Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black and White and Shades of Grey

All my life I have been taught there are only two sides to every confrontation: black or white. My father did not consider the shade of grey as an answer. Dad considered grey as the color for those unable to stick with a position. Everything was wrong or right. However, with the disappearance of the core family unit and the values our ancestors used to pass down to each new generation, black and white have left the building leaving an entire rainbow of color answers.

Black = wrong, White = right, Grey = possible to be right or wrong only if no one get offended.

What other personal responsibilities formally taught to us by our families have we neglected to pass on to the next generation? Manners, correct enunciation, personal accountability all have gone the way of the flightless dodo bird, extinct due to lack of interest in their continuation.

What other little expected behaviors we all grew up with have suddenly disappeared? Chewing with one's mouth closed, wearing appropriate clothing for the event and location, and cutting in front of people in line are the first few that come to mind but I'm sure, given time, we all could come up with dozens. But what began this major shift in attitudes? Do we attribute this to the hippies back in the 60's? Or did it come sooner - as more families began chasing the all mighty dollar instead of growing their children.

I have two children in two different times of their lives, but they have been taught the consequences of their actions since they were old enough to talk back. I know they will tell me the truth, whether I am ready for it or not. They accept their punishments for their misdeeds and strive to learn from their mistakes.

I can think of thousands of prisoners who could learn something about personal responsibility.

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