I am still on my news fast. But that doesn’t mean things don’t sneak in. I have been hearing rumors that the behavior of some of what should be the best representatives of our county has left yet another black spot on the reputation of us all as American citizens.
Though I openly admit I don’t know what I am talking about, only because I have chosen not to partake in the Olympic spectacle this round, the fact that people are talking, in public, openly, about how disgraceful some of our athletes’ behavior has been is saddening.
More egregious is the fact that officials, parents and fans alike are waiving the consequence for such behavior, saying all is normal and acceptable. I am an educator; I see the result of a lack of value, or more correctly, a lack of conscience, every day in my classroom and in the school culture as a whole.
Blatant disregard for other human beings and profound self-absorption have pushed humanity to the brink of social anarchy. One of my coworkers said something so profoundly prophetic the other day, we must evolve or die.
There seems to be little semblance of right culture or ambition in the world these days. It has become a give me society. As an adult, it frightens me. I worry about the volatility of society. I fear for my safety as a teacher, as a woman, and more basically, as a human being.
I am commenting on the Olympics in this piece because it is the in your face example right now. The Olympic athletes always held a place of profound esteem in my mind and heart. But the changes to the protocols and the lax way in which one can become an Olympic athlete these days have made it just another sporting event for me. Where is the pride of county when the athlete competing may not even be a citizen of the country for which he or she competes? Where’s the drive to excel when the Dream Team is made up of professionals earning millions of dollars as entertainers? Where is the sportsmanship when the response is “boys will be boys”?
I am not sure. I do know that I am angry about it. I arrive every day to live a life of meaning. That is why I teach; but when the resistance is so profound that the meaning is all but lost. I begin to rethink what I am doing.
I still believe that kindness and truth will prevail in the world, but I am not so naive that I fail to recognize social change will come at a great cost to us all. Throughout history, social change has come in bites, racial bites, socioeconomic bites, feminist bites, industrial bites, and of course political bites. We seem to be straddling the moment in history, where it all falls apart; our factions, our separatist attitudes, our differences, and now we must come together as a people, united and focused on the only thing that matters, survival.
We have moved from the eye of the storm into the outer edges of the raging wall. The question is what will humanity look like when the storm abates.