Values Change – So Let’s Change Values

We are coming to the end of a week of Grandma Camp, where I have been  doing crafts, playing games, reading stories and enjoying the company of five charming young ladies. I have had little time to write. Instead, I’m going to throw out an idea without elaborating on it, in the hope that you will mull it over, discuss it and draw your own conclusions.

An unsurprising, yet still disturbing, poll  this week revealed that younger Americans value patriotism, religion and having children substantially less than their elders and less than their elders did at their age. What do they value? Tolerance. (It is worth mentioning that a strong argument can be made that college students and those in their twenties today constitute one of the least tolerant generations in decades.)

A different article I read focused on how bus ridership in Los Angeles is decreasing despite great infusions of cash spent building a larger system. Naturally, this concerns Phil Washington, the chief executive of L.A. Metro. His solution  has been implemented in other cities: drive people onto public transport by making driving less comfortable. In other words, cause pain to those who insist on using their own cars or any form of non-public transit. He believes that people’s minds must be changed when it comes to how they think about transportation, saying, “Sometimes you have to tell people what’s good for them.”  This is the eternal elegy of the career bureaucrat. 

Here’s my idea. Let’s leave people to decide for themselves how to get from point A to point B, but let’s work on changing people’s minds on what values matter. Rather than closing down traffic lanes, we might all be better off if we closed all colleges for a few years and worked on revamping public education from pre-school up.

41 thoughts on “Values Change – So Let’s Change Values”

  1. Great points, I agree. It’s troubled world we live in, but we must cultivate hope and perseverance. And people should stop reading depressive news and media content too.

  2. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, L.A. had a wonderful public transit system: trolleys. Then GM, under a front company called National City Lines, bought up 95% of American trolley lines and shut them down (with the help of Standard Oil and others, and they were eventually prosecuted for this). Now L.A. has horrendous traffic and is surrounded by an ugly mess of pavement, like so many American cities.

    I don’t think people want to be in their cars or on a bus. Many people would probably prefer to live and work in the same town in which they live. Maybe even a pedestrian town without cars. Only the richest can afford something close to that lifestyle in places like Vail, Boulder, Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Boston. And, of course, almost every European city.

    If you’re heavily invested in oil, what’s happened is perfect and you’d like it to continue. I think if you’re just a regular person trying to enjoy life, it’s a tragedy. The suburbs and their accompanying sprawl of strip malls, highways, and parking lots have increased stress, isolation, depression, and obesity, all while decreasing community cohesiveness. Do people want to drive their cars? Maybe. But they don’t really have a choice.

    1. I hardly call all the towns you mentioned pedestrian, Jacob. You can walk a great deal in Manhattan for example, but most people end up using the subway or buses too.

    2. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Dear Jacob,
      I’ve actually researched this while living in Los Angeles and I’m persuaded that this is no more than a conspiracy theory. There are many reasons why trolley systems eventually closed in almost every city and none are because a giant car company or a giant oil company caused it.
      Second, I really have no idea of what European cities you have in mind but Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Paris, Marseille, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam,Berlin Frankfurt, are most definitely not pedestrian cities. Many of us, me included, do not merely tolerate our cars. We actually care for them, enjoy owning them, enjoy driving them, and relish the freedom they give us.

      1. Dear Rabbi Lapin,
        I respectfully disagree. It’s not a conspiracy theory and there are public records to back up my claims. Though it’s true the public tired of the shoddy conditions of trolleys, the trolleys were shoddy in most cases because GM’s front company left them in a state of disrepair. But the main point I was trying to make is that while consumers in the 40s and 50s bought cars because they wanted them (and the freedom they allowed), consumers now MUST buy a car to reasonably function in society. This often leaves them languishing in long commutes and traffic. I lament what this has brought about in American communities.

        Regarding pedestrian cities…I was in Paris, Florence, and Rome this summer. In Florence, I arrived by train, walked to my lodgings, and never took a taxi or bus during my entire eight day visit. In Paris and Rome, I took a a cab twice but walked 90% of the time. I was in Boston last summer and walked the whole city, never taking a taxi or the T once. In a literal sense, no major cities are entirely pedestrian (I should have been more careful with my language). But I think we all understand that when you live in the heart of Paris or some such city, you do primarily walk. In my humble opinion, after a stay in Venice and Italian hilltop towns where there are no cars, where my daughter could run free on any and all streets, where there is peace and quiet and no exhaust fumes, where the streets are built for humans and not 4,000 pound hunks of metal, I’d take a car-free town or city any day. Not a car-free world–cars are wonderful. But I think we could do much better managing them.

        1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

          Dear Jacob
          the one factor omitted in the bucolic scenes you so rapturously limn is work. When a tourist visits Boston, Buffalo, or Baltimore, he or she can usually manage just fine seeing the sights from their center town hotels. The same is true for Paris Florence or Rome. However, people who live rather than vacation in those same cities all do use either cars or public transport. Why do you suppose the Metro trains in Paris and Rome are so filled in morning and evening rush hours? That lovely Italian hilltop town where your daughter runs free is a lovely spot to vacation, but pray do tell me again, how do you live there? What work are you doing? (Obviously the few folks who work online and independently can set their own rules but it is always a miniscule minority-the rest need transport to work)

  3. I began homeschooling in 2013. It was a little nerve-racking at first, but I am glad my family pursued and continued on this path. I started with my son in 4th grade. He’s now a sophomore. My daughter, who loved public middle school, joined us in her sophomore year of high school. I think it’s hard for our children when we raise them with our conservative values, and they have to contend with an intolerant, progressive world (that is anything but creating progress!) They were “normal, expected” values when I grew up in the 1970’s/1980’s. Now, all those values that made American the giant it is in 243 years, are considered “upside down and intolerant.” Too bad! I’m sticking to my logic – there are only 2 sexes, marriage is between a man and woman, all white people are not racist, not all police are corrupt, God is the Creator of the Universe, and let’s all just be decent towards one another. The Left is the most imtolerant, racist, hating group out there. They would be EASILY defeated if the Republican Party had a spine like Donald Trump. I thank God for him every day! Nothing wrong with being patriotic. It’s a shame the Left’s policy is to ALWAYS divide those of us who would otherwise get along even if we didn’t always agree. Not much hope if their ideology is not soon defeated.

    1. Claire, while I am an advocate for homeschooling I still think it isn’t for everyone. But it should be explored by more parents than it used to need to be, because the schools are progressively getting aligned with indoctrination rather than education.

      1. Just to clarify – I totally agree that homeschooling is not for everyone. That is why I allowed my daughter to remain in public school. SHE CHOSE to leave at the end of her freshman year, not me. I’ve always been thankful though for that CHOICE!

  4. Deborah Christensen

    To me, TOLERANCE is a dirty word. Who, in their right mind would want to be tolerated? I would much rather be accepted. I will trade tolerance for ACCEPTANCE any day of the week. And I think that is the problem. Tolerance allows you to continue to despise the other person inwardly while pretending to accept their behavior outwardly. Acceptance allows you to accept the person while not necessarily tolerating their behavior. I can accept that people think differently than I do and are still good people. I cannot tolerate illegal or immoral behavior.

    1. I’m afraid, Deborah, that what this “tolerant” generation wants is not acceptance of them as people, but acceptance of their ideas and actions. And they won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t fall into their constantly changing definitions of what needs to be accepted.

  5. Neweverymoment, Deb:
    Go, Susan! You speak for so many of us. I was blessed to have attended college before it went so far left. Our 12th grade American history teacher warned us that there was a plot afoot to take over the schools, the courts, and the media. We were fat, dumb, and happy, but that sort of remark stays with one. Years later, I was able to see that her prophecy had come true. “Grandma Camp” and other forms of home schooling are among the few bright spots in today’s world. “Secular fundamentalism” attempts to remove God from various scientific truths and soldier on; it never works. “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered.” It’s nice when this can happen in an irenic fashion.

    1. Ok, Deb, you increased my vocabulary. I had to look up ‘irenic’. You are reminding teachers and parents that what we say does leave an impression.

  6. So my Mother spent the last 5 days in the hospital – thankfully she is now doing well.

    I read 4 books –

    ‘Hearts of Fire’ – by the Voice of the Martyrs

    ‘Licensed to Lie’ – by Sidney Powell

    ‘The Mystery of the Shemitah’ – by Jonathan Cahn

    ‘Covenant of Liberty’ – by Michael Patrick Leahy

    I so wish for the Gov’t, leftists, RINOs, to leave us alone so we can all get back to reading, writing, arithmetic and Grandma camps


    1. I’m glad your mother is doing better and hope her recovery continues. A number of my children were annoyed with college because doing assignments that they thought were pointless left them with less time to read.

  7. Great idea for sure. I suspect the librarian has no idea who Che really was, just another murdering thug a la Castro, but on a smaller scale. I’ sure he would have been a fine Chavez/Maduro clone had he been better at raising and leading his guerillas. And great quote from the LA bureaucrat-that attitude is by no means limited to LA.
    Dennis Prager wrote an excellent commentary to the Book of Exodus that addresses both the purposeful exclusion of history from school curiccula by our wannabe masters, and the left’s passionate embrace of good intentions, of which tolerance is a subspecies.

    “Without remembering, wisdom is impossible. Wisdom is learning from our own lives and from the lives of others. Wisdom always matters because good cannot be achieved without it. Good intentions without wisdom lead to either nothing or actual evil. However much evil movements have appealed to the bad side of people’s natures, almost every one of them, communism being the most obvious example, also appealed to people’s good intentions. Rememberingi s the only way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and ensuring that good deeds and people are not forgotten and enduring gratitude is made possible-without remembrance, there is no way to stay grateful.”

    Removing history is a way to excise remembering. Prager’s words remind me of things my Rabbi Lapin says. Georges Santayana said, “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.” So tell, me, why is the left so passionate about imposing methods and approaches that have been so thoroughly and soundly disproved, sometimes disastrously and often several times disproved in various iterations.

    Please keep writing an tell your beloved and my Rabbi to keep up the podcasts-I look forward to them each week. He asked so I will reply-patching in live talks from time to time is interesting and beneficial. I for one enjoy it.

