Our teenage grandchildren are trying to teach us to listen to them, as they listened to us for years during their childhood upbringing. They are young adults now, and we can learn so much from them. Additionally, because of shifts in our understanding of morality, the work ethic, professionalism, respect for authority and boundaries, across every age bracket we are trying to be more transparent, confessional, and vulnerable.
However, most of all we need boundaries:
Two examples: Some of our public behavior is out of control, and disrespectful. When a reporter interrupts President Obama, with a question before the President concludes an important announcement, it appears that boundaries of deference and respect have been forgotten, if ever known.
Secondly, we desperately need boundaries for our criminal justice system. Shouldn’t we try to reduce our prison population? Americans comprise only 6% of the world’s population, yet we constitute 25% of the world’s prison population. How can we justify spending $200 billion annually, to incarcerate 2 million people?
Senator James Webb (Va) puts it this way when speaking of our criminal justice system:
Either we have the most evil people on earth living in the U.S., or we are doing something dramatically wrong. (Christian Century, May 12, 2012)
We need a federal bipartisan commission to review our entire criminal justice system, with special concentration on our drug treatment and reentry programs.
Is the death penalty a deterrent to crime?
In 1976 the Supreme Court ended a 4 year moratorium on capital punishment, yet 33 states still have it on their books. In Connecticut, where capital punishment is legal, there have been no executions for the past 52 years. There is no scientific proof that the death penalty reduces crime. Could we set carefully wrought national suggestions for its elimination?
Share your thoughts on these two issues. We learn as we listen and dialog with each other.