The other day I was talking to a neighbor of mine. She was saying how lately some of the kids in the neighborhood have been acting less polite than usual. And I think when she said lately, she meant the last several years. And because of her age, I was almost ready to discount her statement as just another disgruntled old person’s expected “kids today,” rant.
There is a famous quote that goes something like this: “kids today don’t listen anymore, and they don’t respect their elders, blah blah blah,” which sounds like a common enough complaint. When you realize that was spoken by some Greek guy over two thousand years ago, it becomes apparent that old people grumbling about kids is common to every generation.
But one thing that is different, at least in this particular situation is there are some statistics to back this up. According to several sources, there are less and less people getting and staying married. And there are less and less people attending religious services on a regular basis. Before you click off this page thinking that I’m some right wing family values religious nutcase, please understand I haven’t stepped foot in a church since my fathers funeral, and I think it’s absolutely fantastic that social pressures that keep people in otherwise unhappy marriages are crumbling, giving people freedom that they wouldn’t have enjoyed in other generations.
That being said, I think this is an interesting phenomenon from a scientific, societal standpoint. There are less and less marriages, and many more divorces, which many argue lead naturally to a less stable upbringing for kids. Of course there is the argument that kids are better of with separated or divorced parents than with parents together but at each others throat all the time.
Also, less and less families are attending any kind of church services as a whole. When you combine these two together, you have less positive role models for kids to look up to, which leaves them only with each other to learn how to behave and act in modern society.
Please keep in mind that I am not arguing for people to stay married if they hate each other, or get married if they aren’t ready. Nor am I advocating any church participation of any sort. I jus think it’s interesting to watch the dynamic unfold, and how it will affect society in years to come.
I am a firm believer in personal responsibility, and if you are of the persuasion that it is up to society to teach you morals and proper behavior, and then you are at the mercy of the ebbs and flow of societal trends, be they good or bad.
If, however, you are inclined to choose your own moral path, based upon your own choices and decisions for where you want your own life to lead, then there has never been a better time that right now.
Crumbling influences of society can be good, and it can be bad. Like any other system, those that depend upon it stand to lose when the system has problems. Those that understand the system for what it is, and use it to their advantage usually come out ahead, regardless of their social economic background and upbringing.
Crumbling social pressures to get and stay married may make finding and keeping a partner more difficult, but much more rewarding once they are found.
Similarly, releasing oneself from the restrictions of the two thousand year old religious moral authority may seem frightening at first, but when you realize you can make your own rules, (so long as you are prepared to live with the consequences,) you can gain so much more power.
What many come to realize is that when they choose their own path in life, they find that their own personal code of morals and ethics closely mimic the beneficial ones from religion. Don’t kill, steal, or covet, or lie. And as a bonus, some of the stuff is supposedly bad, isn’t so bad after all.
Like sex and money are perfectly fine so long as you make sure everybody is happy, and nobody gets hurt. Of course, if you’re going to make more people, then you need to be sure they grow up with the best resources, mental and otherwise, to achieve their dreams in life as well. Maybe that’s what my neighbor was getting at.