September 13, 2002
September 13, 2002


Teenagers relate to me their dissatisfaction with their classmates whom they state are all cutthroats. Why do they have such a negative opinion of their social status? Why are their so many unpleasant youths in a time when we have so much materially?

As I watched the same TV News fare, some of the answers jumped out at me. For over a month I have scanned the first few minutes of the News broadcast. Murder trails, kidnapping, rape, suspicion of terrorist activities: All annihilation concepts. Not one pleasant message. The culture is modeling behavior modification techniques that are damming already dysfunctional youths. Teens from healthy loving functional families have the strength to find useful outlets.

A vignette from my book Hear My Cry! entitled Training shows the family modeling:

I spent my childhood running after Mom trying to direct her attentiveness away from her ceramics so that she would notice my accomplishments. In adulthood I attempted to share with her my gleeful moments. Mom proceeded to increase the volume on the phonograph, the radio, and the TV until the roar was ricocheting from room to room. I screeched over the din, “Could you turn that down, so you can hear me? I cant talk any louder.” Mom glared at me, “That's the idea,” she said, and turned the volume up yet another notch.

When Mom moved to the next state Id stay the week. Id try to relate pleasant accounts to her, but shed walk away into the garden, go into another room to clean, or shush me when she began her hobbies. However, she did listen when I complained about life's little discomforts or my husbands or children's annoying ways. Id return home complaining about everything. There were several incidents, and each time I wondered why my personality had reverted from optimistic to pessimistic.

I pordered that question and monitored myself when I next visited Mom. I noticed that each time I spoke of gratifying incidents, her indifferent manner blocked my conversation. However, any ugly, sad, or obscene reference was followed very carefully by her with not one exception. It took a long time for the light to go on inside my head, to recognize perfect behavior modification conditioning. In order to gain love, I performed negatively as she would have it. I was perfectly trained. Now it was my chore to retrain myself.

This a micro account taking place in the family. The macro account is that the News Media which has trained us to want to observe (because that is all the News that is offered us) the most tragic events. Isn't it time we objected to the harm they are doing to our culture? Isn't it time for them to balance the News with the wonderful events which take place daily? Of course, we need to know about major crisis such as 9/11, but why not illustrate the fortitude of the masses who have reached out with money, blood transfusions, counseling and so forth to get the harmed person's through all this.

The following is an example of one of the many times I have been given help by strangers which exemplifies the graciousness of people in America:
My daughter and I waited by a bus stop sign, for a bus, for fifty minutes. A high school student when asked for assistance, pulled out his bus schedule and called on his cell phone to determine where and how we could be assisted. He determined that the sign had never been taken down and the route was nonexistent, so he walked us two and one half blocks around several corners to the bus terminal as he apologized for Nashville Tennessee's lack of hospitality!

Let me state for the record, that I believe people are inherently good. They want to love and be loved. People open doors for me. People are courteous (for the most part). When I occasionally find my peace disrupted by another, I remind myself that the masses are great! God Bless America and all who are in it!