When did people in our society lose common sense? When did respect and tolerance become a one-way street? Why are Americans so divided? Why is it nearly impossible to have a real conversation with someone with different ideas and beliefs?
The following comparison between Republicans and Democrats (author Joe Brown) states some differences between conservatives and liberals, but the comments deserve some serious thought about common sense, respect, and tolerance.
“If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him. If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. Democrats demand that those they don’t like be shut down. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his. If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A Democrat will delete it because he’s `offended.’ Well, I forwarded it.”
Were you offended by the comparison? Why is there so little tolerance among us? Why do so many of us become offended so easily? What happened to the idea of living the Golden Rule and treating each other with respect?
Steven Anglin wrote about the difference in how various people are treated in our nation today. His statements should make all of us think a little deeper about how the laws of our land are being applied. “1) If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 2) If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 3) If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 4) If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 5) If, in our largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 6) If an 80-year-old woman and a 3-year-old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 7) If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 8) If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 9) If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 10) If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 11) If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TVs and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 12) If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you safer according to the government, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.”
Why has our society deteriorated to this point? I believe this deterioration can be traced right back to the breakdown of the family. It is in the home that we learn to find joy in the simple things of life. It is in the home that we learn that “things” do not bring happiness but joy comes through relationships. It is in the home that we learn to speak respectfully to everyone, including those who make us angry, disrespect us, or treat us badly. It is in the home that we learn tolerance for people who are different. It is in the home that we learn many important things about life. God organized us in families so that we could learn to live together in love.
President James E. Faust stated, “Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens in your house.”
Home and family are the foundation of society, and the breakdown of the family has caused a breakdown in our society. As a child, I was taught to never judge another person until I walked a mile in his shoes. This means that we should never judge a person’s life or character until we have experienced the same problems, sorrows, doubts, fears, pains, etc. Only God knows the particulars of a person’s life, and only He can judge accurately. When we show respect for others, it does not mean that we have to give up our convictions and adopt the ideas of other people. Respect means to accept others as they are and to realize that everyone does not see things the way we see them. Every person is an individual and should be treated as such.
I believe that President Spencer W. Kimball said it best when he taught: “Avoid undue concern about others. When you do not worry or concern yourself too much with what other people do and believe and say, there will come to you a new freedom.”