Convention of Statesmen

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What Have We Come To?

This is something that has really been in my mind lately, a lot. My husband delights in watching reality shows . . . by the hour. He likes things like the Fox Reality Channel's "The Academy" and Fox's "Hell's Kitchen." He never misses Judge Joe Brown or Judge Judy. Realize that my husband disagrees with me completely, but I believe we have become a society that rejoices in the denigration of other human beings.

Even more so, on Bill O'Reilly's talk show he had video of a school dance in Florida. The teenagers were "dancing", or rather, they were mimicking having sex on the gym floor. Not just one or two teenagers, but a large group. The teachers and chaperons just stood there watching, doing absolutely nothing. Not only did the children have so little respect for themselves, the teachers and chaperons saw no problem with what they were doing.

It seems as if there are no teachers or mentors anymore, there are simply men and women accepting outrageous behavior as the norm, OR they are screaming at the top of their lungs every foul, demeaning and hurtful thing that comes to mind. Completely unrestrained and unchecked behavior has become as normal as America's apple pie used to be. Rather, it is more entertaining to exercise no self-control at all and to utterly destroy the one you are supposed to be teaching.

When I discussed this with Alvin he asked me how these "students" are supposed to handle pressure and stress if they can't handle someone screaming in their faces? To this I responded, why does the teacher need to destroy them in order to teach them? What is lacking in those instructors that they have to resort to such tactics in order to get their points across? Do they have a dearth of actual teaching skills, so much so that they have to resort to the methods a two-year-old is taught are unacceptable?

Why has it become so entertaining, people laughing and hooting, when some is humiliated beyond all measure on the television? When did it become acceptable to scream, curse with spit flying everywhere, and get into the face of someone you're supposed to be teaching? When did it become acceptable to look at other human beings as being less valuable than yourselves? When did it become acceptable to look around at the people you're supposed to teach and act like a spoiled two-year-old, and yet, expect them to learn something?

Teaching and mentoring is about discerning the needs of the student while teaching the lessons of the instructor. It is about working through the weaknesses, the tough times, and teaching the skills you have while developing them in the student. And pressure? There are plenty of ways to apply pressure without acting like an out-of-control jackass. 10 mile runs. 250 situps. 50 pushups. I don't know, depending on what you're teaching you could come up with something. I see no value of pushing your face within two inches of another human being and screaming at them. Use the brain God gave you for pete's sake.

I can never see the greatest Teacher and Exemplar this world has ever seen behaving in such a way. I can see Him turning out the finest cops, soldiers, chefs, businessmen and women . . . I believe there is nothing Jesus Christ could not teach someone. And He wouldn't resort to the above behavior to do so.

What have we come to as a people? When did such low-down, reprehensible behavior become the norm. Is this really the only way people can be taught now? I don't think so. I don't think it's necessary to lower yourself to the behavior of an out-of-control human being in order to teach something. I don't believe we should accept this behavior as normal, nor should we celebrate it or give these individuals television shows, thereby giving them tacit approval for their completely unacceptable behavior.

And yet, here I am in my home, with my husband watching an "The Academy" marathon. Ugh. Methinks I need to go take a nap!


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What Have We Come To? What Have We Come To? Reviewed by Candace Salima on Sunday, June 01, 2008 Rating: 5