And the more we try to achieve peace with military might, the more peace eludes us. Our philosophy must be with loving concern for all humanity, as we are all in this together and we have no other option.
In 1971, I was in attendance at a school-sponsored PTA meeting listening to a young assistant District Attorney discussing the dangers of drug use by our children, and the importance of our being aware of the signs and clues we might look for to see if our children could be involved in drug usage. The thrust of his comments surrounded his belief that until more laws were enacted to correct the problem, we could at least be aware of these signs. In other words, more laws were the solution for the problem.
The idea of new laws was quite disturbing to me, as my conviction was, and still is, that new laws were not going to solve the problem, only complicate and prolong our facing the real issue which has nothing to do with laws. At least not laws enacted by our legislatures.
I raised my hand and requested an opportunity speak, and to the best of my memory made these comments: "If you think more laws are going to solve the drug problem, forget it. We don't enforce the laws we have. The real problem has nothing to do with the laws. It has to do with us -- the adults that speak with forked tongue. We have created a lifestyle in this country that glorifies booze and sex, with show biz and the media being at the heart of what seems to be a mass effort to destroy the human spirit.
Our kids are confused. We walk around with a cigarette in one hand, a drink in the other, wife swapping and extramarital adultery seem to be the modern thing we do and we expect our kids to respect our opinions and believe that we know what we are talking about when we preach our rights and wrongs. Our children are smarter than we give them credit for. They see right through us and our phony lifestyles. It is time we took a long look in the mirror and either stop talking about the ills that they can get into, or clean up our own act and start living a life that will give them a good example to follow."
Well, needless to say I was looked at as some kind of nut, and felt quite out of place for the rest of the evening. However, I have thought much about my comments since that time, and believe more than ever the truth of my statement.
Think for a moment who runs the show, who controls this world of ours. Is it kids or adults? Who controls the tobacco industry, the educational institutions, show biz, including movies, magazines, music and the huge video business and our religious institutions with their confusing doctrines professing truth with very little understanding of what truth is?
Speaking of truth, think for a moment about the oath which is given in our courts prior to taking testimony from a witness: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?" And then the circus begins. By saying the whole truth, does this not imply that there is such a thing as half truths, or quarter truths or whatever? Truth is either true or its non-truth. Perhaps this understanding of truth would be very upsetting to our legal system; however, we must look at the very fabric of our society, and the mixed up goals and values we seem to have based our existence on.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving are waging a war, as they say, but how can their efforts have any real success when the advertising media and alcohol marketing efforts glorify drinking, with the use of heroes from television, movies and music, marketing their products? The use of sports heroes to promote alcoholic beverages borders on the ridiculous.
Let's begin to deal with ourselves with honesty -- honesty concerning our lives and goals. If we do this in a consistent, thoughtful way, our society will gradually develop new values. Our need for drugs and alcohol will diminish, and our energy can be directed to constructive and positive growth with less spent on negative problem solving.
Think of all the mental and physical energies used each day on one thing, economics, and yet the world is on the verge of worldwide bankruptcy. This has to be the result of misplaced goals and priorities. And the more we try to achieve peace with military might, the more peace eludes us. Our philosophy must be with loving concern for all humanity, as we are all in this together and we have no other option.