In the contemporary age, we are fortunate to have access to an extensive online source of knowledge and opinion, making it far easier in theory to cultivate behaviour and set a good example to younger members of society. However, when you consider the advancements that society has made in terms of technology and medical science, it appears as though any progression in social conduct and conditions has been painstakingly slow and ineffective by comparison. The question that rises from this is whether individuals within society are failing to learn from history or their contemporaries, or whether the right example is not being set in the first instance.

A good example of this quandary was witnessed in Utah this week, as they finally had a requested law passed to recognize a specific firearm as one of its state symbols. Utah governor Gary Herbert signed and authorized the bill which originated from a colleagues idea, and created a 25th symbol to represent the core principles of the region and its citizens. However, in an age where violent crime is rising and firearms are increasingly used in acts of aggression rather than those of self defence, it could be argued that its inclusion to represent a democratic state is entirely inappropriate.

Morality and the Example of Elders

If we have learned anything from studies of anti social or criminal behavior, then it should be that perpetrators of these types of conduct are often following an example that has been set to them, either by a parent or significant influence in their burgeoning childhood. This is often referred to as learned behavior, involves youngsters and adolescents following their elders and repeating the actions and words that they see being performed on an everyday basis. This not only dictates conduct, but also an individuals morality, values and ethical considerations.

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