Giving does not have to be monetary, it can be in other forms, such as giving time or knowledge. This bring us to our next example of morality reduction that has been in existence here. Many parents today are not giving enough time to their children. Children need to be nurtured. A parentâs wisdom, gained through a life time of experiences, needs to be imparted to their children. Children should be shown the value of giving and a feeling of concern for others. When I was a child growing up, school shootings where kids are killing teachers and fellow students, was virtually unheard of. Today, school shootings are occurring at an alarming frequency and not only in America. Thankfully that is one dreadful thing that hasnât happened here. But we do have gang killings and armed robberies that are nearly always carried out by young persons including teenagers.Â To me, part of the problem is due to parents not spending enough time with their children. Again it comes down to giving. In this case, it comes down to giving time and knowledge. Parents that do not give enough time to their children is another example of morality reduction within our society.
The films that come out of Hollywood today display another example of the immorality prevalent within our society. I am sorry to say that most of these movies really are to put it bluntly, garbage. Most of them lack the cerebral quality of the earlier films. From technical perspective i.e. special effects, they are excellent, but from a cerebral perspective, they are appalling. They are only produced in order to make money for those who are producing them, without any understanding to the implications they may have on society, especially younger people.
Creativity is basically gone from Hollywood and many of the movies coming out today are remakes of successful earlier films. Once and a while a good film will be presented to the American public, but generally speaking most are junk. Most of todayâs actors are not really household names. They come and go fairly quickly and lack the staying power of a John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or Humphrey Bogart. These actors displayed a level of integrity and they knew about the personification they were displaying to the American public. They were not perfect, but they did display a higher level of morality.
Is our society spiraling downward into the oblivion of lost hope? I believe not. More and more we are seeing examples that display the positive value of giving. A case in point. Time Magazine finally got it right when they named rock star Bono, and Bill and Melinda Gates as the Persons of the Year for 2005. They were named persons of the year not because of anything that happened at Microsoft and not because Bono is a rock star, they were named persons of the year for their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health. Finally a media organisation is recognising the value of giving.
Another sign of hope that we may be moving away from the mind set of excess and non-giving, can be seen in the enormous outpouring of giving monetarily in the wake of the recent worst natural disasters the world has ever seen. What is amazing is that Americans have not been giving readily to the current starving in Africa. Back in December 2005, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation issued a warning that nearly 12 million Africans face the immediate threat of famine. That warning went mostly unheeded. Perhaps âcharity begins at homeâ and we are in a recession but back in 2005 they were living the âgood lifeâ.
This lack of giving by Americans is often due to the lack of media exposure. World news on the American networks and CNN and Fox NewsÂ Channel is 70% geared at American domestic/politics and 20% on celebrities than talk about the important world issues that donât affect them. When I go home I first watch BBC World News (even if I have to suffer Jamie Robertson) and this is followed by the network versions of âWorld Newsâ. What a contrast. We are lucky living here as we have access to both and we can also watch CNN International that doesnât just concentrate on America. It is no wonder Americans have little knowledge of or any inclination to want to know what is going on in the rest of the world.
I am digressing. Giving on a continuous basis produces feelings of long-term happiness. For countries to get back to their moral principles, giving to others in need is one way to move in that direction. We all need to fully get back to the mind set that giving and having less is of greater value then having more. We must move away from trying to produce short-term happiness via artificial means.
Artificial symbols such as what type of car you drive, how fancy your clothing is, or how many vacation homes you can acquire should be of less importance to any one who has some substance to them. The next time you find yourself propagating one of these excesses, think of the 24,000 people per day that are dying of hunger. Think about the six million children under the age of five that will die of hunger each year. Think about the downtrodden, the abused, and the tortured. When you think about these things, giving makes more sense. Give what you can and when you can.
Albert Einstein once said âthe value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.â What many people do not realise is that Albert Einstein was a deeply religious man. He knew that only a God could produce such a complex universe, and that such complexity could not have been produced by random chaotic events. He saw the order in the universe and the relation of the universe with God. He simply did not wear his religion on his sleeve. He also had insights beyond physics in that he realised what truly gives a man a sense of happiness and inner peace.
Einstein had it right in that happiness does not come from what you hold, but really from what you give. No matter what your religious belief, a life-time of giving to those less fortunate then yourself, will result in long term happiness. Give it a try. You might be surprised at the feeling it produces. A glimmer of hope is on the horizon. This has always been a religious country with Biblical principles. Do not let it slip away. Donât let us become like America. But we must all do our part.