Monday, October 26, 2009

Affluence or Influence

As a school teacher I've worked with youth for over a quarter of a century. In that period of time I can ascertain that kids in 2009 are much different than kids were in 1980. Americans are investing less and less in the moral development of their youth. Very few youth seem to have any concern at all about being men and women of integrity. Conscience and character are words they are familiar with but they have no real concept of their meanings.

I am also associate pastor of a church. Fewer and fewer Americans are going to church so our youth aren't being taught morals there. Our children who are attending public schools are confused about morals when they are being taught that it is 'right' to kill the unborn and it is appropriate to prepare for a choice of immorality by learning how to apply a prophylactic to a piece of fruit. The basics have been replaced by strong teachings on diversity, social justice and a sense of entitlement. So, government schools graduate drones who have no skills in independent and creative thinking. They aren't taught to think, they are taught to submit and to accept as gospel every hair brained idea about evolution and global warming.

Today's youth are overindulged by the vast number of divorced parents who suffer from the guilt of broken families or they are overindulged by the level of wealth their parents have attained. Many modern parents have chosen long and extra hours at work rather than hours spent mentoring and modeling morals and ethical behavior to their children. They must not think that their fourteen year old doesn't feel second place to the expensive car parked in the garage. If this generation seems to be excessively selfish it's because profound selfishness has been modeled for them in an exceptional way. What does it profit a man if he were to gain the whole world and lose his own children?

This generation equates happiness with what they acquire for themselves instead of what they might sacrifice for others. I think it's unlikely another Mother Teresa will emerge any time soon. There is a certain line of clothing that advertises with the slogan, "It's all about me". That pretty much says it all. It's astounding to witness just how much this lifestyle has permeated the culture of the "Myspace", "Facebook" and "Youtube" generation. The road to instant gratification will always be chosen before the long road that leads to things more meaningful and lasting.

The moral and ethical requirements to building serious and long lasting relationships have little meaning. In their electronic culture there are few long lasting relationships. The sum total of many of their relationships is a list of screen names who actually begin to believe they are who they are pretending to be. When all pretenders are convinced of what they are pretending then reality disappears. Their world is surreal and the real meaning of morals and values diminishes in a world where lying, cheating and faking it have no consequences. Relationships become expendable commodities. Just look for someone else with a really cool screen name.

On the downside, more and more of our nation's leaders will be narcissist, anti-social and tolerant of all sorts of aberrant behavior. They will be nonfunctional when forced to deal with the problems that exist in a real world because they've never lived in a real world.

God bless those families who are actively opposing the negative influences of a depraved culture and are determined to teach their children the ways of biblical truth. They are our hope for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Madison MontgomeryOctober 26, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    I really agree with you on this article, and about how different teens are these days. I'm thankful to be able to have the opportunity to go to a Christian schol where I'am taught good morals.