The readers of my column have noticed that I tend to give less emphasis to international matters and domestic politics than I do to family matters and individual actions. I do this because all that happens in our lives comes from within. When I started my public television series 15 years ago and for the nine years that I hosted it I opened each program by listing what I considered to be the seven major issues affecting our society. These seven issues have a strong impact on our lives and have all gotten worse. I will review them in todayâ€™s column.
The high incarceration rate of American males is the first and paramount issue. We have 2.4 million men in prison at this time; thatâ€™s more total men in prison than China and India have combined.
The number of youth in street gangs and involved in a life of crime and debauchery is the second most significant issue. One million of our youth belong to street gangs. Girls are involved in sex clubs before they reach their teens. America has the most violent boys in the world.
The declining state of the well-being of American women represents the third major issue. Debilitating depression is the number one health issue of American women with upwards of as many as 10 million women suffering from that illness. They also have disproportionately high rates of breast cancer.
The high crime rate represents the fourth major issue. We have been told that crime has been reduced at most levels, which is a misleading statistic. The government has swept the streets of our young men and thrown them into prison leaving fewer around to commit crimes. Yet the number of surveillance cameras has increased, as has the number of security guards.
The utter collapse of the educational system represents the fifth major issue. A statistic distributed by the national Association of Scholars indicates that a test given to high school graduates 55 years ago when given to college seniors five years ago resulted in lower scores by the college seniors.
The state of the economy represents the sixth issue. The disparity between the top and bottom of the economic ladder has increased tremendously during the past 15 years and continues to do so. People work longer hours and/or hold down two jobs in order to survive and old people work into their seventies.
The lack of ethics and standards of all sorts represents the seventh issue. A lack of understanding of our purpose in life and the proper conduct to achieve that purpose accounts for the first six issues and other collateral issues such as the destruction of the environment and the health and well-being of society.
These are what I consider to be the most important issues facing us, and I believe that we have the ability within us to make positive change.
I have recently made a movie on youtube listing these seven issues, which can be found under Part 8 patriarchy. I will make subsequent movies addressing each of the seven issues in detail and will address them in this column and elsewhere. I trust that you will find this series of articles and movies to have a positive affect on your thinking.
Elder Georgeâ€™s website is www.mensaction.net and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.