Have you ever watched someone drown? Feel their helplessness and watch the fear that comes over them as they scream, and every part of their being fights to keep them alive — then silence. The power of the water overcomes them — their lungs fill quickly and they choke in panic, their last bit of air escapes in bubbles as they suffocate.
It’s perhaps one of the most traumatic ways to die, yet for a group of teens in Cocoa, Florida, last July, it was nothing more than a laughing matter.
This group of teenagers watched 32-year-old Jamel Dunn drown and scream, begging for help, and all these kids did was laugh and film his last breath as he went under the water for the last time. “Oh, he just died,” said one of the teens as they all laughed hysterically.
What does it say about a group of young people that stood on the shore of a lake and watched a man drown and did nothing — absolutely nothing, but laugh.
As someone that has seen death and devastation that would haunt most people for eternity, even I was sickened by their video, but more shocked and repulsed by their insensitivity and their unashamed disregard for the life of another human being. They didn’t even have the decency or common courtesy to notify the authorities that Dunn’s body laid beneath the water in that lake.
Where did these kids come from and how could they be so cruel and calloused? What kind of parents would allow such behavior?
I believe it all began when America’s children stopped saying yes ma’am and no ma’am, and please and thank you, when the pledge of allegiance became optional and our children were no longer taught it’s meaning, and when God was scrubbed from everything under the sun, and talking about faith and prayer was discouraged.
The teens that I grew up with 45 years ago would have done everything in their power to rescue that dying man, including risking their own lives, and would have been devastated if they were unable to save him. And, there are no words to explain the punishment to which we would have been subjected by our parents for such inhumane and brutal behavior.
What has happened to our country? Where is the discipline, respect, patriotic values, and protecting the weak, in America’s children and the Millennials of today? Why the decline in our values, and who and what is responsible for it?
In a recent report, data collected by the U.S. Army from more than twenty thousand commissioned officers, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers, revealed that today’s Millennial enlistees display a blatant lack of work ethic, respect for authority, and obedience for lawful orders. They ignore instructions, have an overwhelming sense of entitlement, and are careless with their equipment, uniform, and appearance.
As a result, the Army is preparing to launch new training programs that will instill strict discipline and esprit de corps in these Millennial misfits, but why has it come to this? What’s happened in the last three to four decades that’s responsible for the lack of civics, discipline, and respect for authority and our elders?
Children had respect for authority and their elders, and used words like please and thank you, yes and no ma’am, and yes and no sir. They were taught law and order, and had the upmost respect and admiration for the police and our military.
Think about this — in today’s world, an act of kindness is so bizarre and extraordinary that it reaps tens of millions of views on social media, where in the past, it was the norm — it was the right thing to do. It was what our society did — we took care of others, and respected and cared for the elderly, but today, a 75-year-old man walks down the street as a strapping 19-year-old walks by him, and in one swift movement, knocks the elderly man out while and his other teenage friends and accomplices video the incident and burst into laughter.
A cursory search of the internet will reveal thousands of videos of the infamous "knock out" game. You will find homeless people being beaten or set on fire, and bullies targeting and beating their victims.
Today, being courteous and protecting the weak is seen as something special and out of the ordinary, when in fact, it was what I was taught as a child, but many of today’s teenagers are just the opposite — disrespectful, arrogant, and could care less about anyone but themselves.
So, where have we gone wrong? Why have they changed over the last three or four decades? They haven’t, but their parents have!
I strongly believe that it all started at home, when millions of parents stopped teaching their children the very basics of work ethic, responsibility, manners and courtesy, and instilling in them principals of respect, discipline, patriotism, and caring for others — especially the elderly.
It’s used to be the patriotic duty of parents, educators and politicians to sow the seeds of patriotism in our children and to teach them why they should love, protect, support, and defend our country, but instead, many parents have abandoned that role, and have left it up to their children’s educators and social media to form their children’s views on politics, life, history, patriotism, and acceptable behaviors… and we’ve seen how that has played out.
These parents allowed Hollywood, the music industry, and violent, vile, and mindless video games to suck all of the societal and religious values out of their children, and replace them with brutality, and a sick and mechanical insensitivity to others, while instilling in them heroes and role models that consist of rap music drug thugs, classless reality stars, and sports figures that despise our country, it’s flag, and what it stands for.
Our children know nothing until we teach them. We want them to grow into successful adults, but don’t teach them how to get there, we let others — politically motivated teachers, social media, and the internet. We want them to grow up and have work ethic, but we demand little to nothing of them, while giving them everything under the sun. We want them to be prepared for the hardships of life, but shield them in every way possible from the world of reality, its disappointments and pain.
I’m not talking about every teenager and I’m not talking about every parent, as there are many trying to do their best but they’re swimming against an extremely strong current. The others have failed as parents and created a generation of self-absorbed and self-entitled whining little brats that care nothing about our country, humanity, and the elderly. They have no manners, no work ethic, and no respect for law and order or authority.
40 years ago, they would be an outcast and shunned by society, but today they’re becoming the norm, and unfortunately, the only people that can change this are the same ones responsible for creating it.
It’s time for parents in our country to step up to the plate.
As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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