I was present not so long ago with a group of adults, some teenagers, and children .
They were having a good time together, good people .
However, at times some of the language used by some of the adults when they got excited was not very suitable for children .
The ‘F’ word was often used as were other unhelpful words .
One of the teenagers said how someone had been rude to her. Her father’s reaction was to tell her that she should have hit them!!
I am sure that this came out of a sense that he needed to protect his daughter.
However, I could see how unhelpful all this was for her and the other children and teenagers.
It was not good modelling.
These were not bad people. However, they were not reflecting enough about the consequences of this behaviour.
Young people need good modelling.
They need to learn about respect for self and for others.
They need to learn about self-discipline and modifying of behaviour.
They need to learn that violence is not the normal way to respond to those who hurt us.
They need to learn not to react out of impulse, but out of considered, measured, and thoughtful behaviour.
The rate of change is affecting us all, and not always for the greater good.
I am quite sure that some of those adults were reacting out of some of the modelling they themselves had received .
After some time, I quietly reacted by telling a story about a freedom that does not react to the rudeness or bad behaviour of others with violence .
I can only hope that they reflected on it .
The further that we move from the knowledge and practice of Christian ethics and behaviour, the more likely it is that we pass on less helpful values to the young!