I don’t usually post the work of others, but a friend of mine who attends our Monday night Bible study at St Charles Borromeo in Tacoma sent this to me a few weeks ago. I thought it addresses issues you’ve read about on this blog in recent posts, but from another’s perspective. Ron is a retired ship driver (Commander, USN).
Last year, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy wrote an article in one of our military magazines on this topic. He used running rust as an example of what happens when we allow, even a little bit, rust to go unchecked. It has an insatiable appetite which ultimately destroys a ship. So it is with allowing questionable behaviors to slip by unchallenged, even a little bit. Eventually anarchy and chaos will evolve, not only within a person but a society as well.
On occasion I’ve engaged my grand children in discussions on this topic. Many child psychologists in the past have encouraged an attitude by parents of protecting the psyche of the child by allowing certain behaviors to exist which we wouldn’t think of when we were kids. Further, they encourage parents to remove as much disappointment and failure as possible from their children’s lives. These “tolerances” generally lead to adults who do not respect authority nor others. Just as steel is tempered by fire, we are tempered by disappointment and failures during our lives. Without these bumps in the road, we are not challenged to be people of value and worth.
In my discussions with family, I’ve used the comparison of Polaris---the North Star---with spiritual “centricity”…the steadfast acceptance of traditional values. Early mariners used the North Star as a tool in navigation. It could always be counted on to be in the same place regardless of the position of other stars, which rotated around it. Such are the values of the Judeo-Christian philosophy. They are a steadfast set of rules of behavior which are constantly under attack, not only by young folks, but by many of our contemporaries who have somehow decided that their individuality supersedes tradition…that their behavior is justified, contrary to the norms of society.
Our God calls us, with love and kindness, to remind our children and others of the dangers which their behavior, at times, creates. As the senior members of our families, we have a special responsibility to actively challenge the insidious nature of bad behavior. To do less is a disservice to those we hold dear. And, as role models, we are called to always question our own behaviors and attitudes. “Tough love” has great value. Food for thought.