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A society lacking grace and afraid of intimacy spells trouble

God Bless America

Source: Wikipedia

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I was waiting at the traffic light today to take our daughter to the doctor’s office and there in front of me was a jacked up pick-up truck with a twenty-something guy wearing a cowboy hat. Country music could be heard coming from his speakers and there pasted on his back window in prominent view of everyone was the message “Porn…It’s cheaper than dating.”  I suppose he thought it was funny. My daughter was unfazed by it, but frankly I was embarrassed and more than a little annoyed muttering “loser” a little too loud perhaps. Cowboys of legend and John Wayne must be rolling in their graves, if this guy is the epitome of the modern cowboy.

I suppose some will say this bumper sticker is tame by today’s standards; however I would argue there are no standards and that is indeed the problem. In society’s rush to tolerate and accept everything and everybody, good taste and decency have been thrown under the bus and replaced by the most shocking, crude, prurient communication dreamed up. Nothing apparently gets censored anymore. Everything gets a pass; all is acceptable for consumption. When did this happen?  Will this  young man a few years from now feel the same way about exercising his first amendment right to free speech when his eight or ten year old daughter asks him what is Porn. I wonder will she already know what Porn is? Will she already be influenced by it at some level as the culture reaches new levels of depravity? Just how decadent can American society become if we put our minds to it?

Maybe this “cowboy” truly believes dating’s only purpose is to get physically intimate. “Hooking up” is what some people are calling it these days but that is definitely not dating. Porn maybe offers him an easy short cut to self-gratification. The trouble is Porn never satisfies. How incredibly sad it must be for him, if dating is only about self-gratification. What about taking an interest in your fellow human being that you’re attracted to. Why not try and get to know them intimately through conversation first and time well spent together. That’s what the purpose of dating is supposed to be, and that takes a lot of effort, but most relationships of value do take effort. A human being has to invest in a person physically, emotionally, spiritually, and monetarily if they are going to love them. It’s going “all in” as they say in poker. That’s risky and requires patience but it’s worth it. My marriage of twenty-four years is proof of that.

Like every other electronic gadget and gizmo that has dehumanized society these days, Porn is now very high tech and I guess to some socially & sexually hungry human beings its promise of a quick fix is not unlike a drug that creates addiction. I would argue it’s cheating them of the true pleasure and romance in dating and creating instead intimacy problems for them in the future.

Don’t judge me man. That’s what I hear some of you reading this are saying. That’s what my kids tell me too when I have a critical comment to make about the clothes they wear, their appearance or manners. Don’t judge, really? This is the message being taught to the youth today. Well guess what, the world does judge you and me and everyone else. Whether you like it or not, whether you think it’s fair or not, it’s a fact of life and the older you get the more you realize that prejudices and judgments exist.  Everyday human beings make first impressions with their fellow human beings, and things like physical attractiveness, clothes, smells, grooming, speech, intelligence all play a role in making that first impression.

If you don’t think people judge you by appearance or actions, or you say well I’m not a judgmental person, think again and be honest. Ask yourself what you would think of a daycare provider who was watching kiddie Porn on their computer the moment you walked in to leave your kids with them. Or perhaps you need a good lawyer because your wife is divorcing you because you believe Porn is cheaper than paying attention to her. When you get to the lawyer’s office he’s dressed in pajamas sitting on his desk smoking a doobie, with a Twinkie in his other hand. Are you going to hire him? Don’t tell me you don’t judge people. We all do. It is human nature and we are hard wired to be discerning.

So why then if impressions do count and we know people judge us, do some continue to flaunt their dark side in public. Do they just simply not care or do they just not know any better? Those from the generation whose motto was “if it feels good, do it” must really be proud. For feeling good seems to be what their offspring are into these days. More and more of American society seems to exhibit this kind of detachment from their fellow human beings. Crude and rude behavior toward others is becoming more the norm instead of the rare occasion. Texting has substituted physical conversation. In person office communication to address concerns is avoided and replaced by electronic mail communication. Intimacy is replaced with pornography. Marriage is replaced with live in arrangements or “friendship with benefits”. Recognize the trend?

Just how prepared do you think this coming generation is for the tough times ahead of us if they are afraid of criticism, refuse to be held accountable or judged by their actions, and are afraid of physical human interaction and true intimacy ? How easily will they be manipulated by a government that tracks all of their electronic communication now?

Today’s American society lacks social grace and has definite intimacy issues. People of the baby boomer and my generation “the x generation”, I think have failed the youth of today in their responsibilities with their selfishness, and complacent attitudes. We failed to model that which our fathers and grandfathers did without even trying. We all can and should do a better job at being fathers and mothers, business people and leaders of our families and communities. It all starts with the man in the mirror.

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