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

Thursday, June 06, 2013


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

In our electronic age information is at our fingertips. "Googling" has become a verb. Google it and, wala! the answer appears. We do not have to listen and question to know what to do. Cyberspace will do it for us. The old skills of studying and observing are passé. There is no studying of diametrically opposed sides of an issue to arrive at an answer. Now the answer from the Internet is beyond question.

No wonder people are not talking to each other, they already know everything.  They are talking at each other, above each other but not to each other. On television, guests are not sufficiently polite to wait until another person finishes a sentence before they start talking. Individuals yelling at each other have become the norm of modern talk shows and too often general conversation.

Hollywood celebrity style, self-promoting antics have been adopted by our younger population. Our egos have expanded to the point that we think any mundane thing we do is of interest to others.  Youngsters and young adults do not speak to each other, they just text and tweet a whole group of superficial acquaintances. Most of the individual's instant messages (IM) are centered on their ordinary activities which are as interesting as watching grass grow. It is dulling their minds.

The skills of listening and questioning are not being taught at home. Parents cannot find the time to sit down with their children to discuss the events of the day. There are few discussions around the dinner table. Families eating together have practically become extinct as is meditating on a question.

Children do not learn to listen because many parents walk away from the responsibility of following through on their word. When the parent gives specific instructions to the child, he brazenly disregards them. The child does what he wants rather than what he is told. Parent’s authority is at best, weak, and at worst non-existent.

Rather than reinforcing the wife's power with the children, most fathers blow off that duty. Parental authority is not earned because both parents refuse to spend the necessary energy to confront the child's know-it-all attitude.

Our public schools have become so large the staff-student interaction has become totally impersonal. Students have many contacts with different specialists who have short daily intervals with them. Most social interaction of students is not with teachers but with their self-absorbed peers who are trying to impress each other with their worldliness of our celebrity culture.

Knowing the latest celebrity singer and her “partner” is more important than any academic skills and facts that would expand the power of the mind. Most modern children are not learning from listening to and studying their most significant role models, their parents. The children have no need to ask questions as they think they already know everything. Even if they wanted to ask questions, there would be no reason to ask them when there is no one to answer.

The skills of listening and questioning are becoming lost arts. We are already suffering from our young people’s inability to learn from their elders who develop wisdom from experience. This wisdom is being lost by the future leaders.  Our younger generations are susceptible to destructive fads and political indoctrination. Their self-evolved lifestyles make them devoid of depth of knowledge and thought.

Most modern adults are so self-absorbed as well; they are unwilling to spend their time and energy to share their limited knowledge with others especially their children. We have more information than ever before but much of it is false. The lack of listening and questioning by our younger generations is frightening for our nation to survive. Our republic needs thoughtful and probing citizens to keep our leaders honest serving the people’s interest not their own.

Listening and questioning should be nurtured at home. We need to bring back wholesome family units to keep our society on solid footing or we will lose our constitutional freedoms.


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