Something’s missing. Missing from conversation, missing from social interaction, missing from people, television, music, missing from the work place. I’ve been noticing it more profoundly the past few years. Where is the dignity? When did ‘unrestrained’ become a position of pride, a level to ascend to? When did it begin to replace dignity and modesty as a position of relevance? What has caused the shift? What is the dynamic in our culture that has come to allow our personal inclinations to supercede the rights of others? How is it that the individual has become more important than the collective whole? What has been ripped from our souls to leave us so bereft of dignity, so detached from any sense of personal pride? Why has it become OK to bring shame on our families by playing out our personal lives in public places like MySpace and YouTube? The stoned, drunk and sexualized behaviors of an ever increasing population of perpetually adolescent adults in search of another party. Not to even mention the kids. Where is the personal shame? Such anger and self-loathing. Such inherent loneliness. Such an unwillingness to engage in honest self examination.
What have become of standards and reasonable expectations in our lives? What has happened to personal and public condemnation of intolerable behavior? How did bad behavior become more tolerable even than the disapproval of it? How did wrong become so relative? Why do we shrink from making such determinations? From taking a position? Have we become cultural cowards, so afraid of ‘judging’ others that we have lost the inclination to even judge behavior? Our own or others? Are we so afraid of having expectations, or of setting standards, that we no longer even set them for ourselves? I hope not.
Where is the Dignity?
I can only ask the question.