A Cultural Change We Desperately NeedWritten by Terry Mitchell
In his immensely popular book, "The Purpose Driven Life", one of major points that Pastor Rick Warren tries to make is that people must change way they think before they can change way they live. I believe same principle applies to cultures. As I've mentioned many times before, I do not believe morality can be legislated. All laws in world against every imaginable immoral act will not make any culture or nation better or more righteous. Instead, we need a cultural change that comes as a result of modifying our opinion about certain things in our society. Specifically, we must change way we view violence, theft, foul language, and personal responsibility. Sadly, culture of violence is so ingrained into American culture that two have become almost interwoven. We have come to accept violence as a fact of life. We wink at it. We even laugh and make jokes about it. I believe this attitude stems from fact that, for many centuries, we have blithely accepted idea that it is sometimes okay for a man to strike or assault another man for reasons other than to defend himself or someone else from imminent physical harm. For example, we seem to think it is sometimes acceptable for a man to give another guy "a good beating" for "mouthing off" at him. Some people refer to this attitude as "old school." Well, if that's old school, classes need to be shut down immediately! Let's look at what this mindset as led to. Since that kind of escalation has been accepted for so long, people now often escalate from hitting to shooting or stabbing, without thinking twice. Many young people today see no difference between those forms of violent escalation. In their minds, if one form of escalation is acceptable, then why not another? Of course, mobsters, gangs, and those involved in drug culture have never had any problem with escalation of violence, but now that sentiment has spilled over into mainstream society. Violence has become a staple of our entertainment industry. Violent entertainment, even in its most graphic form, and is considered socially acceptable. In fact, FCC cannot fine broadcasters for violent content as it can for sexually explicit or vulgar content. We need a whole new attitude toward violence. It should be completely abhorrent to us. Those who harm others with violence, other than in cases of self defense or like, should be considered disgusting. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to see all manliness as well as manly sports erased from our culture. I'm not one of those fanatics who advocate such foolishness. In fact, football and boxing, what some people would call two most violent sports, are two of my favorite sports. Also, if two guys want to mutually agree to settle their differences by "duking it out", that's fine with me. However, when someone resorts to use of unnecessary and unexpected violence against another person, it should be interpreted as a barbaric act and treated as such by our laws. Violence will never be completely eradicated from our society, but it can be greatly reduced. However, this will only happen when we begin to view it as unacceptable. As is case with violence, our culture seems to accept inevitability of theft. It didn't use to be that way. There was a time when almost everyone respected property of others and would not bother it. However, people now have to keep doors of their homes and cars locked to keep contents of such from being stolen. In fact, we spend millions of dollars a year on devices that attempt to prevent would-be thieves from stealing our cars, breaking into our homes, and robbing us of other precious possessions. We sometimes excuse theft and take it lightly. We treat it in such a matter-of-fact manner that we assume that a certain (high) level of it is always going to exist. For example, most stores seem resigned to "fact" that a certain percentage of their merchandise will be lost to shoplifting. In addition, we often seem to hold everyone but thieves themselves responsible when theft occurs (I'm getting to a general point on that later). For example, if a child leaves his bicycle outside, unprotected, overnight and it gets stolen, child gets yelled at for being irresponsible. Now, if child goes outside and gets molested by a pervert, I bet his parents wouldn't yell at him. Why difference? Because we treat child molestation as unacceptable while treating theft as somewhat of a norm. I don't mean to make light of child molestation in any way, but we ought to treat theft as unacceptable too.
Senior Authors Give BackWritten by Francine Silverman
As editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, I am fortunate in having an eclectic group of subscribers who number in thousands. The ezine is interactive and subscribers are encouraged to share their innovative marketing techniques. What has impressed me most, however, is tenacity and good heartedness of over-50 members of my list. Dr. Ted “Gorgeous” Borgeas is a retired, sports-oriented podiatrist and author of nine books. When he was appointed as a volunteer to Medical Services Division of Athens Olympics 2004, Ted thought it would be very informative and appreciated to initiate a volunteer translation project of his book, When My Feet Hurt, I Hurt All Over (Cameltrotters Publishing 1976; last revision 2004). His idea was to distribute book free to athletes in their native languages. To accomplish this, he recruited volunteers to translate book into half a dozen tongues. Ted didn’t receive a penny on this project but his satisfaction is priceless. “The response was fantastic, encouraging and exciting…it was such a joy to be able to show some of athletes pictures and a translation of their problems.” http://www.atborgeas.com Miller Caldwell lives in Scotland. Even though profits on his book, Operation Oboe (Authors Online 2003), are greatly reduced when he donates two pounds (approx. $1.5) from sale at every book signing, Scottish Police Benefit/Welfare Association and Alzheimers and Dementia groups benefit from Miller’s largesse. http://www.millercaldwell.org