We are a people with big hearts. We see crime, we see inequity, we see cruelty and we ache to fix it. We MUST fix it. People are not meant to live in squalid conditions, abused, starved, hated for trivial reasons, abandoned, or sick. We are meant to be together, helping each other, caring for each other. Those that live for themselves, forsaking all others including their spouses, we pity. We all want to be beautiful, smart, popular, funny and rich. We think that makes us better people.
We think that if everyone was prettier, they’d love life more. We give them make-up and hairdos that enhance their natural beauty. We tend to shun those with scars and malformations. They can’t possibly be good people if they aren’t pleasant to look at. We fix them with surgery if we can and scorn them if we can’t.
We think that if everyone was smarter, then they’d love life more. We educate them in communication and STEM so that they can be better. But we also have to teach them how to behave, and how to react to people. We have to socialize them so there aren’t any inappropriate behaviors. Overly nerdy people are to be feared as future mad scientists. Musicians and Artists are probably not very smart and there’s no helping them because they all do drugs. Athletes don’t need to be smart, so we make sure that someone else does their homework. But we take pride in the number of these athletes that get 3.5+ grade point averages in college. (Are we praising them or the guys that actually did their homework?) *stands on sarcasm button*
We think if everyone was a member of the cool kids club they’d love life more. The key to being popular is getting along with massive numbers of people. They attract what they are and some of what they aren’t. They’re friendly, except to people not like them, and fairly intelligent–especially emotionally intelligent, except when the archetype of their character is being stupid. Who ever heard of a brilliant cheerleader? *sarcasm button is starting to break with the strain*
If people would quit being offended by everything and take everything with a sense of humor, then they’d love life more. Except you can’t be a class clown. There is no respect for class clowns because silly people cannot be smart at the same time. Everyone would love to have Robin Williams or George Carlin at their parties. They would never ask for political or social advice though. What would they know? They’re just comedians. But funny is ok, just not professional funny, and not funny all the time.
Now if you’re rich, you can be silly, ugly, dumb and reclusive and it won’t matter. You’re rich, you can buy friends. So if we make it so everyone has the same amount of money, then everyone will be happy.
You can’t socially engineer a society. The way people act toward each other is not a product of how they look, how much they know, who they know, or how much wisdom they have. The way people act toward each other is firmly rooted in what they are inside…their character. Can character be taught? Built? Influenced? OF COURSE! When I read about the 5 kids that watched a man drown and did nothing, no law is going to fix that. No teacher is going to teach that. No parent is going to take the blame for that. Whose fault is it that these 5 kids allowed a man to suffer and die in front of them? Theirs. They were high as kites on marijuana, and there might have been a disconnect from their rational minds. Man is drowning. Man yells for help. Giggles. They didn’t feel the need to change the situation they were facing. So yes, it’s their fault.
It is a belief system.
You can influence your kids to believe in a higher power, in good and evil, in right and wrong. Unless they follow your belief system, it is just noise. You can influence your students to think about others as variations on a theme instead of a completely different species. But if they do not share your vision of existence, it’s just more noise. You can enact as many laws as you want regarding hate crimes, gun possession and use, abortion, drugs, and any other moral values you’d like to instill in your constituencies, but you cannot change how they think.
Change must come from the inside.
You love life, and you become beautiful on the inside and that glows out of your face. You believe in the existence of good and evil, and you have chosen good. This belief makes you seek good in places where others don’t. You become more intelligent because you seek information and answers. You become friendly because you see good in people. You become hopeful instead of hopeless and you influence those with whom you have contact. You realize that awful things happen, but that these things will pass. You develop a sense of humor to help you process good and bad things, to observe the human condition from a different perspective. You become rich in friends and influence and love. You step in to help because now you are prepared.
This, not laws, not behavioral modification, not surgery, this will save our society. Love your neighbor as yourself. Believe in an ultimate good. Take nothing for granted.
For me, it requires believing in a God that Loves me. And I do. I also believe you cannot change from the inside unless God does it. He just needs your endorsement. “Yes, I believe. You can change me.”