Letter: Character-building will help youth resist ISIS

Resist ISIS through character-building

To the editor:

How do we put a stop to the negative impact of ISIS on American youth? Experts are working on strategies to put in place so Americans can breathe easier and not have to worry that we will face terrorist acts by misled ISIS followers.

Blocking access to the Internet is one idea being tossed around. Monitoring phone conversations and Facebook activity are other methods being explored. Constitutional rights may dictate the outcome of these ideas.

I'd like to suggest a totally different approach that would require the collaboration of parents, teachers, religious leaders and community members. My approach involves the building up of character in our youth so they can recognize evil when it presents itself. Adults need to set better examples of respectability, tolerance, accountability and compassion.

The lack of these character-building elements in adult society is the root cause of why young people are engaging in negative behaviors. We sugarcoat wrongdoing and even worse attempt to rationalize why some commit violent crimes. Poor choices are the fault of someone or something else. The concept of personal accountability never enters into the mind of the offender.

Unless we invest more effort and time to build character into our youth, we will continue to see a steady decline in the quality of life in America. We will continue to witness the horrific crimes being committed by children against children.

It's time to wake up America! If you really want to destroy the effects of evil on American soil, put forth the time and effort it will take to foster character-building in our youth. Restore the values that society needs to promote human decency.

Beverly J. Tobin, Pittsfield


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