What do parents want most for their children? To be safe, for sure. Warnings are now frequent about criminals on the loose. Crime and abductions are increasing. And even The Great Courses thought it was profitable to present a course with ideas gained from convicted criminals on how to avoid danger. (Did you laugh, cringe, or both?) Much of the thinking today does not keep our youth safe from another form of danger: the “clever” half-truths inherent in our culture’s deceptions. So, what we must find for our children is safety for both body and mind.
Let’s consider some examples of dangers for their minds so we can learn how we can keep them safe.
Is Freedom from Judgment Safe for Body and Mind?
The cry to be “free from judgment” is one of the strong emotional appeals of this new culture. Freedom from judgment will not keep our children (or us) safe. Some schools in California are doing away with exams and grades (which, hopefully, is not an indication of this element of the culture spreading to education). The need for a measure by which to judge our progress is as old as the early Egyptian records — and for good reason.
- Were the Egyptians (and all the nations of the middle east as well) wrong in paving the way for humans to measure their success and the quality of their lives? From them, we get mathematics and other means of measurement such as ethics, without which the great advances of our age would never have been possible. The new culture places ethics in danger of demotion.
- In fact, we should begin by judging ourselves and being open to the judgments of others. When we are not, we lose progress and self-advancement in a society that lacks this self-discipline. People then become paranoiac and angry when others critique them or called them out.
- Our world is still based on rules. But the breaking of rules and violence is now a mark of free expression. “No rules” cannot be the cry for safety for the body and, especially, the mind. The new culture may soon regret lauding this foolishness as a legitimate path to an uninhibited free expression.
No Facts, Only Interpretations
The cry of “no facts, only interpretations” is another empty-headed statement that our postmodernist culture’s philosophers promote. If it becomes the main pathway in people’s minds, it would open the path to anything — good or bad, factual or false — as worthy of acclaim. The new definition of “fact” would be that a fact is “anyone’s personal opinion.” Imagine where this misstatement leads.
Can We Believe Whatever We Wish and Be Safe for Body and Mind?
Another unsafe ideology is the encouraged freedom to believe whatever we wish. This one includes an invitation to dump all traditional beliefs, such as the need to respect others and treat others as we would prefer to be treated. These traditional beliefs have been the lights that lead to peace and healthy life. Either “believe and act out whatever you want,” or “show respect and love for all” are the new critical alternatives that we must pass on to our children? All traditions are not healthy or wise. But we cannot and must not discard these canons of ethical standards if life is to be a journey to peace and true brotherhood in our world.
Subjective Honesty’s Importance — Is This “Safe”?
Additionally, honesty’s value is dropping. Perhaps we should say “only if it means being honest to me” does it hold a place of high importance any longer. “Tell me the truth, but don’t hold me to the same standard” is what the new culture models. This new culture now touts dishonesty as another accredited tool to get what one wants. Think of the deception widely accepted in advertising and dishonesty’s prevalence even in politics. You can be excused for lying if it helps you get elected or if a clever deception helps you sell your product. Any idea, if believed, affects the mind’s judgment of values and either lifts or corrupts the quality of life in our world.
Relationships are being destroyed by this kind of thinking, also. Any thinking that does not find its roots in the soil of truth and goodness corrupts all feelings and emotions of the human heart.
- The idea that “if you are tolerant of some people and intolerant of others it qualifies you as good” is a condemnation. Only a life that displays goodness to all qualifies one as good.
- And don’t forget, tolerance is not adequate in relationships. Only love with goodness in all our actions makes for a pure and lasting relationship. Love with goodness in our actions — and nothing short of it — must be promoted as the prime relationship virtue.
- Peace for the world means peace and love in relationships.
When Self-Interests Are Exalted, Are Peace and Safety Threatened?
We have forsaken the proven path of love and goodness in the human heart for lessor virtues that exalt self-interests above the interests of others. This is sad indeed because recent generations have already seen the worst century of bloodshed.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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