"It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble." -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
The definition of "noble" is as follows: having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.
It seems that men (and women) of noble character have gone out of style in this country. High moral principles and ideals are seen as narrow-minded, judgmental, and bigoted.
My theory is that Americans have simply become too lazy to put forth the effort that it takes to be a person of high moral principles. It's so much easier to be undisciplined, unstructured, and uncaring about how our actions affect other people. Both my parents and my grandparents taught me to be polite and to treat others with respect without compromising my principles. It was a fine line sometimes. Agreeing to disagree is not always easy when you add human pride and ego to the mix. I have long admired the Jews who could argue and disagree, then sit down to a meal together with no animosity. THAT is true wisdom and maturity, in my opinion.
The morals of this country have declined drastically in the last fifty years. When I was growing up you never saw a dead body on the news. T.V. couples slept in separate beds, and children who disrespected their parents were considered rebels. Today, the media knows no boundaries. Watching the news is like watching unscripted reality T.V.. The more dramatic the better. T.V. couples have sex right before your very eyes and rebellious children are heroes. There's no more mystery and nothing is sacred. Nothing is left to our imaginations. It's all out there, bold-faced and brazen. It takes too much effort to reign in our fleshly lusts so why do it? "If it feels good, do it" has been taken to a whole new level. Now it's more like, "If it feels good, do it, and make sure you share it with everyone else whether they like it or not." It's sad. It's rude. It's downright disrespectful. If I'm supposed to respect your right to "express yourself", why aren't you supposed to respect MY right to not be exposed to your "self-expression". Sure, I could leave the room or look the other way and more likely than not come face-to-face with someone else's "self-expression". You see, that's the problem.
The complete lack of self-restraint is everywhere. Everyone is coming out of all kinds of closets with complete disregard for those around them. When I'm in the library, I do my best to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb those around me who are trying to read or work. I taught my children to behave the same way. Then one day a person came into the library with total disregard for the established protocol or "library etiquette" if you will. This person decided that they wanted to jump around, sing, slide down the banister, and toss books in the air so that's exactly what they did. A few others thought it looked like fun, so they joined in. The librarian was shocked and asked the people to stop. When they refused, citing personal freedom, the librarian called the police. The police came and quietly escorted the disruptive parties out. The rest of the library patrons and the librarian were relieved and carried on with their quiet activities undisturbed. Yes, this was a fictional account (except for the first two lines) to illustrate a point. Disrespecting and disregarding others only leads to more of the same and soon everyone is being hauled to jail, or there's anarchy . . . and then who knows what.
There was once a societal etiquette that no longer seems to exist. Those who were raised to be polite and respectful can either embrace the new "personal freedom" attitude or suffer verbal abuse and persecution for being "narrow minded" and "bigoted". Why can't we all have the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are a little more carefully, instead of just dumping it on everyone else with total disregard? Find a group of like-minded people and be yourself with them and a little more subtle around the general public. We all learn, one way or another, what is socially acceptable and what is not. Walking around the mall with purple hair is one thing, making out in the food court is another matter entirely.
Some people are offended at the slightest thing. I'm not talking about pleasing all the people all the time. That is simply an impossibility. I'm talking about crossing lines and bringing out into the open, things that should be private; family matters, romantic intimacy, deep dark secrets. Some things should be between you and your God and maybe a counselor - no one else. It doesn't need to be on the news, or paraded around the mall, or made into a television show. Have some shame, people! Have a little respect for decency and keep some things sacred. What is so wrong with that? It makes life on this fallen planet a little more enjoyable to just be nice and a little polite toward one another. I'm going to start with myself and attempt to be a little more noble. I think it will be worth the effort.