How Did the Unacceptable Become Acceptable?

By Joan S. Peck

Those of us who have experienced the 1950s and the somewhat naïve living portrayed on television with shows like “Father Knows Best,” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “The Donna Reed Show” are dismayed at how far we’ve departed from what they represented. For many, those shows highlighted the importance of loving and spending time with your family and reaffirming manners and etiquette.

Men held doors for women; we played and got along with the other kids in our neighborhood because they were our neighbors; we watched over older adults by carrying their groceries, mowing their lawns, and shoveling snow for them, and without any formality, a neighborhood watch existed because everyone watched out for everyone else at that time. If we did something we shouldn’t be doing, we reported it to our parents without them becoming defensive. Right was right, and wrong was wrong, unlike today.

Today, few seem to own up to the consequences of their own making. Our society lives in the shadows, where people do not live their highest good, where the unacceptable has become acceptable. We live in fear. If those in power don’t like what we have to say, we feel threatened with retaliation. Because of social media, anyone can say, do, and threaten another person or group without proper guidelines or consequences. Truth is often wholly misrepresented, and the unhappy, discontented folks grab onto the lies to ease their anger or sense of powerlessness or injustice.

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