A Cultural Change We Desperately NeedWritten by Terry Mitchell
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We should view theft as being almost as bad as violence and then treat it that way. Our new view of it would result in theft becoming more stigmatized. At that point, we would likely institute more of a zero-tolerance policy toward it, with thieves being punished more severely than they are today. Then, perhaps, theft would become more of an anomaly and less of an expectation. Foul language has become a mainstay of modern dialogue. While I don't agree with cultural conservatives' efforts to censor various forms of media, I do agree with their perception that our culture has become coarsened. One of major manifestations of this coarsening is our increased use of profane and vulgar language. In fact, our language has become outright callous and is quickly headed toward becoming atrocious. On top of that, habitual use of foul language makes us seem collectively boorish. When I was growing up, back in 1960's and 1970's, I believed that certain "bad" words had just recently been invented. I was wrong, of course. They've been around for centuries. However, they weren't used in polite society or mixed company. They were mainly confined to locker rooms, sports fields, bars, dance halls, smoke-filled back rooms, battlefields, etc. They weren't used in many other venues because people viewed them as inappropriate. Fast forward to early 21st century and we can't escape foul language, no matter where we go, except maybe for our houses of worship. It's on TV, it's in movies, it's at our work place, it's in classroom, it's at social events, it's in "music" being blared out by driver next to us at stoplight, etc. Things have gotten to point where some people literally can't verbally communicate without use of profanity or vulgarity in every other sentence. What happened? We let our guard down and started accepting this kind of language without blushing or raising an eyebrow. We stopped correcting and punishing children for using it. We eventually became indifferent to it. We need to shrug off our indifference and start looking at foul language as both unnecessary and extremely rude. Once this attitude change becomes prevalent, we could well be on our way to a more gentile society. Another problem that plagues modern American culture is that we have become a nation of blame-shifters. Far too many of us are constantly looking for someone (or something) else to blame for our own actions. In addition, we often hold one person (ex., child who got his bike stolen) accountable for deliberate and illegal actions of someone else (ex., person who stole it). We also expect government and or our fellow citizens to bail us out or relieve us of consequences stemming from our illegal and/or unwise behavior. When they fail to do so, we act as if we have been wronged. The root cause of these attitudes is that we have a distorted view of role of personal responsibility. We need to amend our view of personal responsibility in such a way that we: (1) require that any natural consequences resulting from a person's behavior, both private and public, be borne solely by that person and (2) hold people entirely responsible for their own actions and entirely blameless for everyone else's. Accordingly, we would rightly blame person who actually does crime, not one who (although negligently) might make it easier for him or her to do it. A person would not be allowed to blame "hate speech" for his or her violent actions. Criminals would not be permitted to use excuse that their parents abused them as children. Poverty would not be a valid excuse either. The victims of shootings and/or their families would be blocked from suing gun stores. Rapists could not pin blame for their actions on pornography or indecency in media. Whoever commits a crime would do time. We would rid ourselves of scapegoat mentality that says someone else could be prosecuted or sued for it. If perpetrator could not be caught, no one would be punished (criminally or civilly). We desperately need a cultural change affecting all of areas that I have described. Without it, we'll soon find ourselves in wastebasket of history.
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.
Senior Authors Give BackWritten by Francine Silverman
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Authors who have suffered illness or death of a loved one sometimes find solace in helping others. Brian Hartford, co-author of Change of Heart (PublishAmerica 2000), lost his first wife to cancer and later underwent a heart transplant. Brian speaks to groups about transplantation and organ/tissue donation and feels that by telling his story and promoting organ donation that he’s giving back for “precious gift” of life he received. He donates 20% of profits of books sold at these events to TRIO (Transplant Recipient International Organization). http://www.authorsden.com/brianahartford Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks was a professional musician for 30 years before she developed advanced breast and thyroid cancer and given five years to live (18 years ago when there was little information on breast cancer). When she met her husband, Jerry, he had lost his wife to ovarian cancer a few years earlier. The couple co-authored Tears of Joy (Infinity Publishing 2003) and 16 years ago formed Bosom Buddies, a breast cancer support and education organization. The two travel country with their presentation, “In Sickness and in Health: A Survivor and Caregiver Share Their Story of Tears and Hope.” “Breast cancer has been a positive force in my life, if you can believe it,” says Bobbi. http://www.speakersforlife.com
Francine Silverman is editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, a bi-weekly ezine for authors of all genres, http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com, and author of Book Marketing from A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005), a compendium of marketing strategies of 325 authors. http://buybooksontheweb.com (Category: Marketing)