The American Society is growing weak and ineffectual. It is not because we are not working out. It is not because the children play video games more than active sports. It is not even because we feed our children food laden with trans fats. We are becoming a weak nation because the youth, our future, are no longer being taught to respect authority. In fact, it seems as if they are being taught just the opposite, if they are being taught anything at all. When did it become okay to sass talk ones own mother. Who said one could defy the lawful order of ones teacher. When did it become okay to resist a lawful arrest? This is what is going on today, and this is why we, as a nation, are in big trouble. Respect for authority does not come naturally. No one likes being told what to do. I know this, because I am one of those people who resent authority. Respect for authority must be taught. If it is not taught and it is not learned, it just won’t happen for most. I was taught to respect authority and I feel I have taught my children the same, although I guess they will have to weigh in on that.
This lack of respect for authority is the root cause of most of what we see in headlines today. Would Michael Brown still be alive today if he had respected the authority of the Police Officer he encountered? Would most others who have been shot and killed by the police be alive today had they respected the lawful authority of a police officer? Would the most recent incident which ended in the firing of a police officer have happened if the unruly student had respected the authority of the classroom teacher? The answers to all these questions are, of course, not. I am not implying it is okay to shoot someone because they do not respect authority, I am saying had they respected authority they would have followed the request of the authority figure and it would have ended there. What transpired next would not have happened. But this lack of respect for authority is only half the problem. For some reason, the American public wants to look past the root cause of these issues and instead look at the outcome, the outcome that would have never happened had the authority been honored in the first place. Darren Wilson was not the bad guy, Michael Brown was. Ben Fields was not the bad guy, the unruly student who defied her teacher, a school administrator, and a police officer was.
I can only assume that children are not being taught respect for authority. The place for this to happen is in the home. I was taught respect for authority. I may have resented authority, but I respected it. I, like every one else, got in trouble from time to time. I was concerned about the punishment I might receive in school, but I dreaded the reception I was going to get when I got home. My parents were not harsh disciplinarians, they never beat me as a child but they certainly could wield that “you are grounded” tool quite effectively. But what I dreaded most was knowing that I had disappointed my parents and the inevitable look of disappointment I would see on their faces. Not wanting to disappoint them caused me to avoid a lot of temptations to which I otherwise would have succumbed. If a child disrespects their parents, who are their first authority, the lesson needs to be taught quickly that the behavior is not acceptable. It needs to be taught in such a way that the child is less likely to repeat the infraction in the future. By the time a child reaches school age, if the respect for authority is not instilled in them, then it is probably too late.
This has been a very long winded way of saying that we, as a society, should stop blaming the effect and start blaming the cause. When ever something happens, let us not look at what happened, instead let us look at why it happened. Let us not point fingers of accusations at those in a position of authority and look for excuses why the offenders acted as they did. It is useful to know why, not because it is an excuse for the behavior, but as a tool to guide us in preventing the behavior from happening again. It was not Darren Wilson’s fault that Michael Brown chose to attack him. It wasn’t Ben Fields fault that he was summoned to a class room and tried to do his duty. Wilson and Fields were not the problem. As long as the American society continues to accept the behaviors of the miscreants and ignore the lawful authority of those appointed as an authority, this problem will only continue to grow and America will continue to weaken. It is time we wake up.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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