– “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” – Bryce’s Law

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Each year, the Gallup organization checks the pulse of the country’s morality. According to their annual study, for the last few years, many people believe America’s morality is deteriorating. In their May 2017 report, Gallup noted, “Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date.”

Some people will laugh at this observation, others will look at it more seriously. Coupled with this is the reality of declining attendance and membership in organized religion and traditional civic minded institutions such as Scouting, Freemasonry, Knights of Columbus, and other charitable organizations. This denotes apathy and indifference to the values these organizations embrace. Historically, our values are learned around the dinner table, but parents today have abdicated teaching values to school teachers and the entertainment industry. This reflects a change in parenting skills and a decline in the cohesiveness of the family unit.

Patriotism is also changing. Fewer people are standing for the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, offering a symbolic gesture of protest instead. Some people believe this is an acceptable form of protest, others do not, but it is gaining in notoriety and further dividing the country. There are those who still relish a hometown 4th of July parade with some John Philip Sousa thrown in for good measure. There are others who find this comical and dismiss it out of hand. The same is true when “Taps” is played on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. This denotes a split in our perceptions of what America is suppose to represent and love of country.

There are many other indicators of conflicting values in this country. For example, some state governments are resisting attempts by the federal government to investigate voter fraud. Further, states and cities desperately cling to the concept of Sanctuary Cities, which is commonly viewed by others as havens for illegal immigrant criminals.

It is also worth noting a recent FBI report noting the rise of violent crimes over the last two years (2015, 2016). Such crimes include:

* Murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses, which increased 8.6%.

* Aggravated assault, which rose 8.6%.

* Rape, which increased 4.9%.

* And robbery, which rose 1.2%.

Overall, the 2016 violent crime rate rose 3.4% as compared with 2015, a significant uptick. Chicago represented the largest metropolitan area for violence, easily outpacing New York City which has approximately three million more people.

So, the question becomes, do these changes in our values represent an improvement or a decline in our society? As indicated by the Gallup study, liberals will see this as positive while conservatives will argue its harmful effects, and therein lies the true reason for divisiveness in America. And when you add intolerance for opposing views, you’ve got a recipe for violence.

If you believe these changes are positive, there is nothing much for you to do as the pendulum is rapidly swinging your way.

However, if you believe these changes are negative, the first thing to do is simply recognize a problem exists. After all, “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick” (Bryce’s Law). Second, it is time to speak up, either in group settings, in letters to your local newspapers or Congressmen. A dialog about the moral values in this country is long overdue as the country appears confused as to what is right and wrong. For religious and civic minded institutions, such discussions are vital before they close their doors permanently. Apathy and indifference will not suffice, now is the time to act before it is too late. Remember, silence represents acceptance of the status quo.

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

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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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