Social Mores. I have previously written about religion, but this spate of worldwide brutality and lawlessness, causes me not only to take a wider view of religion but relate it to some extent to our current problems. I wrote that I had been an interested believer until I was rudely awakened. At which point I steadily shrugged off my previous beliefs, but not the tenets which the religion had instilled in me When my girls were growing up, and as their mother was a churchgoer, I asked them to attend Sunday School until they were old enough to make their own decisions with respect to religion.
The 10 Commandments are basic social mores which are not confined to Christianity, but all religions with respect to social co-existence. They have been ignored on copious occasions by religious leaders throughout the centuries for secular reasons. What with the change in general attitudes of the 60s, it is unsurprising that in all religions, and probably especially Christianity, the silent majority has turned away from worship. I wonder how many children can now reel off the 10 Commandments without coaching, or even adhere to those tenets.
Having lived in Northern Ireland, in an allegedly religiously divided society, apart from the members of the paramilitaries, until recently the young were not seriously involved. Over the last few years it has become apparent that the young, in the more deprived areas, are increasingly out-of-control and are seeking excitement at any cost, possibly with pseudo, quasi paramilitary leanings For example – children light fires, with the sole intention of stoning the firemen when they answer the call. Currently the firemen are refusing to attend small blazes. This is clearly a breakdown in family responsibility through not adopting sound social mores. It is necessary that those basic values shall be indelibly printed on the minds of the young, but the question then is posed as to who should do this, as clearly the parents aren’t. Recently I demonstrated, by quoting my own experience, just how much teachers influence their charges, but they have enough to contend with. The solution would appear to lie solely with the parents. It seems totally illogical that bad, uncaring, parents, who allow their children to rampage, causing damage and mayhem, are not brought to book. These children, now and also when they become adults, place a burden on local authorities. It would therefore seem reasonable that the parents of the children should be brought to book for the damage these children commit. As it is likely, they have no money, and probably no job, then they should be given community service. Those who can afford to pay fines should be made to.
I find it strange that I have been banging on about single parent families, latch-key children, lack of extended families, lack of adequate recreational facilities for the young and teenagers and had just written this page, when, two hours ago, on the lunchtime News, I discovered we were 21st out of 21 European wealthy countries, when it came to assessing the aspects of the care, education, and welfare, etc of children.
Comic History. I’m not referring to history which has a funny side, but history gleaned in childhood from reading comic papers. In the 30s the comics were the children’s television of today, and every publication was awaited with anticipation. We knew the stories were rubbish, but they were exciting and had sufficient fact to make them real. Many were about wars of the past, and current wars. There was one in particular which was based on the British Raj trying to subdue warring tribes in the Khyber Pass. It was evident to us that the British were getting nowhere, because the story went on forever and was backed up by pieces in the Daily Press. Similarly we learned at school about the wars in the Sudan, the Middle East, and later we would learn all about how the British installed the Israelis in Palestine.
I am aware that the breadth of education that I received in the 30’s, is now arbitrary, and history and geography are no longer key subjects. So when our politicians, decide to send armed forces into those very places, which caused such problems in the past, without considering all the tribal problems that these various factions have maintained since the dawn of time, I put it down to them not having read very much history, or having ignored reasoned advice.. Not only in the comic books, but in our lessons in school, we were given to understand that on these various frontiers particularly in Afghanistan, the fighters were fierce, and almost impossible to winkle out from their burrows. Need I say more!