Now, this short article gets to one of the roots of a problem which is labelled “American” but which is valid for every free Western society, including my own country. As I have said after the Florida school shooting, it’s not just the US gun laws, it’s not just the people, it’s a deadly combination of both, based on a lack of values, lack of upbringing and a world gone beserk.
I’m from 1964. Before I reached my teens, I was spanked sometimes. Do I hate my dad? By no means. I thoroughly love and respect the man. I’m not traumatized, I’m eternally grateful to this old war veteran who is still standing strong at the age of 92. In an old-school way, he has taught me values and boundaries. I believe that, as a result of this, I turned out fine.
And there’s the problem of today. Vividly present in our free, open, democratic and politically correct Western societies. Generations have grown up and are growing up now who feel that they can say or do just about everything, without boundaries. They feel entitled to get anything for free and they feel thoroughly offended when someone criticizes or limits them.
It’s a generation of youngsters who possess parents who either are absent, try to ‘bribe’ their kids to reach results or try too much to be a ‘friend’, i.e. at the same level. Major mistake. There is a difference in level, if you want to teach respect, values and boundaries. The ‘soft’ parent gives away these tools. And the school system is supposed to make up for that?
This is impossible. It all starts at home. When you let your offspring grow up with the TV, computer and smartphone as a nanny, playing all kinds of computer wargames for hours on end, you are basically creating your own monsters. And worse, when a clash occurs at school, and you bash the teacher for disciplining your kid, you’re giving all the wrong signals.
It doesn’t help that entire Governments and political parties have embarked on this too politically correct course as well. Now entire population segments are shouting hell if you so much as show the wrong facial expression without uttering a single word. Before you know it, the race or religion card is played. Simply because they don’t get their way.
Their way may not be consistent with the culture and traditions of a specific Nation and its indigenous people. And yet, its Government surrenders this identity, allowing other cultures to almost take over. I still can’t conceive why you leave a bad place, come here, and try to turn your new home into that same kind of bad place. This is predominant in Europe.
Any Nation is a ‘work-in-progress’. New, outside influences are welcome, as long as they fit into the Nation’s identity. It’s OK to be multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. However, the problem of today is, there is no common ground anymore. And too much egoism. Combined with entitlement, this provides for a sometimes very aggressive polarization.
Too much of anything is always bad. So is too much freedom. In the European theatre this breeds potential race- or religion-based terrorism, with knives, bombs, cars or a gun. In the US, it breeds home-grown all-American disturbed youngsters who pick up an AR-15, enter a school and empty every clip and then some. The result is the same everywhere: death.
So, let’s be a bit old-school again, go home and teach our kids some old-fashioned values…