America Where Are You?
"Modern" used to mean "better". Does it still?
Oh, yes we can see the good and the bad. We have always been able to. But is the good "gooder" and the bad "badder"? Or is it that a larger population is both?
What has happened to American values? Are they becoming lost, or just harder to find and identify?
Sodomy used to be sodomy. Rape used to call for the death penalty. Honesty meant a man or a woman being as good as their word, not just something they had to put into writing and sign before witnesses.
Marriage was at least "....until death do us part" and children were so routinely born in wedlock that Hawthorn's "Scarlet Letter" was morality prose about something truly exceptional, while "single parent" was a reference to a widow or widower.
Provident living meant that you provided for yourself and your family (all chipping in together when necessary) rather than Congress putting people "on the dole".
Church attendance was a regular feature of the Sabbath, and pensions were a livable reward for faithful service and hard work.
Teachers were well up the social ladder of respect, even though terribly underpaid, and priests, rabbis, and all clergy were revered as normally beyond reproach.
Being a Senator, a Congressman, and especially a president, was a position of enormous trust and honor, and being a judge conferred a sense of incorruptible character and adherence to the law of the land.
Doctors were saviors, nurses were much more than scrub maids, and scrub maids were the epitome of hard workers right along with farmers and farm families.
Then? Somehow I think "a love of money", "materialism", and the scratching, clawing, "climb to the top" regardless of the cost, took over and the good ideals of capitalism were replaced by the "I'll get mine" of selfishness.
Owners and stockholders lost contact with workers and the concept eroded which dictated that capitalism works best when the vast majority benefit and can even buy the products they make and produce.
Now it seems that every time a person turns around, someone is gouging them with jacked up prices, hidden charges, and fees that make "Free plus Shipping and Handling" a joke except to the unaware.
Credit used to be something you earned, not something you bought with those same hidden fees and interest we used to know as usury akin to bondage.
"The quiet life" was something to look forward to after 45, and a generally gay life meant that people were happy....not necessarily out of the mainstream.
Obese meant suffering from a medical condition, or a condition brought on by laziness, hardly something any but the few had to deal with.
Were there cheaters, snake oil salesmen, con artists, adulterers, and charlatans? They existed, of course, but they were the exceptions to the standards and values of the vast majority of Americans who despised them and their lack of conscience.
If we all had to return to our natal town or village, would the old folks welcome us as returning heroes, or shake their heads at what we have become?
© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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