Question – What is Happening to Our Society?

Nativity Lisa Sullivan

First, let me say, I loathe politics mainly because though I exercise my right to vote, I don’t trust our system or the people in it, so I don’t like talking about it. However, this is probably the most political post I will ever right and really once you read the whole thing, it’s not about politics in so much as it’s about our society as whole. Politics just has a hand in it, but it’s not the whole body. Are you following my analogy there? Good.

Ever since Sandy Hook, I can’t tell you how much that particular event got to me. Even though a month has passed, it’s still very fresh on my mind and in my heart. I thought Columbine was bad, Aurora was horrible, but Sandy Hook was downright disgustingly cruel. Those were babies, people. BABIES. How on earth do you comprehend that? How do you get past that? More importantly, how do you ignore that?

Play Children

Two Children Playing. Image by Enrico Strocchi via Flickr under Creative Commons attribution.

Our society is going to hell in a hand basket. That’s how I feel. The more the people shout, “But we have a right!” the more I think to myself, “We do! But, when does a right trump what we should do?

I’ll say this about the 2nd Amendment, but before I do, take a close look at the text of it –

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Of course for a couple of centuries now people have debated just exactly what that means, but we have to remember what our forefathers intended it to mean.

During the colonial period in which it was written, the text of the Amendment referred to the right of state militias to keep and bear arms; not the people within. Attorney Jeffrey Toobin writes a great piece in the New Yorker about the history of the 2nd Ammendment. I recommend for those of you that don’t understand it read it. It wasn’t until the NRA in the late 1970s starting advocating for gun rights (before then the organization was mostly advocating for gun safety). Even then, the “right” we the people have is still up for debate thirty years later.

So, for those spouting “we have a right”, you might want to be sure you truly know what your “right” is.

And understand, I’m not disagreeing with that right either. If the 2nd Amendment is in fact FOR the people to keep and bear arms, well, OK then. Go get yourself a gun. However, let’s think about this for a second. Is it REALLY necessary for YOU as an individual citizen of this country living in the state you live, in the community you live, in the neighborhood (probably filled with families and children) in which you live, to own a military grade weapon?

Let’s go back to the original intent of the 2nd Ammendment. If it was created to allow state militias to bear arms to defend themselves, last I checked and as far as I know, we as a society are nowhere near the need for each state to defend itself. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re not. So again, I ask, why do YOU need a military grade weapon in your possession? I mean, seriously. I don’t get it.

Am I asking the government to take them away? No, actually, I’m not. I’m asking YOU who own one to voluntarily give it up. If you couldn’t answer that last question legitimately, if you can’t give me proof that you are on a state militia and have been called to action by the state to be ready for assault, then honestly, you don’t need it. So… give it up.

That’s just how I feel. I get that there is a fundamental right to bear arms as loosely interpreted as it is. All I ask is that we use common sense when it comes to exercising that right. Truthfully, I don’t like the idea of the government taking away someone’s firearms just for the sake of taking them away. That’s wrong. What’s next? They’re going to take away the right I have to blog about whatever comes to my mind? Now, that would piss me the hell off. So, no, I don’t want them to take your guns away. But, I do want YOU to make a rational decision as to what kind of firearm you need to own.

What I do agree with though, is that tighter regulation is needed before someone purchases a firearm. If you want the weapon that badly, you’ll wait. I see nothing wrong with a background check on every single individual applying for a gun permit and purchasing a gun. I’d go so far as to say we probably should keep a record of what each individual intends to do with the weapon they purchase. Will it be for hunting? Will it be for personal safety? Will it be for both?  That doesn’t quite mean that the person applying for the permit and purchasing the gun won’t do something different with it. People lie (or try to stump the system or do bad things) all the time, unfortunately. But at least it gives a focus of what to look for if something went wrong, God forbid.

And really, this whole gun control, gun rights thing is just a piece to the bigger puzzle (and the question I ask in my blog title) –

What is happening to our society?

Between the 29 mass shootings in our country since Columbine and the 8 we saw in 2012 alone, something has to be done…and it’s not just gun control either.

It’s caring for our mentally ill.

It’s reaching out to those who may be experiencing some hardship or trouble and may even be teetering on the edge.

It’s getting rid of the attitude of “well, that’s not my problem” and coming up with a solution even if the solution is to ask for help for the person you think that needs it.

It’s being aware of our neighbors, getting to know them, caring about them.

It’s about keeping our children safe knowing that when we send them off to school or the mall or a movie theater, parameters have been put in place that will allow them to be safe. Truthfully, I hate the idea of metal detectors everywhere we go but at this point if our society continues in the direction it’s in, I’ll gladly go through a scanner everyday everywhere if I need to. That’s just my opinion.

