Ever since I can remember, Mom had a set of rules that, whether her decisions were correct or not, they were to be obeyed.

She had one rule made clear to me in my teen years: If I were to leave her home to go out into the world to be on my own, then I was old enough to make decisions as to where or how I was to exist, meaning, by now you should know the difference between good and evil.

This may sound cruel, but there comes a time when the adolescent will be forced to act as an adult and learn to live as we humans were portended.

Sometimes a know-it-all teen should never put his mother to a test of her authority. I can remember a time when I was about 17 years old and a senior in high school. Since I don’t have enough words left to write the whole story here, let it be known certain circumstances led her to the point where she meant what she said concerning striking out on your own regardless of the outcome that was sure to come. So, for my senior year, I found myself living with my grandmother, working in the evenings flipping burgers and attending school in the daytime all because I put my mother to the test.

Disobeying the rules sometimes seems unfair —so I thought — especially when correction is called for. The old retort of “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t justify one’s actions in disobeying. The things I thought I could get away with mother were not so with grandma.

Each generation has the same thought as George Orwell did when he said, “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

So where am I going with this? Society today, in part, has not changed much except to raise the “social acceptance bar” higher than the previous generation. To prove my point, look at what the women wore in the 1900s as compared to what women are not wearing today. But what seems to remain the same today is we will still lie and cheat, but each generation has found easier and better ways to do it more efficiently and effectively and make it look good.

Now I see as a grandparent what my grandparents saw in their day. What was offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency in their day is now the accepted norm today.

From the time a child first walks out from under his or her parent’s protective umbrella, it already is indoctrinated by its customs in the ways of its parents.

But there is more to it than that. It’s the mother’s love for her child and a father’s guidance that becomes the difference between knowing what is good from what is evil handed down from generation to generation.

But today we are in great perils more so than ever. Our youth of yesteryear no longer see the ways of previous generations as the norm and are persuaded by a new culture where fulfillment and embellishment have new meanings. Hate and love are now commingled; there is no right, there is no wrong. We are all equal to one another under the law. Marriage now is gender-neutral and in making it so, we have killed the natural meaning of what true nature is. Our reliance on religion as a moral compass and source of meaning is dying. We no longer know the true difference between good and evil.

God help us all.

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