The past can seem like a fable. Many of us grow up hearing tales of honor and virtue. We understand early on the concepts of loyalty, friendship, and virtuous behavior. It appears that somewhere along the way many of us take a wrong turn and head into a form of existence antithetical to those concepts. The majority now either are too timid to embrace those virtues, or they have discarded them altogether.
If one is honest with one’s self, then they will be able to count their real friends on no more than two hands. Friendship is not a fair weather endeavor. Many use people as a stepping-stone for nothing more than their self-interests. We have discarded honor in favor of the dishonorable practice of self-serving narcissism. Loyalty is a fairy tale that exists only in children’s books. We as a nation behave this way towards our fellow citizens and then expect honor from our public officials. The dishonored masses are incapable of choosing principled people to represent them. It’s devolution back to our tribalistic roots, gravitating towards our mirror image.
Loyalty is perhaps one of the most treasured of all virtues. Loyalty to someone is fantastic only as far as one is still capable of being loyal to their principles. We mustn’t dishonor our beliefs for loyalty that may be misplaced if it runs counter to them. Such behavior can be seen in the major news networks, and I include all of them. Each loyal to their brand of politics, discarding whatever principles they may possess in favor of defeating the other guy. Truth has become secondary to victory, and loyalty is placed on an ideology whose doctrines change as often as is needed to overcome the perceived enemy. In effect, these ideologies become as vacillating as the masses that support them.
So everyone is neither here nor there. True friendship among people is merely a word we bestow on others with as much meaning as the double-speak of our elected officials. I’ve only had a handful of friends I could ride the river with. These friends would have gladly fought and died for me as I would have them. When you look around, in how many people do you see that strength of character? I would guess that you won’t recognize many. This has become a culture of “me,” and it seems that the majority of people are onboard with that.
We have to instill these values in our children at an early age. We must be firm and recognize that we are not their friends, but we are in effect their guides to be better people than we were. There can be no compromise, and they will appreciate all of your hard work down the road. Lack of parenting has led to social decay in our culture, and the only way to make a positive impact is to revert our approach to a more time-honored method. It means that we shouldn’t spare the rod when it is needed, and we mustn’t coddle children incessantly. They need to be shown the value of hard work. Chores and homework before leisure activities must be the rule of the day. Our children have become soft, needy, and selfish. This, in turn, has created the weak, needy, and greedy ‘adults’ we now must suffer to envisage. Just as in everything else in society, changes must be made from the ground up to be real and lasting.
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