Source : Google photo
Synopsis : I see a widespread decline in moral values everywhere that used to be the guiding principle to live a decent life and be useful to others without any recompense. But the world is in the grip of the tsunami of a decadent culture and values that is dragging us down and away from our humane roots. The blog looks at some of the reasons and asks many questions.
The collective soul of individuals makes the soul of a nation so when the individual souls are morally corrupt, it makes the soul of a nation corrupt. This leads to the downfall of that nation. Nations, empires, kingdoms rose and fell in the past due to the corruption of the soul that starts as a rot that eventually engulfs the whole nation.
The religion or faith in morals guides the people to stay on the virtuous path so the Ten Commandments become a guiding principle to people but these commandments are not unique to the Christians. Almost all religions have them in one form or the other and form the basis of their society.
But we see that in many countries, people have walked away from these principles or pay less attention to in their daily lives so a moral corruption seeps in. Such people see nothing wrong in taking bribes to do their job, taking advantage of a weak and vulnerable person for their personal gain, lying, cheating others, deceitful behavior, letting people down and not keeping promises made in good faith, borrowing money but not repaying, arrogance of money or social position, discriminating people based on skin color, ethnicity or gender, intolerance of others and their religion, racism and a belief in self-superiority etc. The list is long that corrupts the souls of people in any country.
This collective decay of moral values is the rot that brings down a country so that nation becomes a pariah in the League of Nations. No one trusts them, wants to settle there or have any dealings with them through trade, commerce and cultural exchange. There are many examples of such nations that have become pariahs because they have lost their moral guiding principles that give directions in their life. At the top of the list are countries ruled by a despot dictator like in North Korea where people are enslaved and have no freedom that other nations enjoy. They live in fear of one man who decides how they should live. It is really no different from brutal kings or queens of the past who ruled their subject with an iron fist and punished those who wanted to live freely.
The French , British and the Spanish kings constantly waged wars with their neighbors or sent huge armies to regain Jerusalem so they needed huge amount of money that they forcibly collected from the poor and the rich people alike or borrowed from the Templars. People lived in fear and abject poverty but their sons were forced to join the armies to fight in crusades and die somewhere. When the Templars wanted the king of France to repay them the money borrowed, he invited them to a meeting where all were massacred. This was the moral decay of the kingdom that affected everyone.
When people live in fear, they start mistrusting people because they become suspicious of others. They are always afraid that someone will report them to the dictator who will put them in prison, torture or kill them because a dictator becomes extremely paranoid who does not trust anyone. To live in such a country is to live in a nightmare so people become desperate and try to escape. Hundreds of people were killed while trying to escape East Germany if you recall. Millions of people have left their country of birth because of war and the brutal government that is rotten to the core and spreads the rot to the people.
This moral rot of a regime that subjugates its people leads to revolution that encourages the common people to come out and join the rebels like in Cuba, Romania, Haiti and many other countries where people overthrew their dictators at a tremendous loss of innocent lives. In the past the revolution in France and Russia was the outcome of the repressive regimes there.
Those of you who travel all over the world for tourism have stories to tell about how you were treated by the airport authorities and the people. In spite of having a valid visa, they will look at you with suspicion, will demand to see if you have money on you, will want to know how long you will stay, where you will stay, what places you intend to visit etc. They will do this in an impolite way to make you feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
When you step out of the airport or the port of entry, you will be assailed by con men trying to make a quick buck out of you or the taxi man who will say that his meter does not work so he may charge you much more than the regular fare. You have to fight them off and get away as fast as you can.
Then you will go to a hotel where you will be surprised to find that the manager gives you a dirty room for a high price but you have no choice because it is late in the evening or night when it is hard to find a hotel you like. These hotels are run by con men who advertise in the Internet with fancy photos but in reality they are thieves and con men who take advantage of an innocent person like you and me because you have no choice.
On the streets a stern and impolite policeman may accost you and ask for your papers making you literally afraid and start to wonder if you made a mistake coming to such a country. The touts, the trinket sellers, the guides, the taxi men, the bell boys are all motivated by their greed for your money as soon as they spot you and decide that you are vulnerable. Some will openly ask for tips. This is the moral rot of a country that I write about today.
There is no denying the fact that the increased tourism in many parts of the world has fueled this greed in the local people who forget all decency of life and pound on you when they get a chance. It gives you a bad taste in your mouth because you are a decent person who expects courtesy and decency in other countries.
In some Eastern European countries, they will tell you at the airports that you must spend so many dollars per day of your stay and you must stay at the tourist designated hotels where they can spy on you and all your movements. You must be accompanied by a government approved guide who reports to them where you went, whom you met and all the petty details making you very uncomfortable because you may not be able to travel around freely. You may face great difficulties and harassment if you overstay and want to extend your visa just by a few days.
Then there are countries where they give preferential treatment depending on the passport you carry. Some passport holders are treated with hostility and thorough body and luggage search while others may pass freely because they hold a passport that gives them preferential treatment. The skin color, ethnicity and even the quality of your luggage may play a role in how you are treated.
