Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Take: Signs of a Disintegrating Society

I know, the title is a bit ominous this morning. The news lately has really been in a downward spiral and it has caused me to pause and wonder, "How did we get here?"

Yesterday's senseless shootings in Virginia of the news team not only while they were on air, but also covered by the shooter on social media and then, I am told, he used social media to document his suicide is perhaps the most senseless act of violence I have been made aware of, and in a letter to explain or vindicate his actions he wrote, "Jehovah had told him to act."

ISIL's Plan to Take over the World
The killings yesterday in Virginia were even more senseless than the almost daily executions conducted by ISIL in the name of religious purity. Our news media is doing a great job shielding us from the reality of what millions of people face on a daily basis. We need to be more aware of what is happening across the globe rather than being so myopically focused upon a presidential election that is still over 14 months away. There are more immediate needs.

And then there is the loss of trillions of dollars of value around the world as the Chinese economy's bubble bursts and reality sets in that insular economics can no longer be sustained. The problem? Our economy is linked to theirs and we didn't even realize it.

Perhaps the fabric of society is unraveling.  People no longer are getting the moral guidance about how to act in trying situations. The "anything goes" approach has taken over and situational ethics has progressed to the point that if I can rationalize my actions in my head, then they must be justified.

The compass of life is spinning wildly.

Yes, I did just connect murder/suicide, ISIL, and China in one article.

People are searching, in the wrong places, to answer the timeless question about the meaning of life. Not finding a suitable answer, they are acting as if they are the center of the universe and no one else matters.

One of the lead articles in the Washington Post this morning asks: Will America Finally do Something to Stop the Gun-fueled Carnage? It proposes increased gun control laws, but I maintain that is not the answer.

People need to be taught to think about others and the impact of their actions upon those around them. Think before acting.

In Howard County, Maryland,  where I live, we have a program called Choose Civility. I have not been a big fan, especially when I get cut-off on the road by a car with the bumper sticker on it, but I am seeing the value in a program to begin to help people discover how to interact with others around them.

We need more civility to stem the disintegration of our society.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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