It terms of present day United States of America our society and culture,I believe as a nation, society, culture, and many more of our organizations, many more people residing in our nation and many of those holding positions of power and authority over the organizations they manage and the people they suppose to lead have become morally and spiritually bankrupt and corrupt. We have become a immoral society and a nation filled with many more selfish, immoral, toxic, immature, irresponsible, evil and untrustworthy people and in which the majority of the people have rebelled against God and out right reject Him. We have become a nation in which we have become a society and culture that is falling apart because we have fallen away from having a relationship with God and from living a moral life. Our society and many more of our communities, neighborhoods and organizations have become dysfunctional and broken and many more communities and organizations lacking good, moral, credible and trustworthy servant leadership. We have what they term in sociology as a nation social decay and social disorder occurring in the United States today and along with moral decay of its society and among its people. We have a tremendous amount of major social problems with abuse, violence, drugs and crime that frequently occurs across the U.S. culture. Many urban cities have high rates of violent crime occurring in their neighbors and some of our cities have turned into a war zones. These type of social problems with abuse and violence including bullying among students in many of our schools have been occurring and have been great social problems for many decades that seem to go unresolved. The new problem that has recently become a focus on our news programs is the increase of the incidents of massive public shootings and school shootings. This I believe is a sign of a society and a nation heading down a path to its own self destruction caused by the people themselves who have become wicked, evil, self centered and immoral and prefer to live in the darkness rather than in the light. Many people in our nation have become the problem rather than become part of the solution to the many social issues of our day. The silent majority is as guilty as those who commit such immoral acts and misbehavior. From what many professionals in the ministry fields and in the psychology and social work professions have seen in the past two decades a large increase in adults having major and serious character issues and antisocial personality disorders. What they are seeing is a trend and increase of many more people in the population who are narcissistic or sociopathic. They notice more aggressive, controlling, manipulative, antisocial behavioral issues coming from a larger population of the adults in the united states culture of today. The common theme or characteristics these people share are lack of empathy for others, being self centered, and not caring about other people but only of themselves and do not feel any remorse or guilt for hurting others and lack of taking responsibility for their actions even when they are clearly in the wrong or hurt someone. They tend to often blame others rather than blaming themselves. They have a lack of integrity and lack of commitment to moral standards. They are the typical aggressive bully, manipulator, domineering, controlling type, liar, hypocritical, fake, dishonest, phony, insincere, abusive, disrespectful, uncaring, unkind, insensitive, two faced, inconsiderate and irresponsible, untrustworthy type of person. The type of person who uses people for their own personal gain and pleasure. They are sadistic and don’t care if they hurt you. They feel justified in hurting you and feel justified behaving in a evil and irresponsible manner. There many more people like this that reside in our communities today that are of bad character, they are evil, immoral, irresponsible, very selfish, untrustworthy, troublemaking, and prone to causing abuse and violence. This is one good reason why the U.S. American society is falling apart because many more bad people who reside in the United States who are the cause of our broken society and culture. Many more anti-social, immoral and destructive behaviors and bad attitudes among a large portion of the population equals social disorder, social decay and social chaos. Remember the roman empire did not last because many of its citizens and leaders become morally corrupt. When everything is tolerated and accepted as the norm is a society heading towards disaster.
Most of the problems facing today’s youth are not restricted to any one enthnic or social economic group, but affect all young people. Most discussions on young people have focused on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, bullying,sexuality and poverty. In addition to these, today’s youth are afflicted by new challenges. These include: an identity crisis, lack of self confidence and low esteem that includes a feeling of worthliness, a sense of hopelessness and depression, confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues, the negative impact of the mass and electronic media and of the entertainment industry, and the uneven playing field and competiveness in education, and the discrimination and mistreatment many young people encounter and experience at the hands of most adults and the new issue related to adultism, which is the mistreatment and disrespect of young people because of their age and the often unfair labels and negative, sterotypical attitudes many adults have towards young people. It is the pervailing attitude most adults have towards young people, as though adult’s are more important and more superior.
