MoralityI was recently pondering what’s wrong with society these days; and more precisely, what’s wrong with our kids? I’ve been hearing all sorts of news from all over the globe highlighting the mind-numbing crimes done by kids under the age of 18. Serious crimes. Not just simple things like cow-tipping or crop-circle-creating or spray-painting or kick-me signs. I’m talking about murder. About robery at knife-point or gun-point. I’m talking about kids roaming the streets at night of these small towns (or even some of the bigger cities) and taking over through violence. I’m talking about flash mobs of teenagers attacking innocent bystanders – or busting into stores and simply taking anything and everything they can get their hands on.

And just last night (or, technically, this morning) in the Philadelphia area, a 14-year old boy stole his mother’s car and went for a joy ride at 2:00 in the morning (read the article here). Long story short, he ran a light, didn’t have his headlights on, smashed into two other cars, and killed a man. Homocide. And from what I’m reading they just might actually try him as an adult. (As well he should – I’ve always said, if you can do an adult crime, then you seriously need to do the adult time. In an adult court. In an adult jail.)

I’ve been seeing so much of this going on, and I wonder what’s wrong with these kids that they would even think about doing crap like this. When I was growing up, we respected our parents. When they told us to do something, we did it (generally with a lot of moaning and complaining, but we did it because we’d get smacked if we didn’t). When they told us not to do something, we didn’t do it (again, generally with a lot of moaning and complaining, but we didn’t do it because we’d get smacked if we did). And when we did get smacked, we damn-well deserved it! Sometimes I wonder where my parents found their restraint from beating the shit out of my older brothers! Some of the pranks they pulled…

But I digress.

So many laws have been enacted to “protect the children from abuse,” which I agree is a good thing (the “protecting children from abuse” thingy, not the laws enacted to do that). But in doing so, we’ve eliminated a large part of discipline. Now, when a child does something wrong we give them a “time out.” What the hell is that all about?? Timmy, for the tenth time, this is the last time I’m going to tell you … either you put down that gun, or I’m going to give you a time-out! And these children are growing up with a sense of entitlement – that they are entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want it, and no one is going to tell them otherwise.

We’ve gotten so deeply into legislating morality that society no longer has a sense of their own morals. They figure the government will set up new laws for them so they won’t have to think about it. What we should really think about is removing some of these more recent laws. Instead of setting up legislation to parent for us, we need to step up to the plate and do our own parenting. At age 14, why was that child even awake? At 14, I wouldn’t have even thought about not being in bed at that time (partially because my parents would never have allowed it and I knew that, and partially because I just loved sleeping!)! Where were his parents? And why didn’t he have the sense enought to know that you just don’t take your parent’s car out for a joy ride in the city at 2:00 AM???

At least wait until morning!