I believe that our society has declined to the point that the “new norm” of behavior is one of being DISRESPECTFUL and INCONSIDERATE. I also believe that there are thousands who are totally shocked when they confronted with their own participation in that “new norm.” There is a VERY HIGH COST in allowing our interpersonal and other relations decline to this point and I would like to point out some of the ways that I believe we are practicing this “new norm” and the “penalty” or “repercussions” that result from such behavior. I write this with a broken heart for God’s people, our nation, and with a deep sense of shame that I too have been guilty, at times.
LET ME EXPLAIN:
- SOCIAL MEDIA
I have found that on Facebook alone many people, as a norm, arbitrarily add people to groups without their permission or even asking if they would like to join or participate in that group. Others, with regularity, post links and other items to people’s walls without first asking the owner of the wall their opinion or desire to have that link or post there. (I’m not talking about wishing someone a happy birthday, anniversary, or innocuous posts of normal social interaction.) Those aforementioned actions are, in my view, DISREPECTFUL and INCONSIDERATE. They presume or assume a right on the part of the individual committing those actions to do whatever they desire irrespective of the feelings or desires of the other person. It is virtually an expression that says “I know what’s best for you,” or “I like this so should you.”
- INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
Frequently it appears that too many of us are not willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt before rendering judgment. We react without the facts to support our reaction and demonstrate incredible DISRESPECT for that individual. Likewise we demonstrate the IT’S ALL ABOUT ME attitude in simple things like highway driving when we refuse to allow someone to merge in front of us when we easily could. At the checkout, stand when we notice someone with only a couple of items and we have a basket full we press forward without considering that by allowing them go to in front of us they might enable them to complete what could have been an urgent shopping event and get on with what their day held for them. Husbands and wives too often fail to consider the needs or even desire of their partner and focus on WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? On the job, from both directions, ITS ALL ABOUT ME more than what is best for the company or others around me including the customer. Even in the matter of financial obligations we sometimes fail to take proactive steps to insure that the debt is paid or there is an explanation as to why there is a delay, instead waiting until the collector harasses us. In the Church, I’ve noticed through the years that a large portion of the congregation feel that the purpose of the church is to MEET THEIR NEEDS rather than what Jesus declared with regard to spreading the Gospel. In our own personal spiritual relations with God we will demand or complain about not receiving what we asked for at the time we asked it without considering that God’s higher purpose might involve a delay or even a denial to our request. Those are some simple and often minor examples of demonstrations of DISRESPECT and being INCONSIDERATE.
To me, it would be the same as to entering someone’s home, propping your feet up on the coffee table and saying “Get me something to drink and something to eat.” Or walking into a local congregation and taking over the service, declaring that “this is the way we are going to go” without channeling it through property God-assigned authority. Can you imagine going into a place of business and stopping production of an item, presenting your item as the thing to be produced without the management agreeing that this is the way to go? It would not only be rude, disrespectful, and inconsiderate it would get you thrown out on your ear and rightfully so.
This type of attitude suggests that you believe you have the right to hijack someone else’s social media page, church responsibility, home, or business and suggests that you believe your idea or opinions are the only ones that have validity; therefore the right ones to be presented. It is disrespectful and inconsiderate. Your ideas, links, posts, etc. may be honorable, right, truthful, and even good but if they are presented without giving the proper RESPECT and CONSIDERATION to those whom the space, the home, the business, or the church either belong or fall within their sphere of responsibility and authority it is GROSSLY DISPRESPECTFUL but seems to be the ‘NEW NORM’ in today’s society.
We see this in our politicians when they disrespect the Constitution, the rule of law, and the will of the people. We see this in business when the customer is treated as a necessary evil, the employee is a dispensable tool, and the boss or management is the enemy. We see this in relationships when the other party’s desires, wishes, and feelings are relegated to non-importance by our actions. We see this in so many facets of life that it is incredibly alarming to me.
The cost of this is that we will produce and are producing a generation who see this as NORMAL. You do not matter if what you want interferes with my objective, thoughts, desires, ideas, or plans. The result is that we develop a society in which it is EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF and everyone BECOMES A LAW UNTO HIMSELF and at that point we have anarchy and are a million miles from God’s Word, Will, and Way.
I know that from an early age I was taught to consider others above myself and so were most of you. The vast majority of us were taught, from early years, to RESPECT OTHERS, their space, property, and rights. Yet, today’s ENTITLEMENT SOCIETY has adopted a philosophy that says – I DESERVE IT. You owe it to me or I have a right to say and do whatever I please whenever and wherever I please. That results in chaos and a total lack of cooperation and a complete disintegration of trust which is essential for a functional society.
Regarding Social Media my experience has been that people continually add me to groups without my permission or without asking me to consider the group. That is grossly disrespectful and inconsiderate. No matter how often I ask that it not happen it continues to happen and some will get angry when I do what I always do – LEAVE THE GROUP. It may be one of the best and most noble groups in existence but if you add me without first asking me if I’d like to participate I consider that a gross demonstration of disrespect and inconsideration and will IMMEDIATELY LEAVE THE GROUP. I would NEVER go to anyone’s wall and post a link, an article, or anything else without first asking them permission or asking them to review the information and see if they wanted it there. Doing otherwise is disrespectful and inconsiderate not to mention incredibly rude, presumptuous and arrogant. Your information may be fabulous but you did it in the wrong way. I will do as with groups – DELETE your post if you do that.
I see this as a sign that those who function in this manner are presumptuous, self-willed, and demonstrating a lack of respect for others. It is most definitely, in my view, incredibly inconsiderate. That is a spiritual as well as a moral problem which is becoming a societal problem. Although the perpetrator might not view such action as problematic – IT IS and should be addressed. Only you can address it in your life. Take it before God and I believe that He will confirm what I am saying.
We need to work at being more RESPECTFUL and CONSIDERATE of others in our lives and interactions. If I post something on Facebook you are more than welcome to say whatever you please (as long as you are not vulgar or make personal attacks on my friends). I made it as a public statement and it is fair game. But to post links, add to groups without asking, or other types of posts other than the common social media interaction communications is INCONSIDERATE, RUDE, and DISRESPECTFUL. I WOULD NEVER do that to you and ask that you not do it to me or anyone else. It is a flaw in our society that is costing us our ability to develop the type of Society that Jesus designed and desired as well as the type of Society where consideration, respect and moral decency prevail. I believe that is one of the reasons that we see many of the violent acts of today – THE LACK OF RESPECT AND CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS. Sadly, we have an entire generation that has witnessed this type of behavior from leaders, parents, and other segments of society so they see it as THE NORM and think nothing about conducting their life in that manner. It is, to me, a key cog in the decline of the American and even World Civilization and something that even in the small and seemingly insignificant areas we should work to overcome.
Let’s all strive to be RESPECTFUL and CONSIDERATE. We can disagree without being either. We can have robust and even animated discussions about our disagreements without either of those elements. We can have an open dialogue that is both RESPECTFUL and CONSIDERATE and in that atmosphere I believe we can come to some concrete conclusion as to the real problems and real solutions that we are facing individually and collectively.
Thank you for allowing me to have my rant and may God bless you is my prayer and may God protect, defend, and guide this nation.