Many adults in the United States believe that most young people are the ones committing most of the violent crime and abusing illegal drugs, and causing most of the problems, when in reality the truth is that many of the problems in the United States are caused by the adults. The belief that young people are causing most of the violent crime and drug offenses is a myth. Those who are truly committing most of the violent crime and major drug offenses in the United States are adult ‘s and most of them are in their 40’s and 50’s. This has been the case for most of the past 40 years and longer. This is the reason why so many adult prisons are being built in the United States, so as to house the large and ever growing population of adult offenders and criminals. Professionals in the mental health field will tell you that they have seen an increase in more adults being diagnosed with anti-social persoanlity disorder. They maybe either assessed as narcissistic or sociopathic. They have some similar traits between the two, such as a lack of empathy for others and self centerdness. The reality is that the United States has become a society,culture and nation with many more self centered and selfish people. Often agggressive and other forms of anti-social behavior, including the willingness to walk all over other people to get one wants, is frequently rewarded in American society. The moral decay and moral curruption as well as the level of immaturity and irresponsiblity among a large group of adults in the United States, this includes how frequently many more adults misbehave and set the wrong example for our young people is allready having a negative impact on them today and their own future potential. This is one reason why you see more younger children behaving aggressively and why so many young people have an attitude of self entitlement since many adults have the same attitude and ways of behaving. Young people learn and copy from what they see the adults do and the type of models set for them. Unfortantely, too many young people have fewer positive adult role models they can admire, respec, trust and learn anything positive from.
Being a person of influence and being someone who can positively impact people’s lives and to help make a difference, there are certain qualities people must have. These qualities consist of the following: Integrity. A person must be one who possesses personal integrity, honesty, sincerity, authenticity, and a strong devotion and commitment to moral and ethical principles. A person to be influential and to have a positive impact on others must possess goodness and strength of character. They must be one who can establish and maintain trust with others. They must be someone who is trustworthy and respectful of other people. They must be loving, kind, respectful and caring towards other people. Secondly, they must be nurtures. They must have the ability to nurture people. To be a nurturer of others means to highly value others and to be other minded. To nurture others, one must love, respect and value other people as well as encourage and support others and provide often sincere appreciation and recognition. One must provide appreciation and recognition towards the positive qualities, strengths and god give abilities and gifts each person possesses within themselves and their own unique personalities. To have a positive impact on other people and to be a person of influence, one must be willing to enlarge others and to help others grow, develop, reach their God given potential and to succeed. One must being willing to take the time and energy of giving of oneself to invest in the growth and success of others. To be a person of influence and to have a truly significant and positive impact on others, one must have a positive attitude towards others, to have faith and a high belief in others, and the desire to value others and to make a difference in the lives of other people. In other words, to add value and significance in their lives. To have a positive impact on others one must show they care about others and have a deep concern for other people. For example, my experiences working with children and youth I focus my attention on them and in ways in which I add value to them and their lives and their future. One way that I do this is by showing them that I care about them. It is in not only in our words but in our actions that we show people that we care about them and that we love, appreciate and respect them and wish to add value to them and their lives. Our own actions and everyday behavior and conduct determines the amount and type of influence and impact we have on others. Our actions and behavior is a reflection of who we are as well and who we are, our character often will determine our success and effectiveness in life and our success in making a positive difference in the lives of others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
To truly love others we must first have the Love of God and His Spirit working within to transform us to become more loving people. To be the kind of loving spiritual beings He desires us to be. The kind of love I am talking about is the kind of love God is all about. It is the kind of love that does not seek to degrade, demean or devalue others, to be jealous and envious towards others, to abuse others, to disrespect and dishonor others, to compete against others, to hate others, to hold onto grudges against others, to control and dominate others, to manipulate, to fix the person, or to rescue others. We must let all of those things go in order to love others as God loves us. We must also learn to let go for our own desire and need for power and control for it is God who has the power and is in control. We must surrender ourselves to God and understanding that God is the one who is in control of our lives.
