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In neighborhoods across the country, unbelievable and traumatic events are continuously painted across the television screen, on newspaper headlines and over the airwaves. Some of the issues responsible for these societal concerns have been feastering for years in the homes of so many, regardless of whether people live in the city, suburb or rural community. From women being held hostage to shooting in theaters, schools and as in the recent incident in New Orleans, at a Mother’s Day parade!
Is it all about mental illness and some deep rooted anger at parents, schools, employers or society at large? Is this a matter that law enforcement can truly get a handle on or does it require more and better collaboration with social workers, community based agenices, and corporations?
While the solutions have seemed to elude us, the term ‘work ethic’ has a different meaning today than it did even 10 years ago. Despite out most valiant efforts, there is so much unknown about ones background that impacts their ability to responsibly prepare for a career. Often to blame for this disfunction is an excessive infatuation with outwardly appearing to have it all together while all hell might be breaking lose in a person’s life. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, hoping for a new generation of people who will simply know how to get up on time, dress appropriately for a job, leave their individual concerns and drama at home, make it to work on time and productively provide a honest day’s work might be a stretch. Above all, what seems to prevent this from taking place is a intrinsic sense of entitlement and an “I want to do it my way” attitude, despite the proven template for real success.
High school and college instructors alike are struggling to effectively provide subject matter content because the basics in behavior, articulation or some student’s writing ability arenot what they should be. And yes, money provides a better yet not complete way out when parents and students are paying to attend private and ivy league schools respectively. At the same time and for thousands of public schools and many universities, students without the basics are likely to pass through the system and into a global marketplace along with those that have paid the extra money to get an education. A competitive landscape that demands and is expecting peak performers.
Abraham Maslow may have gotten it right with his ‘need to belong’ theory. Even the slightest review of gang activity and those who choose to commit crimes against people in general, reveals an overwhelming desire to be noticed or to be a part of something. To have this unsatisfied need, often driven by low self-esteem, has been known to cause irrational behaviors and thoughts, like simply not liking successful people, as was reported in the case of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, poses a significant threat to our domestic way of life.
So I guess, at least for this writer, it all ends back at mental health. Real, nurtured or imagined, what we see, playing itself out in today’s media is merely an explanation for where we, as a nation, must focus a lot more attention.
Ed Foxworth is na Entrepreneur and the Author of “The Six Routines of Self-Discovery”, which is available on his website at www.edwardfoxworth.com .