I was talking to a very wise friend the other day about all the rage we see in our society.
Adults are killing each other over traffic offenses. Teenagers are fighting at the drop of the hat and not afraid to use weapons to settle minor offenses. Whenever I interview people about this "going overboard mentality", the answer I get is always the same, "people are filled with rage."
Why is that, I asked my friend? What are people so mad about?
She said, "It's because we live in a limitless society and when there are no limits, people will do anything."
I've thought and thought about that answer and I believe it to be true. I see the teenage girl who stabbed to death another teenage girl over a boy. I cover the case of four men who beat a 77 year old man viciously for his wallet, which contained a few bucks and I start thinking about limits and the lack of them. It even applies to being rude to others, which also seems more commonplace. There was a time when people had limits and held their tongues. But, not now.
When there are no limits on behavior, it only makes sense to push that behavior further and further and I believe that's how we end up with people doing terrible things to people who really did nothing or something minor in the first place.
People seem to think everything is acceptable, any outrageous comment or behavior and in a society dominated by extreme political correctness, many people are afraid to enact limits.
Parents fear if they spank their children, they'll be turned into DHS and we end up with children, who aren't given limits on their temper tantrums or demands.
Juvenile courts seem to give so many chances and accept so many failures to meet guidelines, that teenagers in the system learn nothing can or will stop them.
Lawmakers pass laws that make people feel good, but, don't really get the root of some critical problems.
Limits are morals. Limits are rules. Limits are laws. Yet, it seems people feel they no longer have to abide in these, that they should be allowed to do anything they want, when they want, how they want, regardless of the consequences to others.
I firmly believe people want and need limits, even when they were say otherwise. I certainly can tell that children, while they do everything to push against limits, actually crave them and blossom when those limits are administered correctly.
Maybe if we start limiting behaviors at home and in society, some of this rage will be contained and not so explosive. Maybe when people realize they cannot be allowed to do unthinkable violence or ratchet up a conflict, it will reduce. Correct limits do not demean us or block our rights, they make for a more sane, compassionate, law abiding existence.