Society can’t be taken for granted

It's easy to take our way of life for granted, even when ugliness begins to intrude on it.

Another reason for living in our small communities – politeness is still enforced and even feuding neighbours aren’t allowed to go postal.

A daily survey of headlines around our country makes us wonder where civility and respect for our laws went.

We suspect – and hope – that the percentage of idiots is the same as it’s always been but the fact that the population is growing means there are more of “them”, just as there are more of “us”. But that’s the optimist talking.

The pessimist would say that children learn from adults, and if their only role models are characters they see on television, in movies, and in their video games, then it’s little wonder they grow up with anti-social behaviours that lead to violence. And as lemmings go, others will fall into the same types of behaviour when they see others getting away with it.

Road rage is something that we’re seeing more and more around here from highway travellers. We see increasing incidents of aggressive drivers as we travel the local highways and the city streets of Kamloops.

Impatience, anger and the self-centered belief that they should have what they want at the expense of everyone around them.

Aggression is primal. Moving in packs or gangs simply to take advantage of others is a social disorder.

In society, we have – or had – many factors in place that shape behaviours into something that, while still individual, can takes its place in a community. It begins with parents and adult role models, moves to peer groups, finding one’s place in structured settings like schools, churches and other organizations, and using the experience to make a meaningful life.

And a built-in factor of small-town living – step out of line and there’ll be a handful of people who are right there to let you know that what you’re doing is not acceptable. Even if we don’t listen to them, we know that people are watching.

As a society, we need to uphold societal values in whatever we do because you never know when impressionable minds are watching.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal