Prepare yourselve's for another JP ramble. I have no idea what I am going to say, but Elizabeth's words have stirred a plethora of thought and emotion and I feel a need to let it out...
I suppose I should start with the topic at hand. Morality, or lack thereof, and societal agreement with an individual's ideas of acceptable morality. As I see it the change in accepted morality came about with my generation. I was born in 1964, the last official year of the "baby boomers". Roughly 10 years prior to that time a man named Dr. Spock came on the scene and wrote a book which unfortunately guided parents in the raising of thier children (parents the age of my parents).
Up unto the time that Dr. Spock's ideas became popular it was accepted thought that families were less a democracy and more a dictatorship; the parents ruled the household, made the decisions, taught the children that certain behaviors were unacceptable and certain behaviors were demanded (respect for instance). Hopefully the parents did this (it is called discipline for those who are unsure) with love and the best interests of the children, the family, and society in mind.
I was fortunate in that my father was career military and both he and my mother were from poor and relatively uneducated families - they were not exposed to the Spockonian ideals and raised my brother's and I in the same fashion in which they were raised (although my father was a bit zealous in his dictatorship role...)
What we witnessed as a society was a generation raised thinking that their wants and desires were paramount, that what they wanted was more important than the needs of those around them. The ideas of subjugation of the self for the benefit of others was totaly dismissed by my generation... the domino effect then kicked in, parents raised in this fashion then began raising their children in that fashion and the ideals of respect, thought for others, social obligation diminished exponentially, while the ideas of self-importance, disregard for others in lieu of self-gratification increased at the same rate.
Now we are faced with a society based largely on the ideals of anarchy, self-indulgence, and tit-for-tat respect. My experience at work shows this, as employees are totally oblivious to the idea that managers and supervisors are supposed to be afforded a certain level of respect based on their position alone. The boss, afterall, is the boss is she not? What I have been told is "I don't have to show no one no respect if they don't show it to me first" Sadly the opposite of what it used to be... remember the good ol' days when an employee did what they were told and showed respect for authority, and truly believed that it was the right thing to do regardless if the boss was a pig or not? That attitude began at home, where the child was not taught respect for the parent nor respect for the parent's authority.
So there we have it, the downfall of society in less than thirty years, all hinging on one idea that the individual's desires and wants are more important than that of a brother or a sister, or a stranger whom one doesn't even know.
Gladly I am not of that mind... although I may be in the minority...
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient