Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why is character formation important to society? The Seattle beating

Why is character formation important to society? We saw an example just recently in the Seattle transit station. You can watch it yourself here:   and  here  Three large men employed as security personnel stood by and watched a 15-year old girl savagely beaten by another girl. The bully repeatedly kicks and stomps on her head.  Let’s put this into context. The victim has first approached the security guards telling them she thought this group of girls was going to “jump” her. They would not assist. So she stood between them hoping to be safe. But one of the girls attacked her right in the middle of the men, beat her, and they stood within arms reach doing nothing. Although called security guards, apparently their job is to observe and report only; no action.

At what point, though, does being on the job mean a person stops ceases to be human? If they had not been on the job, would they still have stood around and watched another human being attacked, particularly a child? On the tape, they do not show any body language that indicates concern or emotion for the victim.

Yet in their personal lives, they likely profess openly to be caring and possibly have strong opinions about how citizens should act.

Their acts demonstrate a lack of integrity to say the least. Of greater concern is to have people stationed in a position presumed to offer public service, and show no concern for their civic duty as citizens first.

As there have been no reports in the media otherwise, we presume these three men have retained their jobs. But what if they had acted responsibly and helped this teenager...would they have been fired for being good citizens?

This convoluted logic develops from the domino effect of a lack of good character in individuals coupled with poor reasoning skills. And unfortunately this lack of good citizenship and compassion is not uncommon in our society today. While there are many causes to it, certainly the lack of character formation during childhood has its effects upon society as a whole. In past decades, children read stories whose characters demonstrated good choices, or remorse and lessons learned from bad choices. Stories in which the amount of detail given regarding bad elements was only that needed for the reader to understand the situation or peril at hand. Today we see an over-emphasis on details of gore, violence and sexuality that moves the focus to those elements rather than the good qualities and moral of the storyline.

Join us in our mission to restore good books that support the character formation of children to the top of every reading list!

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