Maybe ultimately what I’m saying is I don’t trust our society any more. I don’t. Truthfully, I don’t feel safe ANYwhere, if I’m being honest. I’m as vigilant as I can be when I go out and about. Whether it’s the grocery store, the coffee shop, my place of employment, an airplane, my eyes are always scanning to check if something seems off. It’s sad but necessary for me. I just don’t trust you. Sorry.

I wish we could go back to the days when the mentality wasn’t “it’s all about me” but rather was more of “what is it that I can do for my fellow neighbor”? Don’t get me wrong. I realize there are wonderful individuals out there and some great organizations that represent that philosophy. But, I think we need to start at home with our families, with our children. The foundation of this country comes from those in which we breed, if we’re being real. Let’s bring up our kids right. Let’s BE families, families that love and show love to others. And I’m not saying there aren’t any out there. There are! Unfortunately, I see too many families in my community and let’s not forget those stories in the news either, both of which are evidence that we’ve forgotten how to BE families.

Let’s not leave business out either. Too many companies today live for their bottom line. While I understand money makes the world go around (or at least helps it to), guess what – some of the most successful businesses are those that care for the people. Whether it be their employees, their customers, their communities, they care for the people they serve.

As a consumer, I tend to be drawn to doing business with those who care about me and my community. In fact, I’ll usually seek those out first before I go anywhere else. Why? Because I feel as though if a company is consistently giving back to their community, if their employees are happy, then they must also have happy customers too, right? I want to bring my business to those companies.

Do business with a caring core and you’ll see profits soar! (Hey, I just made that up and it’s mine. Copyright me. Corny, but copyright me – Lisa Sullivan. 2013.)

I think we as a society need to remember we’re not here for us as individuals but rather as a people. We’re not here for agendas, but to cultivate and enrich our society. We’re here to BE a people – to care for, to nurture, to love people. Let’s not forget that.

All I know is something has got to change. Let’s put agendas aside and let’s figure out a rational way to heal this country and care for our people.

I’m wondering if that’s too much to ask.

(Note: I will accept comments on this post but only those that represent the willingness to engage in dialog about how we as a society can grow maturely and not those that touch upon your own political views and agendas. The beautiful thing about this blog is that it’s mine; not yours. If you want to get political, go write or start your own blog. I welcome objective dialog only. Thank you.)

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Comments
3 Responses to “Question – What is Happening to Our Society?”
  1. ryan59479 says:

    I’d be very interested to know the effect of technology on the cognitive and emotional development of children. I’m 26 years old, and I honestly think that my generation is the last to spend more time outside than inside growing up. When I was a small child, we had an original Nintendo, and that was it. We didn’t get the internet until I was 10 or 11, and even then it was dial up, so surfing the internet for hours and playing online games wasn’t really an option. I grew up without iPads, mp3 players, smart phones, and MMO video games. I don’t think that you can say the same thing about children growing up today or even ten years ago.

    I’m currently a nursing student, and before that I was a k-12 tutor, and I’ve personally noticed that kids today have a huge anger management problem, and I attribute it to technology. When I see a two year old that knows how to work his parent’s iPad better than they do, I can’t help but wonder how that contributes to biological development. My theory is that being constantly stimulated and given unlimited access to entertainment and information is creating generations of children that are too used to instant gratification. They’re used to being instantly stimulated and never develop normal coping skills. And I know that in scientific terms a lot of the light frequencies emitted by electronic screens interferes with sleep patterns, and without proper sleep, children don’t develop properly.

    Technology is a wonderful thing when used properly. But in my opinion it will never take the place of natural childhood development–or parenting for that matter.

    • I am completely in step with you there, Ryan. Without so much as saying so myself in my piece that is an element of what I meant by “being families”. Bringing up our children with a love, understanding, and appreciation for the world around them, encouraging them to interactively and physically play with other children games of freeze tag or kickball or whatever, spending time with our kids teaching them about nature or playing a simple card game of doubles solitaire or Uno. In other words, taking our kids off the enormous amount of technology available to them and allowing them to learn the “old fashioned way” will only help them to grow and flourish.

      One thing I actually liked about Obama getting this ball rolling was the emphasis he put on violent movies and video games too. To be honest, I didn’t vote for him. But, he is my President and that’s one thing I can agree with him on. Regardless, the NEED to play violent video games (and I can’t even name a one because that’s how much I loathe them), again, I just don’t get. Our children definitely don’t need to be playing them. That’s for sure. As adults, hey everyone can make up their own minds but I still think they have some affect on the psyche and thus, I won’t play a one.

      All this to say, I most definitely agree technology, constant stimulation and the ease of instant gratification play a role in how young people develop as well as a role in the detriment of the American family to some extent too (I am thankful I personally know several families that get this and are thus deviating from what has become a cultural norm).

      Anyway….thank you for the dialog, Ryan…and for taking the time to read my post. Best wishes in your nursing career, a very noble profession. I went to school 20 years ago with several friends who were nursing students. Tough studies but they seem to be doing great now!

      God Bless,

      Lisa

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