“The corporate world is doing everything it can to wiggle through the defenses parents erect around their children. Whether they sell unhealthy music or unhealthy food, they pose the greatest challenge to parents who wish to build moral meaning for their children.
The message of capitalism is that what matters most is the satisfaction of immediate desire. If America is to remain a civilized nation in the twenty-first century, it must begin by civilizing its children, teaching them about the necessary balance between instinct and desire on the one hand, and doing what is morally required, on the other.
In the online world, our kids spend their days and nights metaphorically surrounded by anonymous people who will gleefully support them and assure them that their most unlikely fantasies are perfectly desirable and realistic. In fact, they can now ignore the outside world altogether.
If teaching children what is right goes forward, it must begin with the family. And never forget one important fact: family is not something people are but something people do.”
Civility by Stephen L. Carter
Dr. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale and author of several critically acclaimed books.
As I read this book, I realized that each of us is a member of one human family. The responsibility for change rests squarely in the laps of each of us and I, for one, intend to do my part to call attention to cultural dead ends and unchallenged stupidity.
In the Jewish tradition, many scholars have argued that correcting the errors of others is an obligation. In my own religion the young founder preached love of others, but still criticized people – often quite harshly – for their transgressions or irrational behavior. It’s never an example of productive tolerance when we avoid ethical or moral debate. Although tolerance has become a very popular ideal in our society, we cannot afford to tolerate stupid, counterproductive, harmful behavior. Especially, we must teach young people to escape the virtual world daily and learn from real live people and well known authors.
Statement of Purpose
If you’re new to this blog on Food for Brains, please be advised of my mission.
As an avid reader, author and concerned critical thinker, my goal is to provide daily food for the brain, not steroids for the heart. If it’s positive thinking you crave, please look elsewhere. My objective is to encourage self-reflection, not self-absorption. Mark Yarnell