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Changing Values; Yes Sarmack, I Think We Can

Updated on October 9, 2009

The current social attitude that holds an individual's life as having no value stems from the values we in this country have decided are most important to us. It seems as if there is no longer a desire amongst the masses to do "better" or to be "better." Each day I go to work and see the way a new generation of parents are raising their children, and the child rearing skills I see need a definite makeover before our children will see the value of another's life.

My children are young adults; I raised them, and I did the very best I could with what I had. I term them as having grown up in the generation of entitlement. They are beautiful human beings, and yes, like their mother they both know the value of human life, the value of people themselves, and the value of the world around them, and yet they both exude this aura of entitlement. They exude that aura, and so do their friends, and so does every child I watched grow up in my neighborhood. They believe themselves to be entitled to the things that their parents worked long and hard to provide them with, and yet they value the things around them even though there seems to be a part of them that believes they were "owed" what they've been blessed with.

The generation I see in school now is a whole other entity. The children are different, the parents are different, and in turn all of the rest of us have changed in ways that we might not even be aware of in order to protect ourselves from what we don't understand. I call this generation the generation of "no accountability." They aren't accountable to their parents because they are perceived as perfect, and if you hold them to accountability for their actions and their perceptions that no one else has value, their parents perceive that you attack perfection. They believe that their children's behavior and lack of the ability to "value" their friends and the world as a whole is a lie. Not their kids, not their homes, don't even go there!

The current social attitude is selfish, and it comes from everyone believing that they should have whatever they want at the expense of everyone and everything around them. Children are "bribed" to be good, and they are "rewarded" for acting in a way that would have gotten me Mom's dreaded wooden spoon as a child. Parents have no respect for the people who work with their children; they have no respect for school administration, for teachers. for coaches, or for many of their neighbors, and children learn this because their parents have no problem disrespecting these people in front of their children. How can we ever expect people to value another individual's life if they have no respect for themselves? How do we encourage humanity to value the individual life if they don't know how to value their own individual lives?

Self worth can't be taught; it's a feeling. Value for another human being can't be taught; it's something that grows inside of us. It's the nurturing of compassion, love , and empathy that seems so often to have disappeared, but yet it's not gone completely because you asked the question, and Mr. Roberts wrote the Hub, and then there's me; I answered the question in the only way I know how. Life is valued by many. Our own lives, the lives of our family, the lives of our friends, and the many times we reach out to someone we don't even know because we've seen or read about their story. I admit that somewhere along the way the masses decided that it's everyone for themselves, and I agree that it's time for employers, parents, and communities to band together for the good of all.

The government needs to make their programs work; they so often don't work, and then leave the people that needed their help living in a continuous circle that they can't or won't find their way out of. Parents need to step up and raise their children to have values, they need to be accountable for their children's actions, and then they in turn need to make their children accountable. Employers need to look at options, and landlords need to consider the people their tenants were before unemployment. They need to cut them some slack, and allow them the time needed to get back on their feet. That doesn't mean someone can skip out on their rent, or that it gives someone the allowance to pay nothing. People need to value themselves enough to admit that the job at the laundry mat, gas station, or even the fast food restaurant isn't a concession, or that it won't get any better, it's just what they have to do.

We all need to value ourselves, our families, the families down the street, and the families we'll never meet. We need to value the Earth, the animals we share it with, and we all need to learn to give. Even if we know how to give; there's always a little more, maybe just the pennies in the bottom of the jar, and if there aren't any pennies, there's the clothes in the dresser that haven't been worn in years. You know, the ones in the bottom drawer. There's always furniture in the garage, the basement, or the attic; the stuff you throw in the alley that isn't really garbage. I don't know. I think the only way we can look at changing attitudes is to look within ourselves and model the value. Just live it, and hopefully we can touch just enough lives along the way that the "value" will spread.


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    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

      JJRBJ- Methinks we've been here before............ and I appreciate everything you've ever said~ makes a girl :-D

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      This article is ultra-fantastic, my dear. I hope all Hubbers come by to read it. Your missive is needful and you delivered it marvelously. Well done!! :D

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      habee- It's so nice to know I am not alone! You have seen many of the things that I've seen, mainly within the educational system. Very sad, and very much in need of a very large change.

      Always nice to see you; I have great respect for your opinion.

      Thank you,


    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I'm glad I'm not the only who has noticed this change! Excellent article, and very well timed!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      GoGranny- Thank you......... Every mailbox in the country? That would be a little difficult, and it would also kill an awful lot of trees! :-D

      I believe that there are many people who share these same views, and who even more than likely hold an even more realistic view than my own. I just don't understand how so something so simple seems to be hard for people to understand, and may I say I'm glad that you do!

      The Devil is powerful, but he won't ever win; we just have to step up and let him know he's battling in what will ultimately be a losing battle.

      I agree....... people need to WAKE UP!

      Thank you,


    • GoGranny profile image

      GoGranny 8 years ago from Southeastern PA

      Oh My! What a terrific hub! I so agree with you. I wish I could put this article in every mailbox in this country because you are right on all of these accounts. I am truly overwhelmed by your sincere effort to share this message of concern. We need a national movement! Soapbox! Something to spread this message! Because our society's moral situation is in such ruins. The Devil is winning! Wake up people!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      allie8020- thank you for your comments.

