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Readers sound off on moral decline

Dear readers: The new television season is in full swing, and once again it looks as if the raunchier the show, the better its chances of success.

But does everybody really want sex and tasteless humor in the living room? Our readers have a lot of concerns about the decline of morals in the world today. Their opinions are frank and their ideas are interesting.

Dear Lois: I find it interesting that a discussion of the decline of morals seems to focus on sex.

The true decline of morality in the world today is oriented around more fundamental problems, such as the inability of people to take responsibility for their own actions. Our governments lie to us, our employers abuse our trust and our educators fail to offer us even minimal standards.

A truly moral individual is motivated by a need to do well by others. Our moral decline is found not in the sexual proclivities of ourselves and our children but in our need to blame everyone else for our own greed and fears. _ Dave Quackenbush

Dear Lois: America's decline into prurience and crime is endemic to wealthy civilizations.

Wealth permitted the acquisition of guns and the use of narcotics. But because so many families fail to function well, maybe we need to redefine the roles of the educational system and change how the schools are equipped to adjust to their new roles in the Information Age.

Step One might just be to recognize that for all the changes taking place in the church and family, new organizations are needed to fill the voids often left by those older institutions. _ Randy Aimone

Dear Lois: Few people (especially those in media) are raising a voice of moral outrage in the sexual wilderness. This will continue as long as parents ignore the responsibility of moral examples and moral training.

Parents need to take their children to church, not send them. They need to respect and enforce a strong moral code within the family. Parents cannot say one thing and do another for themselves. _ Lillian Fellner, Tucson, Ariz.

Taming a young "monster'

Dear Lois: I have a grandson who has, in all of his four years, become a problem. I do love him, and when he is not a monster, do enjoy him.

It is the responsibility of parents to correct their offspring, and when they don't or won't and when the kids are in your home, then it is your responsibility to tell the kids as well as their parents what is proper and what is not. If they resent it, so be it. _ Gramps

Dear Gramps: Hey, Grandpa, where were you when the kid's parents were growing up? If you didn't teach your kids, how can they teach their kids? If you did teach your kids and they still don't know, then I don't think there's much hope for any of that crew.

So give your grandson a lollipop and tell him why good kids get them. Who knows? Maybe he'll listen to you.

Finally: As for the broader question of morals, it seems to me that the responsibility of the individual is missing most in the headline stories of our day. From the halls of government to our own homes come voices saying, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know."

When we call one another to account and refuse to accept "I didn't know" as an excuse for misbehaving, we can begin to enforce a moral code.

If you want to ask Lois a question, share your favorite grandchild story or comment on anything of interest to families, write to Lois Wyse, Third Age News Service, 22 W 23rd St., New York, NY 10010.