Morals learned at home
I was quite disappointed, but not very surprised, after reading the article in this newspaper on July 28 about television executives saying they were not sure what "family values" means. They imply that no one else knows what that means either.
Obviously, the television executives have unhealthy families. It is no wonder their programming is damaging American families. Those of us who value our families should be writing to the networks and educating them about successful families.
It is true that values may differ from family to family, but a healthy family operates from a clear set of values that emanates from a moral core. A moral person values the people and the world around him or her and treats both in a respectful way. This philosophy provides families with a value system from which arises certain rules and accepted behaviors. This moral core and its resultant values permit the family to teach a sense of right and wrong.
Thanks to poor parental examples, poor television role models, and an amoral public education, great numbers of American children today do not have any idea of what's moral. They don't know what's right from what's wrong. The majority of families in this country are not exemplified by the dysfunctional families we see on T.V. It is foolish to think that either Hollywood or the government is going to improve the quality of our families. That responsibility belongs within our own households. It has never been easy, but it has never been harder than now. Let us beware that we do not allow our children to be detrimentally influenced by irresponsible television executives.
Michael S. Cole, M.D.
1 August 1992
Southwest Times Record