- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Morals of today's society
We are all one
What has modern society become
In my thirty six years living on this great planet we call earth and in the great country we call the United States of America, and my 14 years traveling the world in the US Navy, I have observed a few habits of human nature that I find of noteworthy importance.
We spend our lives chasing the all mighty dollar, attempting to keep up with the Jones’, and displaying our goods as a show of our monetary (social) status. And what is our reward for the gaining of these physical items of value? Shortened life spans, sickness and health problems from lack of sleep; heighten stress levels, improper diet and worry. Little to no time spent with our families. Our children are suffering from lack of parental guidance. All to common these days, we see more and more families with both the Mother and Father working long hours, either in an attempt to make ends meet (unnecessary means more often than not) or to keep up with the current trends, and children growing up with babysitters of video games or television shows. Children spend very little time outside; therefore they have lost touch with and respect for nature and wildlife. They have lost the ability to use their imaginations, and therefore have lost their innocents and the ability to think. They are not learning the moral and life lessons that are normally taught at home by Mom and Dad, and instead they are learning about morality and life via overcrowded classrooms and through videogames and TV programs. How do we hold someone accountable for their actions when they are not being taught basic moral and social obligations? Telling someone the rules is not the same as teaching them the rules (Give a man fish, feed him once; teach him to fish, feed him a lifetime).
What have we in this modern day society become? We are a society that has forgotten that the physical riches in life are temporary and only the spiritual riches are lasting. (“What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” -Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36), I hear people talk about: “I am working and saving for my children/grandchildren’s future”. We are providing them with material stability, but we are neglecting their moral and spiritual stability. In doing this we are removing the value of material things and teaching them that certain things are to be expected to be given to them with little to no effort on their part, they no longer know the value of working to achieve a goal, they have lost respect for others because they are no longer taught “a trade” by an elder. And in so doing, we have become accustom to the younger inexperienced person pushing the older wiser person to the wayside because the young are now taught by a book only instead of being taught by a book as well as by life experiences like those before them. I am not saying that school based education is wrong by any means, but there are certain lessons in life that can only be learned through experience and no amount of book education can teach you those things. We put such a high value on the amount of material things that we have in our possession, Most of us have things stashed away somewhere in an attic or closet that we will never, ever use, it serves no purpose to our being, but because it is an item of dollar value we keep it locked away. How many items of sentimental value do we have in our life? A quilt made by our grandmother, or that pocket watch that belonged to our father’s grandfather during World War 1, how about a family Bible that was passed down through the generations with recorded births and deaths of our relatives. The majority of us, if we do have items of this nature, we only have maybe one or two at best. We no longer hold things of this nature of any value, because it does not have monetary value associated to it. We forget about the sweat, blood and tears that were put into obtaining or the making of these items that were so precious to our ancestors that they wanted to pass this most valued item on to their sons and daughters. We no longer based the value of our lives on the richness of our family heritage, on things such as happiness, love and contentment and peace. We now based the value of our lives on how big our bank account is, how expensive the car we drive, the size of the house we live in. We spend so much time striving so hard to obtain material possession that we no longer have time to obtain the spiritual nourishment that is so dearly required for maintaining balance in one’s life. (“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” –Luke 12:15) Does money make a person happy? No, because the more they have the more they want. Does money make a person less stressful? No, because the money you have you are afraid someone will steal. Does money give a person comfort? No, because no matter how much money you have, disaster, death and misfortune come to us all at some point in our lives. A person is only truly rich if they have the Love, Comfort, Peace, Respect and Happiness of their Family, Faith and Community.
