Editorial: Our society in decline?

Ever try arguing with a rock?

Do you find fewer and fewer people show the ‘respect’ and ‘good manners’ which us older folks took for granted in the past? Do you hear ‘thank you’ as often as we did? Have you had a door opened for you recently? Anyone offered you their seat on public transit? Talked to a young person who responded with manners and etiquette?

Or did T**** epitomize where society is devolving? Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, putdowns, attacks, and demagoguery? Is Doug Ford channeling Donald T****, criticizing the media, legislating policies that hurt rather than help, demonstrating a lack of respect for people, media and ethical principles, hesitating in enacting policies? He’s in the office which means until an election is called, he calls the shots, like it or not.

Have you noticed in your discussions that people are becoming increasingly more static or more intransigent rather than amenable to change based on reason, analysis and logic? Notice compromise is foreign to most people nowadays? You are likely “heard” even less if you are an older adult.

Placing blame
Placing blame may be easy but it does not reverse social erosion, social degradation. Blame politicians who can lie with confidence and ‘hang-the-consequences’ care; blame social media where device users work/play with total autonomy, questioning authority. “I’ll call my lawyer; I’ll sue you!”

Mental intransigence
Ever try to discussing something with a millennial [ age range 18 – 35 ], trying to persuade them of something you believe is correct. Intransigence, a mental rock, intellectual immobility. This kind of mental outlook is very evident when it comes to supporters of right-wing political leaders such as T****, a perfect example of trying to move immovable objects. Trying to convince his supporters he wasn’t a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe was an exercise in frustration and futility.

Stance trumps logic
T**** supporters cannot be moved by reason or logic, nor can people of their ilk. Almost 100% of the Republican Party acts as if concrete has set between their ears. They have taken a position and look for justification for retaining it, regardless of their education or intellectual capability.

The future and personal integrity
Where our society is headed is an unanswerable question. No one can predict the ultimate state of our society, other than to confirm it is deteriorating in many, many ways. Respect for… authority, other people, alternate lifestyles, other religions, other races, older people, other points of view, all eroding and fading away into oblivion.

What can be done? To paraphrase of JFK, ‘Ask not what you can say to change other minds, ask how you can act and practice more principled living.’ Therefore, rebuild your own value system, your own principles on the community standards of the past. Don’t know them? Study history to learn what they were and avoid becoming an immovable object seeing only yourself as the definitive authority, the fount of all knowledge.

 

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