Wise words shared by Uncle George

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

The phrase “Man’s inhumanity to man” is first documented in a Robert Burns poem.  Inhumanity is defined as extremely cruel and brutal behavior.  We can see evidence of inhumanity right now in Ukraine.  How is it this can be happening in 2022?  For no good reason other than the will of a dictator to seize another country.  A country that his military has devastated.  What good is the land when all the infrastructure has been demolished and the people have fled the country?  

Sadly, we see man’s inhumanity to man in many forms these days.  Bullying!  I think that qualifies as brutal behavior.  There are killings every day just because of some disagreement that certainly shouldn’t result in taking another life.  And there’s many forms of bullying.  I see it on the highways every time I venture out.  There’s always that driver who feels they should have special privileges and be able to crowd in front of you just to get their fender in front of yours.   It’s as if the rules of the road do not apply to them.  There’s also the bully who feels they have a right to either take or destroy someone’s property.  

What about integrity?  This quality of being honest and having strong moral principles seems to be in short supply.  We only have to witness all the scams that prey on people who operate on faith and trust in their fellow man.   Only to become victims because their fellow man’s greed and belief that they have the right to cheat another person for their own benefit.   Are they without a conscience?  Were they ever taught the difference between right and wrong?  Why and how do people think that criminal activity is acceptable?  At what point in their lives did this behavior become their “normal” behavior?  

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I remember growing up that our neighbors would volunteer their services to better our community.  They signed up to be on the volunteer fire department, they ran for public office and conducted themselves in an honorable fashion.  They wanted to serve their community.  They served on school boards and the PTA using their skills and knowledge to improve the educational system for the children.  They ran for political offices to use their talents so that their communities would flourish and grow.  Nowadays, we have politicians who enter public service to become wealthy.  They want to promote themselves, not serve their community, state, or country.  

I stumbled across an article by TheImportantSite which outlined why law is important.  “Law” is defined as a system of rules designed to regulate behavior in both public and private society.  This system sets the standard for acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.   Laws are supposed to protect and to keep everyone safe and safeguard the most vulnerable in society.  Laws are essential to maintaining peace.  Humans have been enacting laws for thousands of years.  We continue to legislate new laws and yet, the crime rate continues to grow.  Integrity and strong moral principles cannot be legislated.  These fundamentals must be instilled in individuals at a young age.  

When my husband’s Uncle George passed away, we found among his possessions a quote that obviously meant a lot to him.  This is it: “You came into this world with nothing but a future, and you will leave this world with nothing more than a reputation.  Give this life everything you have to make it the very best you can.” 


Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at bbrown@olemiss.edu.