Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Choosing our words

 I woke up this morning with a feeling of sadness. As I sat down to write I couldn't help but think about yesterday. I had posted a comment is response to something I saw on Facebook and that sparked a long discussion. I knew the folks I was talking with, we had all attended high school together. We haven't seen each other since, our lives have certainly traveled different roads. I still feel a connection with them despite almost 45 years having passed. I failed in my attempt to explain my thoughts to them, at least two out of three I did anyway, and I take responsibility for that. As I told them the burden is upon the author. The strange thing was I agreed with their initial thought as it applied to the discussion. I only took exception to the wording of the message. Language, one word really, was all I mentioned as being crass. I do not think that Facebook or any public forum is a place for that. I find it disrespectful and unnecessary. Remember now this is from a man that spent twenty years in the Navy, an organization notorious for its' " salty " language. Yes, I've heard it all and on occasion muttered a few choice expletives of my own. Still it offends my sensibilities when used in front of the ladies, or by them for that matter. Very unbecoming. I mentioned that perhaps I was a bit old fashioned in that regard. I believe in living my life a bit more formally than that. I think that maybe I lived in a more genteel time in a past life. I pointed out that I feel as though one ought to at least have a pretense of civility. I guess that thought was on my mind when I responded to the first post. I had written earlier in the day, " One can not expect to live in a civilized society when making exceptions to civility. "
 The sadness I feel is due to a failure on my part to convey my thoughts adequately. I may have alienated some old friends and classmates. No, that isn't it. The sadness comes from feeling alien to them. Where has their lives taken them that they should feel so opposite to me ? We all shared a common background. It is a source of pride with all of us where we " come " from. The roots of our raising all began in the same fertile soil of our beloved hometown. We were all raised in the same era. Yet somehow it appears our value systems are quite a bit different. That is not to imply that one is wrong and one is right, only that the difference exists. In this particular area we have become alien to one another. Of course in all fairness I did not know these fine folks all that well, even forty five years ago. Never one to follow fad or fashion I believe I remain independent to this day in that regard. I am not easily influenced nor quick to adopt changes. Stubborn or confident ? It is all a matter of perception.
 I do wonder how we have reached the point were our fundamental beliefs have become so at odds. I was taught that you did not use crass and vulgar language in the presence of ladies or in polite company. That sort of language was for the men folk, in their world. To do so would get you immediately rebuked ! A lady using such language was viewed as, well, let's just say she wasn't the girl to take home to mother ! But it was much more than that. It was a measure of your moral character. It certainly wasn't viewed as a positive. I wonder when that fundamental change, that acceptance took place. Yes, I believe the words we speak, and the language we choose makes a difference. As I often point out, whispers are heard more often than screams. I do not place much stock in those yelling, ranting and raving about perceived injustices in the world. Those folks get immediate attention, are dealt with, and mostly forgotten. When the fire is out, everyone goes home.
 In years past such language was used for its' shock value. Nothing too shocking about it now and that is a sadness. That we as a society accept that is the sad thing. What does it say about our moral values ?
 The sadness I feel is for our nation. We are degenerating at a rapid pace. A nation requires a standard, a basis for its' formation and existence. Regardless of whatever the pundits say this nation was formed around the Christian tradition. That was the basis for our morals and ethics. If we abandon that, what is left ? Legislation is the only answer. By our own founding documents we are told we can not legislate morality. So, you can write law after law, but you can not enforce morality upon the people. Morality is self imposed ! The choice of our words may seem insignificant to some, but not to me. I see what damage is being caused. The removal of moral behaviors can only lead to one thing, immorality. Rather " self evident " wouldn't you say ? Morality is the acceptance of responsibility. When we remove morals, we remove responsibility. The fault always lies with someone else. What follows then is retribution or punishment under the law. And that only lasts until we excuse that behavior as acceptable. Then we erase that law and another obstacle is removed. The only thing left to decide is, what is the goal ? We are controlled by morality and law. Morality is self imposed and law is enforced. The enigma being we attempt to write morality into law, when in fact morality is already the ultimate law. Isn't that what our founding fathers were saying ? It is still the ideal. Problem is people are imperfect. It all begins with the choice of words.