I firmly believe that the overall admiration and appreciation for positive, personal human qualities has greatly eroded over the past 20 years. I’ve also concluded that the primary reason for this distressing evolution downward can be pinned on our morally squishy school systems and the narcissistic self-absorbed parents of the coddled under thirty mob. Calm down and take a deep breath! I realize there are many conscientious, concerned parents out there doing their best to combat outside influences such as the assault of the “machines” (cell phones, the internet, etc.). Also, I’m aware that peppered throughout our country there are dedicated hardworking teachers and professors (I taught school for a brief period in the ‘70’s) striving to adequately prepare the hatchlings under their care for release into the world equipped for the stark realities of “real life.” However, I fear the number of those valuable role models is rapidly dwindling.
I’ve given some thought to this subject and have come up with five examples of positive vanishing human qualities that I’m convinced are steering society in the wrong direction. I fully realize these are generalizations that indicate a trend and are not absolute. It’s not quite time to panic; however, a little concern might be in order. You Tube, Facebook and Twitter have given birth to a meteoric rise in vulgarity, hateful personal attacks, vicious videos and antisocial behavior delivered to you directly into your home via the Internet. Submitted for your approval and edification I offer you five ideal, endangered traits that I would love to see make a glorious comeback.
- Humility: not proud or arrogant; modest. Being humble, though once admired, is today often viewed as a sign of weakness or lack of a scintillating personality. Once again much of the problem can be traced to Hollywood and the glut of slimy, outrageous, lowbrow reality shows polluting the airways.
- Loyalty: the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations. I do believe dogs still qualify as true, loyal companions; however, much of society has tossed the concept of loyalty into the gutter. If you happen to wander outside the realm of political correctness on your job it could be bye-bye baby. Lack of loyalty is quite evident when politicians, teachers and celebrities become pariahs and are demoted or fired for simply offending the wrong overly sensitive person or group. Would your close friends stick by you if you were falsely accused of a crime or you said something that offended someone else?
- Respect: to hold in esteem or honor; to show regard or consideration for. Do you remember being chided by your parents, “respect your elders”? When is the last time you heard that ditty? With the apparent rise in cyber bullying and schoolyard harassment, it appears that the concept of respect is often sorely neglected at school as well as in the home. Where’s Aretha Franklin when you need her?
- Shame: the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another. Again, we can take our cue from politicians, celebrities and random idiots who are devoid of the shame gene. Get caught doing something immoral, illegal or just plain stupid–no problem. Just get in front of a camera and blame someone else. Try this the next time you do something shameful buddy boy—admit to people that you are ashamed of yourself, because you should be!
- Character: this is the compilation of all of the above combined with other commendable traits that lie deep inside a person. It’s what I admire most about certain people I meet with a strong sense of character–doing the right thing even though it’s costly or painful. Are you a person of character…honestly? I’ll leave you with a quote relating to each of the five examples above to help you remember the importance of each.
“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.”–Ezra Taft Benson.
“Loyalty means I am down with you whether you are wrong or right, but I will tell you when you are wrong and help you get it right”—Anonymous.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”? Albert Einstein
“The only shame is to have none”–Blaise Pascal.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ? John Wooden