It would be all too easy to look at the spectacle that occurred today in Washington DC and become rather cynical. For all the talk of change, amazingly all the same faces are still there with the same messages. The inaugural speech today became a sermon and religious fervor replaced wisdom and sacrifice is demanded from the people. Requesting sacrifices, calling on the American Spirit while at the same time saying America must change its ways, all these conflicting messages can be delivered in a sermon and the listeners don't quite perceive the conflicts.
Despite all this and much more, I will not be cynical. Being cynical will not change things for the better or help my readers. So instead of pointing out the many inconsistencies in the rhetorical narcotic delivered, I will try to point out that all things have equal positive and negative sides and only from any unique frame of reference do those aspects get viewed as either good or evil.
Even as our nation seems to be in decline, our morals fractured, our families dysfunctional, our children degenerate and our electronic communication leading to a total lack of civility and standards of conduct, dress or behavior in public, we must remember that these declines are natural and inevitable. Laws compel citizens to do things, while morals are rules of conduct that are exhorted. Our nations morality was founded in agricultural roots and those morals required strong families, hard work courtesy and working for a common cause to survive. In the industrial age morality shifted. Women and men could fraternize anywhere and everywhere. Families were optional. Adultery, child abandonment and abortions were fine with people who lived in the cities and did not depend upon the family structure for their survival. Civility and neighborly courtesy was not necessary either. In the cities, one could ignore ones neighbors and be as rude as one wanted to be. So the gangs, prostitutes, violence and incivility flourished in the cities.
Now the industrial age has brought us the internet. The internet facilitates the lowest segment of society to infect the minds of those who normally would not interact with this lowest segment. Pornography, violence, profanity are spread virally - like a disease. Worst of all this infection now reaches children who were normally sheltered from the lowest of depravitiy until their minds and bodies were fully formed.
History tells us lax morality has always existed in every society. That pornographic literature already found a hungry market in ancient Greece and Rome, homosexuality and lesbianism found willing defenders in the humanists who wrote about it with affection and gambling, prostitution and vice date to the beginning of recorded history.
So none of this is really new. Our technology simply has facilitated the universality of decline, rather than limiting it to certain ghettos or economic geographic barriers.
The bordello is taken from the ghetto and into the masses' homes. The hate speech is no longer delivered in the back room of a pub or a warehouse and delivered to a group of twenty or thirty eager ears but appears instantly upon the monitors of millions. Sadism, 'snuff' films and music videos with abhorrent content now are seen not just by a few, but by many - and by children. The damage to society is beyond all calculation when so many are tainted.
In such a time the religious overtones and words of Obama's speech is actually a great improvement over their normal thoughts and interests. So it does do good. For some it will serve them superbly to go forward and live a better life. Each era seeks out its own level. Obama may very well be the best leader for today's young generation who sought out someone to defy the past, break with old traditions and morals and be the champion for the era of change.
People are sheep. The masses all too readily illustrate this constantly. The reason the internet can poison so many is because of the near universality of weak wills and minds that absorb and repeat that which they see. One child repeats a curse word that he has seen or heard at home, on the internet or television and suddenly a whole classroom of kids now repeat its usage. One political activist with a fervor and a website can attract thousands of minds to follow and embrace his worldviews. Most people do not discern sufficiently. Our industrial and now computer-based society has let the power of discernment diminish to such an extent that it is almost completely absent in large numbers of our populations. They swallow what they are exposed to willingly. They endlessly mimic and imitate those they see. The fashion industry thrives on human sheepishness as does the entertainment industry. Independent thinkers and unique minds and views are an anathema and are the enemy.
My message today is to comfort my readers about the "change" that is more evident with each passing day. To remind them that the world is neither only going to hell in a hand basket or is about to be saved by a new shepherd. You, yourself must draw your own lines in the sand and live your life to your own developed sense of morality. You must live your life not based upon those others you see around you - allowing the inner sheep to guide you - but rather you must evaluate all that comes to you in your life and chart your own course, your own style and your own measures of good and evil.
If you do this, it will not matter one iota whether or not the masses around you decline, because you, YOU will move forward and progress.
Humanity and the universe demand nothing less of you than your complete dedication to self-betterment.