    1. I will pass your words about the podcast on, Steve. Thanks for sharing what Dennis wrote.

  8. David Altschuler

    Hi Susan,
    I know Los Angeles isn’t fully representative of the country as a whole but:
    I go to many LAUSD schools to speak to teachers about retirement issues. At one high school some years ago, behind a scowling librarian who looked like she could never get out of her chair was a huge portrait of Che Guevara. I thought to myself that if she had put up a photo of Geo W Bush (POTUS at the time) the principal would surely have made her take it down. And at Fairfax Hi there is a large mural of Che… on the ROTC building! Who knows what I’d find on the walls of the Social Studies dept classrooms!
    I’ve got more, but we don’t have all day.
    All the best,

    1. So, you think we should close down public high schools as well as colleges? I can get behind that. The fact that parents aren’t storming these places insisting on education instead of indoctrination is incredible.

      1. Hi Susan – the best place to start with that revamp of public education is to abolish (and demolish) the Department of Education. And you’d have the majority of public school teachers behind that effort. I have worked with teachers who are desperate to get out of the educational field, and one of their biggest complaints concerns the mandates issued by the DOE. They’re told not just what to teach, but how to teach it – and if they’re out of compliance, their job is on the line, even with tenure. There is a lot wrong with public education, but the indoctrination part starts at the Federal level.

        1. Jean, that is a very interesting suggestion. I agree that federalizing education took control away from parents and teachers. Perhaps the Department of Education is another example of treating a problem that ended up doing more damage than good?

    2. Here is a strange tidbit: not long ago, I saw a Che T shirt on a kid ahead of me in a checkout line. I asked him if he knew that Che was a murdering thug, and he said ‘yes’. So, I asked him why he would wear the shirt with that image.. The kid (I’m past 60, so a teenager or even early 20’s is a kid!) said because Che was so really ‘Gangster’. I didn’t ask more. This kid wanted the picture of someone cruel and evil, because he wanted an image of that kind of power.

  9. Carl August Schleg

    Much food for thought, I like the Idea of shutting down colleges that take in Federal money

    1. Carl, when young men were drafted in World War II, many of them delayed or gave up hopes of higher education in order to help their country. At this point, much of higher education is hurting the country. We certainly shouldn’t be supporting that with tax dollars.

  10. Kudos to you for hosting GrandmaCamp! Yes, this is one of the most intolerant generations, giving tolerance only to select groups. Sad. True.
    Many academics and bureaucrats, who are self-convinced that they know what is best for everyone and society, will opt for we know what’s best for you and will inflict pain (tax, fees, inconvenience, etc.) to see that you get into, and follow, the herd we have created and lead, largely through educational institutions and media.

  11. Mrs. Lapin,
    I agree with you one hundred percent. In the local high school where I live there are eight halls and only two are given to academics. What happened to civics? This was taught when I was in junior high school (early eighties). I come in contact almost daily with young people in high school who can’t make proper change from a ten doll bill. Not too mention the lack of knowledge in all things that are essential in making a positive impact on the community or even the family. I could go on and on but I think you know what I mean. I truly love your musings.

    1. Thomas, Civics became social studies and lost the essence of what allowed us to pass on values to the next generation.

    2. Right your Mrs.Lapin.
      Incredible is though, that this not new. My mother had her father tell me history, because she heard me repeat foolishness I had picked up, both from class and the cultural mouths! Erasure, slander,etc. Makes me pray. No more Hamans! No more ,”Dolfs!”

  12. PC Sharia Law is from the pit of Hell, posing as good, Tolerant, kind.
    Emotionalism over Facts and Reality.
    Narcissistic personality disorder is now touted as Good.

    Evil is growing because there is zero guidance.
    Just follow the PC Propaganda.

    Eradicate PC.
    Home School

    Not everyone can believe in the PC Intolerance.

    We must unite and not let the false accusations Silence us.
    Too much like history repeating.

    1. Julane, it isn’t an accident that we don’t properly teach history any longer. The more ignorant you are of history, the easier it is to be led down a path.

      1. And Karl Marx believed in historical materialism and saw no need to look at history to predict the future. If more and more academicians subscribe to Marxism, the less history will be taught or taught truthfully.

        1. Interesting, Randy. I need to go into this a bit more to understand what historical materialism is – it’s a new phrase for me.

          1. At the risk of sounding like a tin foil hat type, Karl Marx was from a respected family of Rabbis, and was well trained before he declared war on God. Marx was never out to help people, save the world, or raise the state of peasants. He bragged to a confidant that he wanted to send all the world burning down to hell, with him riding the avalanche and laughing. Or, words to that effect, I forget the actual quote.
            But my point is, Marx had great knowledge of people, and reality, and our weaknesses. He was the evil, “anti-Lapin”, if I may. This is something important which is just not appreciated by decent people who read or hear of Marx, and think his ‘philosophies’ can help the world. NO! They were never meant to help people. They are a clever roadmap for social destruction, and some people actually know this, and use Marxism for the power it does contain.

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