Children will listen and copy

Published 7:27 pm Monday, September 14, 2009

We are living in perilous times when people forget that a society is made up of rules and manners.

Too few parents or guardians have taught children the meaning of manners. This is no new trend. We are seeing the results of a lack of parenting — strict parenting — in the young people of today.

Taking a moment to thank someone for something or to say “yes ma’am” or “no sir” makes a difference in any society. We have lost these little things.

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And we’re losing the bigger things. People seem to believe they have a right to be rude. Children (and younger people) are learning from their popular culture icons.

Witness the inexcusable bad sportsmanship and sheer crass of Kanye West Sunday night on the Video Music Awards. Nineteen-year-old Taylor Swift, a country music singer, had won her first VMA. She had begun her speech when West came out of nowhere, snatched the microphone from Swift’s hand and crowed about how Beyonce had the best video.

West’s antics shocked Swift, who stood there speechless after the interruption and embarrassed Beyonce, who had enough grace and poise when she won called Swift to the stage to finish her acceptance speech.

West is an icon to many young people. How do we overcome such lessons? Those lessons begin at home and continue in the school and church. They also continue on the ball field, where sportsmanship comes into play heavily.

Children will listen. They learn by example.

It’s up to adults to instill the proper lessons in our children and young people or we’ll become a society of ruffians.