Principles That Society Has Lost
There is no question that change is very incremental. It happens very slowly. Before you know it
you wonder how it happened. Most of the time change is good. Things like losing weight,
quitting smoking and drinking, and breaking bad habits that affect a person's health are changes
we would all like to make. Some change though is not good and can happen so slowly that we
don't even see it coming. Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" explains this
phenomenon very clearly using the analogy of a scale that is filled with stones on one side and
no stones on the other.
Every day, week, or year, one stone is added to the empty side of the scale. Slowly the scale gets
tipped in the other direction. The change is so small that it can't be recognized. Mr. Gladwell
uses this illustration to show that once the scale is tipped in the other direction, our societal
problems can then grow to epidemic proportion.
Certain universal principles were very common thirty to forty years ago. They were built into
people and were taught by parents as a natural part of growing up. They are almost like the lost
episodes of life. Slowly they have left us and we don't think about them any longer as a society.
As a teacher, administrator, and observer in society, I have watched this happen. I have observed
certain problems in our society go from being problems that only affect a small segment of the
population to the point where they have become epidemics and affect huge numbers of people.
In order to deal with an epidemic, it has to be recognized. Once it is recognized we have to begin
to treat it. Treating it requires a plan that will take time and has to start with our children. The
change may be something that we as a society won't see initially. It also may be something that
we won't see at all. The change may be something that will finally really happen with our great
grandchildren. Visit The Store