I am an optimist by nature. My glass is usually at least 3/4 full. Frankly, I dislike negativity and negative people. I try to see the good side of things, and point it out when others around are gripy. Is "gripy" a word?
Anyway, I'm disturbed to find that with increasing frequency I am disappointed by people, both individuals and groups or organizations. The stridency, hype, and blatant lies of the recent political campaign is one example, but more and more I see people circumventing laws and rules, twisting the truth until it's no longer recognizable as such, to further their own agenda.
But I wonder: what, if anything, has changed?
Maybe it's me. Maybe I've finally grown up enough to lose the innocence of youth and see things as they really are. There has always been a percentage of the population with little or no moral compass or much of a conscience. This is the group who will play the suckers, work the angles, con the unsuspecting and take, take, take. But was the percentage always this large?
Remember the 80s? Jerry Falwell popularized the term "moral majority." The concept was that most people in the US were moral, honest and upright (and in Jerry's realm, this meant "Christian"). It sounded good, and I accepted the theory that most people were moral, honest and upright. It was the vocal minority who were trying to ruin things for the rest of us.
Well now, 30 years later, I get the feeling that majority has slid over into the other camp. There are few people, or statements made by people, that I trust anymore. I tend to analyze actions and comments in a way I never used to. "Why did he do/say that? Did he meant it? Has he got something to gain, or is he trying to pull something on me? What's his real motive?"
Of course, there are lots of possible reasons for the apparent spinning of the moral compass needle. My inclination is to list as chief among them the decline in religious faith I believe has occurred. And not just Christian faith. Most major faiths honor honesty, fair dealing, and compassion.
I dunno. Maybe I'm just in a funk. Whatever it is, my glass seems to be slowly leaking.
Anybody else feeling this?