      I agree- the development of good values does begin in the home, although I know of instances where a child will garner his/her own values along the way. They learn those values from the rest of us.......... the people they come in contact with on a daily basis. Hopefully, they learn to both respect and trust us enough that they pay attention us. Hopefully, those of us fortunate enough to stand in the role of mentor are worthy of the title.

      I've had many discussions with people about "inherent evil." I don't believe that anyone is born "twisted," but I do believe that certain things that happen in early childhood leave life long ramifications. There are those we can't help, but that by no means gives us an excuse not to try.

      Thanks for stopping by, I really enjoyed your comments.


    • allie8020 profile image

      Allie Mendoza 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Hi Kaie! Developing good values really depend a lot on your upbringing. Of course, some kids are born twisted -- and even great upbringing can not change them. For most people, having good parents, guardians and other role models usually help them develop into better human beings. Sometimes, seemingly selfish people do develop into more caring and generous people. Becoming more mature and experiencing life-changing events can change people's values for the better. Thanks for sharing this great hub! :)Allie

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      SOBF- You are right.

      Money has no value without happiness, and people are all that matter. A bank account doesn't say "I love you," and it can't give you a hug; it might make you more comfortable, but it cannot provide you with comfort.

      If people would take the time to really look; they would see that world really is a grand place...... they might just find out.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 8 years ago from New York, NY

      Excellent Hub - The world would be such a grand place if more people were able to value life over money and people over things.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      You are very welcome, thank you...............

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Beautifully written article with great feeling and conviction! Thanks

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      James- Love the compliments, but I do appreciate digression; I do it all the time. ;-) I think it was only yesterday that I got on a roll about drug induced sex/rape and the amateur video/pornography uploads. Just can't think what must have come over me; feel free to digress anytime you like, makes it interesting.

      I completely agree with you about the Christian/ person to person charity, donations ect. I have very distinct opinions about certain things; I learned about a lot of things I never wanted to know, but they've made me aware and that's a good thing. I wouldn't change any of it, and now you can see that I'm the one who's digressing. Didn't take much............ did it? :-)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I learn so much by reading your words. I think you should write a book that would be a clarion call for communities to wake up and let's get it together. One problem with entitlements is, well, they make people feel entitled. I think private Christian Charity, person to person, devoid of bureaucracy, was a far better system. Some might say that people don't give enough. Well, if their income was not confiscated in taxes they would give more. If you give a family a sack of groceries they get a sack of groceries. If you send that sack of groceries to DC first, the family gets back a couple sandwiches. But, I digress.

      Your article is inspiring and illuminating. Thank you.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      Thanks, I don't know how wise I am, but I have raised two unbelievable kids. I like to think of it as trial and error with a lot of love on all sides. I know they're not perfect, and I sometimes even embrace their imperfections because God knows I am right there with them. Completely imperfect, and I have to say I'm kind of glad. Where would any of us be if we'd already gotten everywhere we're going? It would be awfully boring!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      Fantastic hub. I appreciate and agree with everythng you say. Your children are very lucky to have such a wise mom. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      saroval, you make a great point, but the nurturing of children begins in the home, and it's something that parents have to continually nurture throughout their children's lives......... even into adulthood.

      Society as a whole, and people as individuals can only nurture to a certain level. I know that I have made a difference in the lives of many children, that I have been able to help them work through problems, and see themselves as worthwhile because they are "worthwhile," but I also remember the ones I couldn't help. Often, they don't value themselves because they feel as if they've never been valued, and maybe they haven't, but they push you away because they've no trust in what you have to say. All you can hope is that someone else will be able to get through, that someone else will try to get through. One person can't make the difference, but the next person might do just that.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      Thank you for your comments. I only know what I see, and what I have experienced myself. Picking up, moving on, and making a go of it is something that only we can do.

      sarmack, you're life is valuable. There was a time I picked up and left everything I had because it wasn't worth anything, and because the person who wanted it all, wanted me dead. I took the only things I had with me, and those things would be my children. They know the value of life, they know what it's like to have no place to call their own, and they watched their mother try to fix it all. We survived, and I don't know if it's made us better people; I think we've always been just who we are, but it has made us stronger; it has made us more aware.

      I don't know about your home, or how to tell you to save it. Look into all of the programs that have become available, do what you have to do. Talk to everyone, but more importantly make them listen. Another flaw in this country we live; no one listens, and when they do they only hear they only hear what they want.

      I know that we have numbers at school for assistance; I could get them for you if you'd like. You're right, it is within the individual hearts of people to value others, but if we don't live it ourselves, we can't ask it of others.

      There are knights on white horses, don't ever believe there aren't. Keep that in your heart. It's hope.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 8 years ago

      Nurturing the character of childrens partially depends on parents. Other things taken care of society.

    • sarmack profile image

      Sarah 8 years ago from Washington State

      This is an excellent article. Thank you for answering my question! Myself, I do not believe that there is anyone in this country who Values my life. For 13 years, I have been struggling to survive. I have an excellent education, had a wonderful family and incredible credentials. They were all taken away at the whim of a man who was doing illegal things, which I discovered. That man, today, continues to make very good money, lives a comfortable lifestyle and probably, continues to do illegal things...

      It is OK. God sent me on a Mission to find just one person who Valued my life and He would Save this country... I could not find even one. Many a tear have I cried over this country, my family and my life... It is within the hearts of people to make the change to Value others.

      I am, again, about to lose my home because I cannot get employment or get my business going. Because of my religious beliefs, employers just play with my life. It's a really sad time in the history of this Christian nation.


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