This week’s Moral Question is, “How much should you apologize if the person you’re apologizing to doesn’t accept your apology?”
I am more and more troubled by how male and female roles in our politically correct society have evolved. Clearly, I may just not fully understand and accept these changes, but I want to understand for the sake of my boys. I’m trying to teach them to be men, how to treat women, and to prepare my sons for the current social environment and workplace that we live in. And, frankly, I need to learn and adjust for myself, as this column will show.
I was raised in the fifties and sixties, where men and women had casual conversational fun with each other, both in the work place and out of it. It was fun and not harassment, to be clear, and included healthy banter and even occasional flirting. But, today this is forbidden and larger companies have seminars on proper work behavior that, I believe, limits camaraderie and rapport between colleagues. As communication often is via e-mail, the chances of misunderstandings are only enhanced.
Most of us gossip without giving it any thought whatsoever. Yet, its effects can be so damaging and full of impact. Our kids face this sort of thing in high school in ways we couldn’t have imagined long ago. With the advent of instant communications, whether it is instant messaging, tweeting, or immediate photos and videos, the ability to communicate to a wide swatch of people is available to everyone. I used to think Polaroid cameras were pretty cool.
So, when our kid is captured doing something embarrassing on someone’s phone video, it appears that evening on YouTube. When a kid chooses to expose him or herself via these sorts of instant means, it is done without any cost or time to even reflect on that decision. When that’s done, it’s “out there” forever. I think this all comes with a high cost. The benefits are good, on occasion, as with the recent election backlash in Iran, where the government couldn’t shut down outside communication due to the existence of these pervasive tech tools.