Written by Bob McMillan Monday, 05 January 2009 12:57Perhaps it is the 24/7 news on cable TV or maybe there is something wrong in America. The number of murders, missing children, and sexual predators seems to have grown beyond any realism. Every time cable news comes on, there seems to be a new nasty story. It can be dangerous out there. It is no wonder that you regularly see parents waiting for children to both board and return on school buses. In the "old days," we walked to school or got off and on the bus with little, if any, concern.
But, there are other issues.
When greed in boardrooms of corporations permits scandals, our free enterprise system is ripped off. Just think of the judgments made by two Government sponsored enterprises - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Without the Congress stepping up and passing a bailout program, it is possible that the housing mortgage industry could have totally gone under.
Many - not all - mortgage brokers and banks, along with the automobile industry, have failed their shareholders, employees and customers. The lack of accountability is staggering. And it is probably not over. Just recently we have a "ponzi" scheme where some $50 billion has been bilked from charities and individuals.
Next, we have the failures in the political arena - shades of Watergate. It looks like the current Democratic Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich will follow his Republican predecessor, George Ryan to jail. The charges about selling President-elect Obama's Senate seat are very, very sick. Before that we had the affairs of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer with "call girls." Where is the character? Where is the moral backbone? I feel that some of our elected leaders - not all - take their elections as a form of "coronation." They are just above the law. Their heads just get too big.
While not connected to business and certainly not as critical as the failure of the moral compass in the political world, why do so many people fail to RSVP to an invitation? Friends have told me that they have had to follow up personally on wedding invitations, because invitees do not respond - not just one or two, but over 15 percent. The same is true for email responses. It could be that our in - boxes are too full, and we just pass over even making a simple acknowledgment. It is probably just a lack of courtesy, and I would also say a lack of good manners.
There are many other issues which I am sure you could add to this list. There just seems to be a lack of caring and even too much self focus. Take cheating on high school tests. Some statistics say that over 50 percent of students have cheated in some way while taking a test. And remember my column about the man hit by a car while crossing the street? Traffic just passed him by while even pedestrians ignored the man as he lay dying in the street.
Something is truly wrong in America. We must return to values of honesty, caring for others, kindness, and decency. It is not about your religion or mine. It is about reinforcing the character and moral guidelines which are so badly needed at this time.