Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We No Longer Say No

Our lack of personal toughness is sapping our authority to get things done right. The inability to deny ourselves anything is making us weak. This weakness is filtering down to every aspect of our society. When we don't say "no" to ourselves, how can we expect others in our charge to listen to us? We have forgotten the virtues of saying "no" to ourselves, our children, our students, employees and our ever-expanding government.

We are living in the present with little preparation for the future. Prudence has been tossed out in favor of hedonistic fantasy. The casual marriage, adoption and abandonment of children, drugging and partying is the life style of too many celebrities in sports, politics, business and entertainment. The traditional concept of saving for a rainy day has become obsolete. Our modern indulgent lifestyle is depleting our human and capital resources, which are essential for continuing the advancement of our civilization. We are spending money on the federal, state and household level like "drunken sailors."

Our spouses, children and employees will likely follow what we do, not what we say. When we live a glutinous, sexually permissive, dishonest lifestyle with little regard for the example we are setting for the youth we are creating a bleak future.

Our children do and get what they want because we do and get what we want. Placing limits on our children means placing limits on us. Living above our means is the name of the game. We should have it because we "deserve" it. Our lives are lived on credit. We rationalize that the worst that can happen is bankruptcy. That will only lead us to another gamble to maintain a lifestyle lived by the "skin of ones teeth."

Our parents, schools and churches have conveniently lowered standards to appease rather than elevate the character of people. We are producing, morally, emotionally and socially superficial individuals. We are becoming a soft, selfish and spiritually bankrupt nation.

As long as students are happy almost everyone remains content. The parents, teachers and administration go along with the philosophy of "just getting by." We are not living by principles of doing what is right. Even the churches are not willing to expose and expel clergy pedophiles or teach Biblical beliefs on homosexuality.

Caving in to the demands of others is easier than saying "no". Granting employees who give a minimum of effort incredible perks leads to failed ventures. The same can be said for allowing our government to expand spending our tax dollars without any tangible results in improving relevant services. Eventually this nonchalant attitude ends in economic and moral decline. The breakdown in upholding moral and economic standards leads to a dispirited society. This spiraling decline ends with the servitude of the people.

Not practicing personal discipline through sacrifice makes it likely others will follow our pathetic example. Being self-absorbed leaves little time for living a quality life. Instead of sharing wisdom with the next generation we tolerate behavior we know is self-destructive. We just don't care about the future.

We must say "Enough" when we know something is wrong. People should fight for the principle of right over wrong regardless of how others might view them. The greatest gift you can give to others is the truth.

Reversing this process has to begin where it started- in the family. Fathers have to stop being wimps and mothers need to be more critical of their child's daily behavior. Parents should start again to be the parents by saying "no" to things that are not in their children's or other family member's long-term best interest. This means adults must accept being disliked or hated in the short run for long-term dividends of raising productive children of good character, having a clear conscience and the self-respect of doing your duty in all aspects of your life.

As we learn to turn away from living only for today and start to become better at self-discipline we can positively impact not only ourselves but also everyone around us. Our legacy will move from only caring for oneself to leaving the earth a better place. Right now is the time to think about our spiritual purpose for the sake of all that we love.

Legacies are gifts we pass on to others only when we have the courage to say "no" to ourselves and others doing the wrong thing.

Dr. Maglio is the author of Invasion Within and Essential Parenting. He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.



Post a Comment

<< Home