Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Age of Permissiveness or Rethinking College Culture

Yesterday, A JS writer wrote a column “Rethinking the college culture”. The writer talks about “the bad craziness of college, the lunatic moments…..out of sheer, dumb luck, nobody got hurt, nobody died, nobody faced prison.” He continues though “not everybody rages through college like a maniac.”

In the April 3 edition of the JS, this writer attacked a local school board member for perhaps exaggerating her degrees and then not defending or correcting herself on the “advice of her attorney”. He wrote, “Look, I readily admit that I don’t recall much of college academics: I focused my energies in activities outside the classroom, but I recall getting my degree because of my unbridled glee over not having to listen to the drone of lectures.”

This age of permissiveness of which the JS writer must have been a part, started taking off in approximately 1960 and has accelerated to today. This “they are just kids” starts at home, moves to the public sector, into the schools and social sectors and the permissive ones say “they are just boys”. And nowadays, “they are just kids”.

Most of those that lacked respect of others like the JS writer, lucked through these maniac stages “just being a boy or a kid”. Most even became hirable. Respect of others? Probably not, except where they had to show respect to hold a job. But they caused a lot of grief and anguish to many others along the way.

Whenever I see or hear of acts of lawlessness and stupidity committed by “just kids” today, I remind people that I am a college graduate with a Bachelor of Education and taught for 5 years. I say “things were not like that back then” and they say “but things have changed over the years”. I agree, but hardly to the better. I do have a good memory and I recall a story of what was probably an exaggeration, of a guy siting on the hole in his outhouse when some of the older guys tipped it over on Halloween night.

This JS reporter talks about a beer glass being shattered over an eye as a prank and bragging about it? The JS reporter tells of thing as “hurling furniture off balconies”. These are not pranks to the recipient of the action. They are acts that do cause fear, injury and deaths and are not what any thinking person would call a “prank”.

Makes you wonder about what happened to the women unfortunate enough to marry these “pranksters”. No wonder we have so many case of physical abuse in this world. Maybe, like the women in the works of Anita Shreve, women and some men, are afraid to say what bad things are happening or happens to them.

When pranks that can be destructive and acts of cruel stupidity go unpunished, these senseless actions abet the problems we have with respect and disciple in today’s world. Most bad behavior caught and punished at early ages changes mindsets. Bad behavior almost always could have been prevented at a very young age starting with proper corrections by parents, grandparents, schools, counselors, mental health agencies, social agencies, judges, “snitches” and ordinary citizens helping out along the way.

Don’t expect law enforcement agents to have time to do much social work with those who lack respect of others.

Just kids at one time, maybe, then but maybe not. Anyone who believes kids can’t be cruel needs to be a better observer of what is going on around them or they should read syndicated columns by writer John Rosemond. Unfortunately, too many stupid and cruel kids grow into stupid and cruel adults.


Merle Widmer said...

For those of you who read me and are not local, this blog comes as a result of the death of a young man (his father and I have been friends for many years and his family are known as "good people". Killed by a college prank gone awry. One is dead and 3 are being charged and their college careers put on hold perhaps for some time to come.

Also prompting this blog is the high incidence of youthful lawlessness and physical abuse of related parties not only in this community but nationwide.

AdamB said...

Yep, true that. Too many "pranks" are not really thought through very well. A good prank is always harmless and leaves the victim laughing. Otherwise it's not really a prank, but mere hooliganism.