Last week I mentioned that we would take a look at today’s values so that we might ourselves determine how they may affect our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. Most of us grew up in a time when the traditional American dream was emerging after World War II. It was based on working hard; exploiting opportunities to get ahead; pursuing happiness through the acquisition of a house, a car, an education…vocational as well as academic…and a marriage bearing children; and becoming part of a community of like-minded people. The dream included religious freed! om, the expectation of a better future for our children, and pride in being an American. The dream propelled the United States forward during an amazing growth spurt in the 1950’s through the 1980’s. But the 1990’s ushered in an era of values transformation that we are still reeling from to this day. We have replaced the ‘American dream’ with a kind of new ‘millennium dream’. This new set of values may be described by :
- Working only as hard as necessary to get by
- Demanding the freedom, rights, and services we are entitled to…nothing that was earned
- Seeking a customized family experience in which family is defined as “significant relationships, emotional commitments…when the emotion is over so is the family…,and satisfying physical liaisons” (Many marriage vowels today are just nice sounding words to entertain wedding guests)
- Living according to a personalized moral code based on situational truth and a tailor-made faith system
- Extolling modern-day virtues: tolerance…anything goes…, diversity…a substitute for individual achievement, sensitivity to feelings…don’t offend even with the truth, blunt candor…as long as it is considered ‘politically correct’, authenticity…reality TV?, personal strength, and social justice…earned or unearned. (We will only have ‘income equality’ when we have ‘effort equality’)
- Experiencing happiness through comfort, convenience, choices, connections, and experiences. ( no mention of individual accomplishment , serving others or exercising personal responsibility)
The original dream was reliant upon interdependence, trust…a hand-shake was a valid contract, loyalty…friends stood by each other through thick and thin, respect…a sought after and earned virtue, hard work…be the best at whatever you do, consistency…let your ‘yes be yes’ and your ‘no be no’, stability, acceptance of personal responsibility…don’t sue the coffee shop for your spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself, humility, service…ready to give of your time, and support for the common good. Most of these ideas and values have been replaced. Whenever we feel ‘wronged’ we run to a lawyer who is more than happy to get us ‘justice’. Today we are experiencing these new values. This revised dream that we are living will serve as the anchor for our efforts as a people…and nation…over the coming years. Will the dream change? It can, but for the better or the worse? The churches will play a big part if they will just stop falling in line with the “world” and start professing a society established by God’s Word. What kind of a world will our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. have to try to survive in?
Next week we will start to take a look at how society views religion, Christianity, God and Jesus, and the Bible. These views will play a major part in the future of this nation. This video will give you some idea on the importance of religion as it relates to government.
– Bob Munsey