Are we living in a soft society? Has political corrected-ness completely diminished honesty in nearly every aspect of life? Is this soft society a friendlier, more human place to be – or is it really hurting the generations to come?
In recent years across the world, the ideas of a soft society have moved front and center to nearly every political debate. Today, there are more people living on entitlement programs than ever before in the world’s history. Bullying is receiving national attention and the freedom of speech is somehow only granted as long as what we are saying falls safely within the boundaries of being politically correct. Nearly every branch of government, and every lesson in school is taught in a manner that is designed to be non-offensive. For example, one Atlanta school district recently sent homework home to its students that combined math problems with their lessons in American History. The social studies block they were learning about involved slavery. When parents read the questions that cleverly included slavery and math – they were outraged. So much so, that two teachers lost their jobs and an in-depth investigation was launched accusing the mostly black school district of racism.
In today’s sporting events for children, nearly every child expects a participant award. Years ago, you won a trophy or a ribbon for excelling at something rather than for just showing up. Today, kids are receiving awards for coming in 1st, 2nd, third and even last. This lesson in and of itself seems to be teaching kids that as long as they ‘participate’ in life – even without much success, that they are deserving of something. Gone are the days where awards are based on achievements, because society believes that awarding those excelling hurts the self-esteem of those that are not.
One school district in Canada recently banned children playing with any sort of hard balls, due to the fact that children might get hurt. Today’s kids are biking around their neighborhoods and skate boarding wearing helmets, a LAW which is enforceable by police. Football players in many school districts across the United States are not allowed to hold afternoon practices if the outside temperatures reach too high numbers.
The ‘No child left Behind,” platform spouted by political activists in the United States aimed at improving US schools, which was essentially put in place to try and put all students on a level playing field – has subsequently back fired. Inclusion classrooms, which were part of this plan, blends high achieving students with the lowest achieving students in one grade in the hopes that the high achieving students will ‘rub off’ on their lacking counterparts. In the end, the reverse has been found to be true, and the US will now be phasing out the nationwide program. Which also by the way, entitles…yes ENTITLES students with lice to be permitted back into school districts after 3 days, even if the lice and the eggs are still present. Forget that their lice can easily infest another child. This program, and hundreds more have moved accountability from parents to educators and from students to teachers.
Criminals, even sexual predators are rehabilitated during incarceration. People in jail have so many rights that there are literally tons of people seeking to get arrested so they can get a hot meal, medical attention and even clean clothes. Parents convicted of abusing their children are given opportunities to ‘win’ their children back by taking parenting classes. Drug addicts cannot be fired from unionized companies without the option of rehabilitation. And then we have the 49% of US society that no longer has the desire nor the ability to take care of themselves. But since these people are ‘disabled,’ or ‘helpless’ or flat out don’t have any money – the rest of society is carrying the burden of taking care of them. Why? Because how would it make us look if we actually forced people to be responsible for their lives?
Anti-bullying campaigns, and even anti- childhood obesity campaigns are teaching children (and adults) that they are the victims of their society rather than holding them personally accountable for their actions. It has become unethical to call Negros, ‘black people,’ or refer to people from other countries as ‘foreigners.’ In fact, it has become nearly impossible to say anything without it being misconstrued by some sect of society. This was evident with Jennifer Anniston’s reference to the R-Word (retarded) during a lighthearted television interview. Is ‘retarded’ now a bad word? Because according to the dictionary it is not a profanity and is used to describe people that have reduced mental capability.
Are we Becoming too Soft as a Society?
The answer is yes. And sadly, the softness being based around the playgrounds via nerf balls rather than soccer balls is not making any one any nicer. Incidents of violent crime, bloodshed, and even war are at all time highs. If we are evolutionizing as a kinder, gentler society – then what pray tell is up with all of this hatred and animosity?
The truth is that life is difficult. You are going to get your feelings hurt whether you want to or not. There will always be one person who is better at something than you and your child are. There will always be dangers, no matter how much padding or protective gear we wear. There will always be hatred to some degree and there will always be the have nots and the have mores. Life, as it was in the beginning of time and through evolution, will always be a ‘survival of the fittest’ game with definitive winners and losers. And each of us, has a choice of being either a winner or a loser.