Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Poor substitutes

In quiet moments -- and over the last week or so I've had quite a few -- I've gathered some of my observations about modern life.

This particular train of thought began with my noticing that we've confused inconvenience with hardship. Disappointment is disaster. We feel discomfort and call it pain; we don't know the difference between being hurt and being injured.

The moment that our stomachs grumble, we complain of hunger.

We reward effort as if it were achievement. Our electronic to-do lists have become cheap masquerades for accountability, personal responsibility, accomplishment.

Excellence is buckling under the weight of fairness.

The very human emotion of anger is, to us, akin to violence. Parents' justifiably stern discipline is seen as abuse.

The simple pocketknife no longer is a tool, it's a deadly weapon. An armed citizen who's rightfully prepared to defend his family is treated like a criminal while true criminals are coddled, precious candidates for rehabilitation.

Volume is a barometer of credibility -- louder is smarter.

Independence, which has great worth, has been overgrown by contrarianism, which is a mere affectation. Ideology is mistaken for values, religion for faith and truth for facts.

Belief is certainty. Sincerity is interchangeable with honesty. Rote knowledge has replaced wisdom.

We've abandoned respect entirely, it would seem, along with the inestimable value of hard work -- both our own and that of others.

Most disturbing of all, I think, is that we've decided that it's more important to entertain our children, to please them and make sure that they're never unhappy, than it is to raise them.

If all of this sounds like I just called major bullshit on today's society, it's because that's exactly what I intended to do. I don't like where we are, not one bit, and I'm not optimistic about where we're headed.