafrigginglass, wrote a post this past week regarding a very similar situation. To read his posting, Our National Moral Compass, click the title to be directly linked. The fact that we are all living in a global society that is largely clueless and essentially leaderless is really quite frightening.
In the USA, this crisis is growing without any prospect of resolution anytime soon. Our absence of any type of political leadership with any moral integrity is evident daily. The religious institutions offer no balance with extremism now the current norm and moderation being an ideal that is long absent from any national prominence. Civility seems to have completely disappeared from any public dialogue or forum.
Educational institutions and educators are unwilling, unable and ill-equipped to handle the ensuing moral vacuum. Yours truly falls into this category. Teachers decades ago renounced teaching morality because our society was no “too diverse.” Now that society is on the brink of being “too devoid” of morality it is not possible to expect any solution from the educators and their institutions.
In the meantime, it is a generation growing into maturity without the core values necessary for society to function that suffers. Sadly, there is no resolution on the horizon.