Do We Want To Get Along?
Posted: January 29, 2013
White roses with the faces of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are displayed on a telephone pole near the school on Jan. 14, the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn. (Photo by Associated Press)
We want our children pampered in school and treated with the respect from the staff we think they deserve, but see no need to teach them how to respect their teachers. We do not reward success much in school anymore for fear of bruising some lazy and unmotivated child’s ego.
Our politicians have become more concerned with keeping their jobs than statesmanship, a virtue sorely lacking today. And we have forgotten that democracy cannot survive without compromise and tolerance for differing opinions. We forget that this life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness we so cherish means “for all” and not just our family, our friends, and those in our political party or socioeconomic class.
Mark Drummond, a psychologist specializing in personality disorders, has this to say about today’s Americans: “They are completely self-driven and more concerned with their image and materialistic things than issues that affect the entire country and even the rest of the world.”
We are becoming obsessed with our rights and our things and our priorities and view those who see the world differently as our enemies.
Throughout history, almost every nation seen as the leader of the world has imploded as a result of an inflated sense of God’s blessing and protection, an inflated sense of importance and self worth, a growing debauchery and greed, and social warfare among the people.
And that is a picture of where we are headed. We lock our doors, ignore our neighbors, bypass hitchhikers, shoot people who make us mad, and insist on our rights regardless of whose rights get stomped on along the way. We commit mass murders so we can have a moment of fame. We want to protect our children from people with guns by having people with guns guard them while in school. Next we will be guarding them in every movie theatre, library, grocery store, and city park.
We argue for our right to arm ourselves to the teeth, but what about the rights of the 498 persons reported murdered in this country in the 24 days following the Sandy Hook massacre or the 57,000 adults and 5,000 children killed since the shooting of then U.S. Gabby Rep. Giffords just two years ago. We are expected to protect our children and elderly but, on average, every year 85 percent of all children killed by guns throughout the world are killed in America.
Every major religion (Muslim Jihadists and Christian Crusaders who corrupted their religions not included) teaches that there will be peace on earth only when God is obeyed, neighbors are treated the same way by us as we want them to treat us, and society treats all with mercy and care, especially, the lost, lame, ill, needy, widows, and children.
I am very skeptical about that ever happening here until we have imploded and become humbled but I know this for certain. What we are doing now will not work.
Years ago, the deceased Rodney King asked after the L.A. race riots, “Can’t we just get along?” The answer, of course, is “Yes.” But that is not the question for this myopic society. The question today is not “Can’t we get along.” but “Do we even want to?”
Mr. Langston lives in Mount Solon.