In India, the tourists are often piled into buses that are marked as Tourist in big bold letters that attracts the con men and cheaters like flies who will try to take advantage. It is shocking to see it and experience such moral degradation in people that puts a dark shadow on the whole country although there are plenty of good people whom you may never meet.
Then there is naked racism in many countries where they may deny you a hotel room just because you have a dark skin or wear clothes they do not approve or have turban or beard or other physical attributes that raise alarm bells in them. In Algeria one hotel manager thought that I was a Touareg from the desert so would not give me a hotel room. When I showed my passport, only then he was convinced and let me stay there.
In Delhi a hotel manager said there was a room but when my wife showed up, the fellow changed his mind thinking that I had eloped with a foreign woman. This vulgarity and open suspicion should have no place in a civilized society but we unfortunately live in an imperfect world where anything goes.
One German gentleman told me that he was somewhere in the United States while reading a Time magazine when a policeman showed up and roughly asked him why he was tearing up some pages of the magazine. This surprised the German fellow because he did not know that tearing up a page or two of a discarded magazine was unlawful.
It wasn’t but the arrogant policeman treated him harshly just the same while keeping his hand on the holster of his loaded gun. This is the absolute rot I am writing about. It affects everyone. People call the police just because they are paranoid and suspicious of someone because the way he looks, his skin color or his beard or turban.
You may not notice them but there are thousands of cameras mounted on poles or buildings that follow every citizen and send their images in real time to a central computer somewhere that analyzes these images and tries to identify them using facial recognition software. This is spying on people on a massive scale that goes on 24/7 that boggles the mind of anyone.
In the airports they will take your photo, finger print you like a criminal and scan your luggage before you are allowed out. The paranoia is everywhere. The cameras will follow you in malls where you are planning to buy something. The cameras will follow you if you go to certain consulates or embassies. Even an unpaid traffic tickets get registered in their computer and may cause you some problem in the future.
They scan the license plate number of your car to see if your car is stolen or not and may stop you just to make sure. The policeman may shout at you and ask to see your papers while keeping his hand on his gun. May be it is the loaded gun that gives them the courage to behave this way. I wonder if they would behave more genially if they carried only a baton like in some countries and even save many lives. The trigger happy policemen have killed people of color just because of a busted tail light in their car in the United States.
So ask this question — Where is the basic courtesy? What happened to civilized behavior in people? What happened to the humanity that shows aggression at the slightest chance?
Why is it so? I know the answer. It is because of moral rot that is spreading through their society that makes them behave this way. When the whole country starts to behave in a degrading and suspicious way then it means only one thing. This moral rot of their soul has spread far and wide and affects the whole nation. No one is spared.
Neighbors do not talk to neighbors, officemates are paranoid about their officemates, office manager treats his employees in a degrading and humiliating way, the government offices where one seeks their services are filled with rude people who will answer you in impolite way when you ask them simple questions, the store owner who cheats you and shortchanges you are the experiences many of us have.
The suspicion and the fear of others who are not like them fuels this paranoia that you notice in many communities. The pressure of economic needs to survive makes people lose their humanity so they start to behave badly. The credit card culture in many countries exacerbates this problem. When you live on credit and have very little reserve to tide you over the hard times, you tend to become more aggressive and impolite to others.
The credit card culture makes people live on edge all the time and it shows in their behavior. You will always worry about how to pay back the debt to the bank, to the car dealer, to the hospital, to the school or college. You will worry about how to pay for the things you need to survive all because you took too much credit so now the Shylock wants his pound of flesh plus interest so it leaves you sleepless.
The phenomenal rise in the number of people who are looking for quick money from commission that you must pay them if you have the misfortune to deal with them is a sign of rot of moral values. A gentleman helps someone out with something because he has moral values that dictate his actions. He is not looking for a commission and believes that he has a moral obligation to help someone who needs his help in some way.
We were very surprised when some missionaries in Haiti asked us why we helped an American woman who had a car accident. Did we know her? We answered that it was the right thing to do.
When Rome was past its glory and on its way to oblivion because people had become so rotten and decadent, so perverse and without humanity, there was an example that justified its end.
There was a very greedy man who had several fire chariots so people ran to him to seek his help when their homes were on fire. He then started to make extraordinary demands before he would agree to put the fire out. He wanted a lot of money upfront. So many homes burnt down because they could not come up with money soon while his fire chariots sat full of water.
The corruption and greed of this man was well known even in distant parts of the Roman Empire so when the Caesar tired of this man sent him away to a distant province, people quickly caught him there and poured liquid gold down his throat that he loved so much.
What is a country without its soul intact? What are the people who make up their country who have lost their moral values and have become inhuman? Some people may not believe that there is such a thing as soul so let us call it their conscience. What is a man without conscience? What is a nation without conscience that values greed for money and material goods over good deeds to help their fellow beings?
When a simple chat with a black man could have saved his life, the policeman knocked him down and suffocated him to death while people watched in horror. Have we become so inhuman for this to happen today? What will be our future without our moral courage to do what is right?
Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.