Unfortunately, the world today is one that focuses on personal ‘freedom’ which is demonstrated by selfish indignation toward others.

While we are reminded to have compassion for others, many do not have the capacity for ‘empathy’. The word itself seems to have been banished to a netherworld undefined – other than the acknowledgement that it was used in antiquity by our ‘parents’ generation.

Undoubtedly, there is no problem with accepting the ‘drug’ of their day when it comes to marijuana. Yet the morals of propriety when speaking of tolerance toward others is lost and the ‘Peace’ movement is not exactly embraced as prescribed in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Then we have to question the ability of those that profess support of the government. Whether the police, the military, and even those that are of the clergy have been tarred with the brush of illegitimacy.

We tout the military as returning heroes, only to have them knifed or shot in senseless proclamation by street thugs seeking their own form of personal freedom. Add to that the parties that claim individual identity and diversity as their answer for independence. Can the police assist in time of extreme need when vigilantes are instructed from the pulpit to lay in ambush under some misguided attempt at unity of lifestyle, religion, or color?

Is it really open season on people that do not believe as you do? Or, is retaliation for years of perceived injustice (real or not), just an excuse to act with violence against your fellow man? Or to steal a television set or two?

The reality is that people are reveling in anarchy, praying for a doomsday that they believe is inevitable.

The right, the left, the centered; does each position have a point? Or, is apathy ruling unless your agenda is proclaimed king? The truth is, political agnosticism is about to overtake the reigning oligarchy.

At this juncture, you might be wondering where this is leading; how about some straight talk?

Law enforcement changed when we lost the term ‘peace officer’. It changed again when individual departments were provided a bounty on illegal items seized. Officers were induced to take more chances when personal rewards seemed evident. Yet, we forget, there are good officers. Those who place the public good before revenue collection. Unfortunately, the latter is what has come to be most important is saving one’s job.

We are oft told that we must be the world’s police. We speak of freedom. Of protecting our wives, children, the citizens and democracy itself. Does anyone remember that we are a republic? Does anyone remember the difference between a republic and a democracy?

“Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority…”
The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles

By proclaiming ‘Democracy’ we fast approach the system of government that will remove safeguards in the protection of individuals and minorities. Those that proclaimed rights, now recognized, may soon be the majority. Once that happens, under the vicious nature of retaliatory acts, the rule of ‘democracy’ will dictate to the ‘new’ minority what shall be law.

We have moral decay which has evidenced itself in the past half-century, or longer. In the 1950’s teachers had to worry about youth smoking in the bathrooms, having fist-fights after school, and truancy. Today, teachers fear being shot for issuing poor grades, police are stationed at schools, and the escalation of violent behavior provide knives, guns and a variety of drugs being slipped to classmates – for fun, is out of control.

Since we cannot turn back the hands of time, we have to venture forth with a new plan. If we can redeem our children, put down the iPads, cell phones and game controllers, and spend some time discussing ‘life’ with them, we may have a shot. At what? I don’t think we will know until we try. Many of those that will now be doing the teaching will be those that never learned the lessons of life that once were held so dear.

Keep Within CompassMany have never heard of George Washington’s Book of Manners. I was even asked by a student ‘who’ wrote the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

The concerns voiced thirty, even twenty, years ago regarding the dumbing down of our children have come to pass. Personal rights have been replaced with privileges, and the sense of personal entitlement which extends to an expectation that government must provide health care, food, education, jobs, and housing… If I remember right, that’s what we used to call socialism. Now it is simply being ‘progressive’.

Those who pretend a better, greater, and more progressive nation as a result of the new behaviors permitted by legalization of drugs (great or small) should take a look at what happened to Rome when the adage of eat, drink and be merry become the norm. Let alone the attitudes where the taking of a ‘life’ is simply part of living. And, yes, I do know that the phrase is from a parable in the Bible that tells the tale of Epicurious.

My solution? Find friends that include police officers, military, or go back to church (any church); or, define who you are and how you will preserve and even defend the integrity of each person’s choice of lifestyle or action. Even if their philosophies are not your own.

If we truly are Americans, we are not Black, Latino, Asian or White. We are all just Americans. I, for one, love to embrace the pedigree of another’s culture. The traditions, the best of that family’s history… but as an American, I want us all to enjoy that history in the establishment of new traditions, together. That of loving those in need of comfort, support, and true success.

We betray the humanity within without recognizing that ALL lives do matter, really.