It is about Love not power. The Lord our God has the power and has the power to transform and change us and our life circumstances as well as use us in the gifts, abilities and talents He has given us to serve Him and His purpose for our lives and others. We as humans are powerless, we are only dust. It is the power of God and His spirit that works within us that brings forth His power in our being and lives. Without Him and His power we are nothing. He wants us to become more loving. To show our love to others not by our words but by actions.
It does not matter if we have a whole bunch of talents, abilities and gifts, even spiritual gifts like talking in tongues or wisdom for which I have both. It does not matter if we go out of our way to help and serve others. These are important but what still means nothing unless we have Love and show others love. The kind of love that represents God. The kind of love I mean that God is all about, is the kind of love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness shown towards everyone. The kind of love that is patient, kind, gentle, forgiving, merciful, and all loving. The kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
To truly serve others, to inspire others, to make a difference, and to make an impact on the lives of others we must learn to become loving people who love others with a open and loving heart and soul.
There is a lack of integrity in America today. I believe there is a moral and spiritual crisis, decay and corruption that plagues American Culture and Society today caused by integrity, moral, spiritual and character issues among a vast majority of people who reside in America today. Often many more people behave in disrespectful, abusive,immoral, uncivilized and irresponsible ways. Many of the issues causing such immoral, irresponsible, abusive and difficult behaviors is selfishness.
Your style of Engagement which I learned from my course work in college in particular social work course work matters to establishing a relationship or alliance and trust with the people you work and interact with. This is also true when building a positive relationship and alliance and trust with children and youth. How a person engages, interacts, behaves, responds,and communicates towards and with children and youth will determine the level and degree of influence and trust that will be forged and the type of connection and relationship that is developed. Often our own world view, beliefs, values, ideals, attitudes, thoughts and expectations influence our own behavior and decisions. They determine how we will behave in any given situation and how we respond, including how we treat others. When we for example have a positive world view, beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and expectations towards children and youth it will show through our own conduct and behavior. The opposite is true as well. When our world view, beliefs, attitudes and expectations are negative, wrong and poor that too will be reflected in our own conduct, behaviors and responses. What we truly believe and think does affect our own behavior and does have a positive or negative impact on ourselves and on others we come into contact and interact with. What we believe we become. That is how powerful our beliefs are. For example, my beliefs, attitudes, and expectations towards children and youth is positive which is often reflected in my positive attitude, behaviors and responses towards them and in how I interact with them and treat them. My style of engagement is often positive because of my own positive attitude, views and beliefs about them. Because of my own positive beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and expectations towards young people is reflected in my own style of how I interact with them, treat them and communicate with them I am able to forge and maintain a higher degree and level of influence, respect and trust. I also have a positive impact on them because of my positive style of interacting and communicating with them and forging and maintaining a positive trusting relationship with them. In my approach of interacting with them and how I treat them they feel safe and secure in my presence and feel they can be themselves.
As a youth worker, I am so amazed how so many parents including adults who work in my profession and in education who spend less amount of time listening to children and spend more time talking to or at children and frequently telling them what to do. Children often have to spend more to listening to adults rather than adults spending more time asking questions and listening to children. Often battles, power struggles, arguments and some conflicts can be avoided if adults spent more time listening to children and asking them questions. By actively listening to children along with the intent to learn and to understand and to listen more and talk less you end up having more influence with them. They will begin to listen to you and your point of view, ideas, advice and opinions when you begin to listen to them first and often.
The more time spent giving children positive attention by attentively and actively listening to them, showing interest in them, giving them frequent encouragement, sincere praise and appreciation, recognizing and acknowledging their strengths, abilities, talents, accomplishments, success, efforts and progress and when they do the right thing and engaging them in their fun activities the more influence you will have with them and you will have more of a positive impact on them. The more positive attention shown to children more of the same you will receive in return from children including their own positive behavior. Children seek and crave attention why not give them positive attention.