You’ve seen the awful headlines and read the disgusting, appalling stories – even in the local newspaper.

The ones that deal with all manner of dreadful subjects, from young men assaulting old men in wheelchairs to 5-year-old girls being molested on school buses.

And you never know when an elderly woman is going to get beat up and have her car stolen by a young male “carjacker” (who promptly dies in a crash) or a grandmother is going to cause the death of a 4-year-old girl by making her drink a over half a bottle of whiskey.

It’s enough to make people ask out loud, “what is going on these days?” or “what are we doing?”

To me, that second question is most interesting because of the word, “we.”

Indeed, not everyone molests little girls, steals vehicles, assaults elderly people or kills little girls with alcohol poisoning. Nonetheless, the men and women who do those things are part of the larger collective known as “society,” and therefore have something in common with people who don’t. And that means those who don’t are inherently at least somewhat responsible for the actions of those who do.

And, oh, if it seems like there are more people who “do” nowadays and more instances when they “do,” that’s because there is. It’s not just that the media “covers it” more than before or that electronic devices provide more “access to it.” While those things are certainly true, the fact is there are more grisly, horrific “incidents” taking place now than ever before, and they’re often happening in ways that were previously almost unthinkable.

And here’s the bad news (as many of you already know): It ain’t going to get better. No, on the contrary, there will be more theft, more drug-related crime, more assaults, and yes, more young girls being treated like they were something other than precious little gems of God’s creation who deserve to have their innocence honored and protected.

Yep, that’s just the way it is now. If you pay attention, you can find plenty of reasons for why that’s true.

In my view, one of the most significant (if not the most) is the lack of real, legitimate parenting. As many kids grow up these days, they receive little to no valuable guidance and aren’t taught about decency and good values, which constantly fuels the growth of a society in which morals can be determined by individuals on a “what’s in it for me” basis.

Another is often referred to as “tolerance.”

For some stupid reason, there’s a prevailing attitude that anyone can do almost anything and it’s everyone else’s duty to be tolerant.

Like if a child “identifies” as a cat, then there needs to be a cat box in the classroom, rather than offering counseling to teach kids that since they’re human, they need to conduct themselves that way instead of pretending to be feline.

And speaking of education, we can’t expect the current version of the school system to fix the problems, because too many people simply view it as a glorified (and free) daycare system and too many government officials utilize it as a forum for the distribution of propaganda designed to promote a specific, one-sided agenda.

And of course, there’s the ever-increasing aspect of financial pressure. It obviously that has wider-ranging effects now than ever before, and it’s a scientific fact that major money issues can cause major stress, which can in turn alter the way a person’s brain functions and lead to extreme behavior.

So what are we doing now? Bascially, we’re heading down the road we turned onto a while back, and it’s one way with no turning back.

But that really shouldn’t come as a surprise. To find truth about pretty much everything, you only need to consult the Bible, and it says: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12) and “A time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

That’s how it is now.

So what’s the solution? I don’t know if there is one, but I’ll share what I think about that next week.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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