It all begins in the home
by Donald K. Sanders
If you think about human behavior and ethics, I think you’ll agree, it all begins in the home. In a normal home, everything you will need to get by in society has its roots. Children develop behavioral attitudes, ethics, and just plain common sense in early and late adolescence long before they reach adulthood. By the time they’re adults and go out to live their lives in society with the rest of us, their behavioral attitudes are already formed.
It is my observation that we need to overhaul what we’re teaching our children in our homes. I know that I’m not one to preach. but I’m going to just the same. In the world we live in today, it is essential that we take a good look at exactly what is going on with honest and open eyes and minds. What we send out into the world will eventually come back to us; it always has.
I’ll start locally, in our own back yard. I’m not the smartest man in the world but I can see that the behavior of our youth, most of them, is lacking a cupful of ethics. It’s not going to get better any time soon unless we examine what the awful truth is. Starting small and then going large is the only way I know to explain what I’m trying to convey, so put up with me.
You would not believe how many beer and whisky bottles I pick up every day at the nature park where I like to do volunteer work. Fifty percent of my volunteer time is spent cleaning up someone else’s mess. People just don’t seem to care anymore, that is very obvious to me. Every day, I find plants that have been stomped or run over by someone’s quad motorcycle. Evidence of small fires are everywhere, deliberately set for mischief and destruction of public property. Why else would someone have a fire in 100 degree heat.
In reality, I believe these acts of vandalism are committed by groups of roaming youths with a lack of entertainment or things to do. Groups that lack ethics and could care less about bad or good behavior. This said, let’s move on to a higher level of society that I call family groups. I call them groups because in society today, many families are forced economically to group together for support.
Right away, many are blaming lower income homes for what is wrong with society. The problems of our society are so much deeper than low income homes. Look for a role model today and what do you see. Where can a young man find someone to look up to and model his behavior after his? At one time, politicians were a good example of ethical behavior. So were businessmen and clergymen. While we may enjoy exceptional freedoms guaranteed by our first-of-its-kind Constitution, our behavior provides a different story when it comes to personal accountability, personal responsibility and community accountability.
Major business, the church, and the politics on the Hill are all tied in with major crime and corruption. The crime you see reported on TV is nothing compared with the crime that will never make the evening news. Dow Chemical and Kimberly Clark used to discard their dioxins and endless chemicals into rivers and lakes and thought nothing of it. To this very day, these companies are pushing chemicals like DDT in Third World countries — a chemical outlawed in the United States because it kills everything it touches. I don’t see this as ethical behavior, I see it as chasing the almighty dollar at the expense of other people’s lives.
The people that rise to run corporations and governments do not come from broken homes. To people such as these, broken homes equals big bucks. They are thinking and counting on people from broken homes to fill the beds in our lucrative penal systems. Which brings me to the war on drugs that is never-ending in this country. The National Drug Control Strategy published in 1998 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reports that three-quarters of the growth in the federal prison population is accounted for by drug offenders. The number of inmates in state prisons for drug-law violations increased by 487 percent in recent years.
I’m sure this information is no surprise to anyone, but consider the fact that 60 percent of all prisoners are minorities from broken homes. When you are looking to fill a bed in a large financial windfall, you’ll go where the picking is easy: in low income, broken homes of our African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Generation after generation, it’s the same — remove the major breadwinner and you have a broken home, and a broken home provides plenty of candidates to fill prison beds. This has become the ethics and behavior of the United States of America.
Need I say that this type of ethics and behavior began in someone’s home. You know it did, but being limited to 800 words in a column, this is all I can say. Some will get the point and some won’t. That’s all I can do.