The fewer consequences we face, the more daring we will become as a society. Daring in a negative way! Without reprimand, we tend to push the boundaries and challenge the rules. This leads to a lawless society where the undisciplined prosper and the moral wonder how nobody seems to get it, and nothing seems to be done about it!
Our world has become a safe haven for those who disrespect others, and a nightmare for those who really care. I often look back over the past 30 years of my life and realise how much things have changed. Society used to place a premium on values.
These values ensured that society was protected from individuals who considered themselves to be above the law. This meant that the punishment would fit the crime and would deter individuals from being repeat offenders. It didn’t mean that there was no place for forgiveness. The concept of restorative justice is essential and should always be applied, but not to the point that the behaviour is excused. It still needs to leave space for all of us to consider our deeds and words before we act on them. We all deserve 2nd & 3rd chances, but even nature teaches us that consequences are essential for harmony to prevail.
When consequences disappear… society disintegrates, because the need to consider our actions disappears. If we grow up in homes where we haven’t been taught to consider others, we will tend to become selfish. And when that happens, our actions and words will be selfish. We won’t really care how our deeds affect others, as long as we benefit. If we continue to be inconsiderate without being questioned, we wouldn’t see any need to change. And if there were no consequences to our anti-social behaviour, then why would we deem it necessary to change our selfish habits?
Recently, in Australia, a 12 year old boy was upset with his mother, so he decided to run away from home. He took her credit card, booked a flight and spent 3 days in Bali before his mother flew to Indonesia to be reunited with her son. She was upset with him, but blamed everyone else for what happened. She blamed the airline for not picking up on a 12 year old child flying alone! She blamed customs for not stopping him from leaving the country! She blamed the hotel in Bali for allowing him to check in as a child! And she blamed the local pubs for serving him beer. here’s no denying that these things should never have been allowed to happen, but there is something directly linked to her son’s behaviour that she isn’t even considering.
This mother concedes that her son doesn’t like being told what to do. He can’t stand being reprimanded, and he seldom does what he is told. When he refuses to listen to instruction, there are no consequences. It is only obvious that he wouldn’t think twice to take his mother’s credit card because he knows that nothing will happen to him. So, just maybe, if he was brought up, realising that there were consequences to every action, this whole episode would never have happened.
If society started implementing that same concept, we might just see a change in the direction the world is taking. What a different world we would live in if every single person considered others. How society would change for the better if we knew that there were severe consequences for doing the wrong thing.
It’s time to return to a life where principles and morals determined our actions, rather than selfishness and gratification. It’s time that we did the right thing, not because we will be punished if we don’t, but because we know it’s the right thing to do. That is one of the reasons why Christianity is so amazing. Jesus died for our sins and forgives us, no matter what we have done, if we accept Him. But that never means that our wrong-doing does not have consequences. Even though God gives us 2nd & 3rd chances, there are repercussions to our actions. God’s grace and justice helps us to understand this concept and it moves us to do the right thing – not because we are scared of the consequences, but because we want to be intrinsically good. We want to have good morals and values and live according to them.
But in a society where morals and values are quickly being replaced by “Rights”, we need to implement something that will reroute our thinking. And if the only way to do that is to apply serious consequences to wrong actions, then that’s what we need to do!
“So we keep on waiting… waiting for the world to change!”