2017 October


– The causes are right in front of us, but is anyone paying attention?

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Not long ago, I wrote about “Our Changing Values” whereby I noted our shifting attitudes towards what is considered right and wrong. This was based on Gallup’s May 2017 report noting an accelerated trend toward liberal positions. The purpose of my column was to have people take notice of an emerging problem. Unfortunately, most Americans have not noticed, or are simply apathetic about the problem and do not understand what is causing it. Perhaps I can help.

The cause for our changing attitudes does not reside in a single area, but rather a combination of different elements, such as technology addiction, our drug culture, parental abdication, Hollywood values, a decline in church influence, and an influx of immigrants. Let’s consider each separately:

First, not long ago it was discovered technology possesses the same addictive powers as drugs. In my column on “Proof of Technology Addiction,” I reported on the work of Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, who contends technology raises dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with rewards, as does sex and drugs. He goes on to say, “Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex – which controls executive functioning, including impulse control – in exactly the same way that cocaine does.”

This addiction to technology, such as smart phones, tablets and pc’s, is affecting our social skills, including our ability to converse orally or through the printed word. When we become more fixated on technology as opposed to humans, it denotes a change in our perceptions, values and priorities.

Second, we are plagued by a fifty year drug culture that is becoming more invasive in our lives. News of a rising opioid epidemic is common today and shows no sign of abating. Heroin is on the rise, as is marijuana where states are starting to embrace it for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Like technology, when we become addicted to drugs, our values and priorities change. Instead of working harder and leading a worthy life, we become consumed with getting high as an escape outlet.

Third, parental abdication – unlike yesteryear, it is now common for both parents to be fully employed. This means an adult is not home to tend to the needs of their offspring. It also means parents are tired and willing to have others look after their children, such as teachers and coaches, people charged with teaching various skills, but not morality. Parents also generously provide youth with computer games to occupy their time, but such games may encourage violence and other vices. On the plus side, families still enjoy assembling around the dinner table if it is nothing more than once each week. Interestingly, a 2016 Harris Poll claims 4 in 10 families eat their meals in front of the TV, not the dinner table, another sign of deteriorating social skills and a gravitational pull by technology. This abdication by parents to teach morality to their children is perhaps the most disturbing element here.

Fourth, the values of Hollywood greatly influence youth. Sexual remarks and innuendo often is emulated, and massive amounts of violence may also lead to unhealthy decisions. The lessons of greed, lust, selfishness, theft, deceit, etc. are all graphically displayed, but not necessarily in a positive manner.

Fifth, declines in the belief of God and church attendance – both Gallup and Harris have produced polls showing the belief in a Supreme Being is slowly declining. Further, attendance at religious institutions is also declining; “65 percent of churches are declining or plateaued.”

Even more disturbing is fewer younger people are going to church which, of course, affects membership. “For every new church that opens, four close.” For many years, churches and temples preached the lessons of right and wrong, but with fewer attendees, these lessons now go unheeded. It has become glaringly obvious to churches they must change in order to survive, be it the venue or how to disseminate their message.

And finally, sixth, we are faced with an enormous influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal. According to a recent report, “U.S. Immigrant Population Hit Record 43.7 Million in 2016,” representing an increase of half a million since 2015, 3.8 million since 2010, and 12.6 million since 2000. And the figure of 437 million immigrants will likely double by 2060 if left unchecked.

America has always been a melting pot of immigrants, but those coming to our shores have adapted to the American way of life, not the other way around. It is true, each ethnic group brings their own unique peculiarities to the table, but it is necessary for them to adapt to the language, customs and laws of their new country as several generations have done so before them. However, if they refuse to adapt, an unhealthy adversarial relationship is created which affects our social climate, such as offering different rules of right and wrong.

With the decline of the family unit and organized religion, there are fewer and fewer outlets to teach moral values, such as the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”), and the virtues of such things as the Ten Commandments. This opens the door to learn new values as proposed by Hollywood, immigrants, and driven home through technology.

Now that we have identified the problem, and noted its causes, the next question should be rather obvious; What can be done about them? As long as the public remains apathetic to the problem, and refuses to discuss it, it will certainly not get better on its own. If you would like me to speak on this subject at your house of worship or nonprofit group, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THINNING THE HERD – Are accidents truly accidental or a matter of “natural selection”?


Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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