Until the 1960’s, school books were replete with vocabulary words like integrity, industry, work, perseverance, self-reliance, self-examination, honesty, character, and responsibility.
There was glorification of hard work and an emphasis on education and self-discipline.
Many of our founding fathers wrote down principles which directed their thoughts and actions. Among the best known of these people were Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.
The vocabulary words noted above were the basis of many of the principles found in these people’s journals.
To the chagrin of many of us who want to retain high standards of civility, it is very common to hear expletives and formerly unacceptable four-letter words used in daily conversations.
Not long ago, I was talking with a group of students who brought up the topic of how a four-letter word was used so often in their conversations. I responded by saying, “Autonomous people don’t need to use such language.” We talked about the meaning of autonomous behavior—and the difference between it and behavior to conform to others. The next time I met with the students they reported that, since our last meeting, they had not heard the word used.