We are a society that has forgotten it is better to help our fellow man instead of pointing out the flaws of others to make ourselves appear better. Many times you will hear: “I give more than So and So, What do I get if I help someone”. Too often we only help others because it benefits us in some way. Tax breaks for donations, public recognition or social status for assistance rendered to a “worthy cause” (“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly.- Matthew 6:1-4) To often we seem to forget that others are not as fortunate as ourselves. We tend to dispose of more things than we actually will ever use; Clothing that we have grown bored with, shoes that are no longer in current style, not to mention the amount of food that we waste on a daily basis. Why is it that we would rather throw these items away in the trash when they could be donated to the local church or homeless shelter in support of those who don’t have much needed clothing and other basic life sustaining items? We are all a family, whether we are directly related or just reside in the same community, county, state, country or on this planet as a whole. Think about this...How many times in the last year have you done something for someone without expecting something in return? How many times have you done something for someone, just because it was the right thing to do, not because you got recognition from the deed? Do you just throw away unused or unwanted items or do you take them to a charitable place for re-distribution through-out the community? We attempt to justify our actions by pointing fingers at others around us. “What about Neighbor Joe? He makes more money than me; He has a bigger house than me. If he isn’t doing these things to assist our community family, then why should I?” Of course if we follow this logic then I must ask; do two wrongs make a right. Instead of worrying over whether or not someone else is doing what is right, we need to be concerned with are we living and doing what is right. (“Judge not, lest you be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will also be judged, and by which measure you use, you will also be measured. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye.”- Matthew 7:1-3, Luke 6:41) If we would spend our time ensuring that we are living correctly and in the likeness of Jesus as the Good Book says we should do, We would not have time to find fault with our brothers and sisters. We call ourselves “Christians” which is to say “Christ-like” but, on a daily basis we seem to purposely live lives closer associated with what Jesus called Sinners. In today’s society, attending church or claiming a certain branch of religion is more for the status it brings us, vice the real reason we should be doing these things which is for nourishment and spiritual growth of our souls.
We are a society that has forgotten that we should Honor are Fathers and Mothers (which includes those of Elder to us in years and life knowledge). Instead we Honor the persons who are our sports heroes, our favorite musician, or even our favorite online avatar. We have forgotten that we should not covet of our neighbor. Instead we want what others have around us, because we cannot be presumed to be of lower social status than them. And we will allow the suffering of our own lives to gain these things. We have forgotten that we should not steal. Instead we take what is not ours to take every day, the imagination of our children (by our neglect), the hours of education and mentoring we take from our children by allowing them to be taught by video games and television instead of by their Fathers and Mothers. We have forgotten that it is wrong to bear false witness (to LIE). Instead we say we are of one thing but yet we live another. (“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Therefore by their fruit you shall know them.”- Matthew 7:17-18, 20, Luke 6:43-45). We have forgotten that we should not commit adultery. Instead we use the exploitation of the feminine persona to entice sales of our products. (“But I say unto you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28) We have forgotten that we should not commit murder. Instead we allow anger and discontent to cause us to disown our brother, sister, father and mother and for them to be dead to us, killing the bonds of love and peace and kinship. We have forgotten to honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy. Instead we forego Sunday services in favor of the football game, we rush around attempting to complete those last minute items that we think is so important prior to rushing back into our 80 hour a week jobs and in so doing neglect our spiritual well-being.
For our society, to manage even remotely, to regain it’s foothold on the path to righteousness. We must first start back at the beginning. Let loose of all those ideologies that we have come to see as the norm for our lives. Start giving back to our communities, forget about who has the bigger house, better car and just be content with what we need to allow a small measure of comfortable life. Don’t worry about the bad things you perceive that your neighbor is doing and concentrate on doing the right things yourself. Spend a little less time chasing that almighty dollar and a little more time nourishing your spiritual beings. All things in life are of a delicate balance. And to forget about your spiritual being will have diverse affects on your physical being. Lets step back and take a good hard look at our lives and where we are heading, are we teaching our children the things required for them to turn into the respectable adults we want them to be, are we enjoying our lives or just living it from day to day, are we struggling so hard to make ends meet that we have forgot where the ends even are…What are we really getting out of life if we spend so much time working to acquire, that we fail to enjoy what we have.
A Truly Rich Man is the one who is content, happy in the fact that he has all he requires and is in need of nothing. One who has everything his heart desires in that he has a family that loves him, a home to live in, food to nourish him and a place to worship.
These thoughts are not meant to condemn, but only to enlighten. These are just a few of the things that I have observed throughout my lifetime. And to say that I am not guilty of these things myself on occasion would be a lie. To err is human, but forgiveness is ours for the asking. We must learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up and continue on our journey. The path is not always easy, there is going to be trials and tribulations that we have to deal with each and everyday, but how we handle those things and get past them is what is going to determine who we are. And these things are not something that is required to be done alone. (For one twig is easy to break, but a bundle of twigs is hard to bend much less break.) PEACE BE WITH YOU ALWAYS.
Quotes mentioned are from the NKJV bible.