Back in the day

To the Journal editor:

Do you remember the days when your word or a handshake were all that were considered necessary as a symbolic gesture of trust, when honesty wasn’t something that was questioned on a regular basis?

How sad that these days have basically been relinquished to the scrap heap of history. I can’t help but wonder why this change has occurred in the way that people treat each other.

One thing for certain is that we’ve reached a point in our society where human beings are viewed as a means to an end, or simply as objects that can be used or discarded depending on their usefulness. A society where you are considered a tool, as opposed to a living, breathing person. And of course, when you’re looked upon as an object, honesty and integrity aren’t factored into the equation.

And nowhere is this more prevalent than in the world of business today. In that environment you’re lucky if your worth is equivalent to a computer program. At any rate, you can certainly be deleted as rapidly and heartlessly as one.

And this dehumanizing of others can be witnessed in the public domain as well. Simply drive down any street, stroll down any sidewalk, or walk through any building, and it will become quite apparent how we’ve become a society sorely lacking in compassion, respect and courtesy for others.

Again, the question arises, to what do we attribute this? There certainly is a tremendous degree of self-absorption and greed that permeates our society. Materialism and narcissism? Yes, throw them into the mix as well.

Unfortunately, I don’t see this behavior changing anytime soon. In fact, I only see it increasing. And sadly enough, that is not good news for anyone.

Bruce Gustafson