Conscience and Cowardice

The Reasons we Hold Back the Urge to Retaliate

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Shakespeare wrote that “conscience makes cowards of us all”. I witnessed this the other day while going to see a movie. A group of four teens talked through the entire movie and then ran out of the theater toward the end. Nothing was ever done about it. The reason being is that the children run the show now. Adults fear children because of the modern standards that cost grown-ups their jobs or their freedom if they try to restore order. There have been times when we should have acted and did not because of the fear of being arrested or fired. It is how I would imagine most prisons and how they operate. Inmates will often dish out better justice than law enforcement because they have nothing to lose. It might explain why schools allowed bullying and fighting on the playground for so long. The kids get to do to each other what the adults can no longer do. In an effort to rid society of child abuse, we have used a shotgun to kill a mosquito. A form of discipline is seen as abuse now. Even stating the obvious seems to create controversy. This problem of everything being relative has created a culture where everything is punishable. No one will self-police, so everyone is under surveillance. We are living in prisons of our own design.

This is not a plea to return to the “good old days” where all sorts of horrors were committed behind closed doors. Going backward is not the answer. Why is it so hard to just strike a balance? We all know right from wrong when we see it. Why is it a problem to call a spade a spade? Why continue to turn a blind eye toward bad behavior? I’m not saying that we have to act like fascists and punish every little offence. All I am saying is that the king is naked, and the crowd must open its eyes.        

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