Thursday, March 4, 2010

Goodbye Respect, We Hardly Knew Ye

The good Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has a great post over at Pajamas Media today. He looks at the strange state of mental affairs in California. He observes this:
We want all the dividends of industrial society, but an 18th century wilderness at the same time.
Of course, he's using "we" as "them", being the ultra-cool and tragically hip.

You get the picture — our top echelons have become quite prissy. The redwood deck is beloved, not the falling coast redwood tree; kitchen granite counters are de rigueur, not the blasting at the top of the granite mountain; the Prius is a badge of honor, not the chemical plant that makes its batteries; we now like stainless steel frigs, but hate steel’s coke, and iron ore, and electricity lines; arugula is tasty, not the canal that brings water 400 miles to irrigate it...
While pointing out the popular psychosis brought about by whatever is in the water out there, I kept thinking one thing while reading his article: What we've lost is respect. I even said so in the comments.

At one point, we had a national heirarchy of a sort. I even remember part of it. The family, with a strong father and a cooperative mother raised children who were taught certain values, among them respect for experience. Fathers worked, moms held the house together, kids went to school and were taught by neighbors who shared the same values.

Somewhere along the line, something changed. I recall it happening during the sixties. Authority was challenged by inexperienced youth. Rebellion became the "in" thing to do. If you were protesting, then you were cool since all your friends were doing it. Teenagers were told that they held the keys to knowledge and that their hopelessly out of touch parents were somehow holding them down and keeping them "oppressed".

The result of this was the carefully crafted death of the virtue of respect.

I'm not going to point fingers at who did this, frankly because I don't know who to blame. Nevertheless, the damage was done. One generation's perception of reality was twisted by forces unknown. Turn children against their parents and there is literally hell to pay for it. Parents could have the best of intentions in the wisdom they pass onto their kids, but let one overpowering personality take the place of a parent and all those good intentions fly out the window.

Children who have no respect for their parents have no respect for anyone else. What Dr. Hanson is witnessing in the confusion of Californians is the result (and intent) of this disrespectful attitude. Disrespectful children grow into disrespectful adults with no appreciation for others. Eventually, that attitude grows and permeates society all the way to the top of government. Ask yourself if anyone in Washington currently has any respect for you, your family, your concerns, or your struggles. Is anyone in Washington doing anything to make your life easier? To help you keep more of your money? To increase your freedom?

The answer is no, and a lack of respect is the reason why.

No comments: