race from point A to point B. About arnyear or so ago, on the way to a conference,rnI was carpooling with another person.rnAs we proceeded, she was drivingrn70 miles per hour only inches, it seemedrnto me, from the bumper of the car inrnfirontofus. We were surrounded by otherrnleadfooted drivers also blithely tailgating.rnSeveral cars ahead of ours, I saw arndeer trying to leap across the fast-movingrntraffic jam. I saw no sign of the doe as myrncoworker and I sped by the point wherernshe had been bounding over the roadway.rnI mentioned the deer, but my companionrnhad not noticed the animal sornpitifully caught up in the rush-hourrnnightmare. My coworker and other selfabsorbedrndrivers travel the highways andrnsee nothing. Driving blindly, unthinkingly,rnand dangerously, they do not botherrndimming the lights when they meetrncars at night; they drive over double yellowrnlines; and, with suicidal glee, theyrnrecklessly pass other vehicles, often forcingrnoncoming traffic to take to the shoulderrnof the road to avoid head-on collisions.rnEgocentrism and the abandonment ofrnetiquette are transforming highways intornwar zones and eroding our thin veneer ofrncivilization. Courtesy and its attendantrnrituals, viewed as quaint eccentricities today,rnkeep a society glued together andrnJoseph Conrad’s underlying darkness atrnbay. Most disturbing is the fact that wernare failing to instill self-restraint and altruismrnin our children. They are growingrnup willy-nilly in households managedrnby self-actualized but ineffectivernparents. With undignified obsequiousness,rnthe contemporary parent will standrnwhile he gives his child the last seat inrnthe room, permits his child to speakrnboldly and rudely to adults, and allowsrnhim to control every situation.rnSomewhere between abusing childrenrnand bowing before them, there liesrnreason. Parents do not necessarily needrnto spank their children. They just needrnto provide them with boundaries torndelineate proper behavior, and consequencesrnto discourage unacceptable behavior,rneven if providing those boundariesrnand consequences is inopportunernor messy. We are all born with thernmorals of tenth-century Scythian horsemen;rnour parents and other adults arernsupposed to civilize us. But our childrenrnare being raised by busy-busy parentsrnwho are distracted by other matters, andrnwho find that excusing or ignoring barbaricrnbehavior is easier than confrontingrnit. And some parents will even interferernwith the lessons to be learned from arnCatholic education. I am acquaintedrnwith a teacher at a school in the archdiocesernof Washington, D.C. She is pretty,rnpolite, and fair, but she is also tough asrnnails when it comes to tolerating mischief.rnShe and her fellow teachers mustrnbear the brunt of parental rage with nornsupport from above because her school’srnprincipal, observing all kinds of p.c.rnniceties, does not back them when theyrnattempt to hold children accountable forrntheir irresponsibility or disrespect.rnIt does not take a commune to raiserngood children, but if, even in privaternLIBERAL ARTSrnUNCLE SAM MOVERS, INC.rnAccording to FAIR Immigration Report, a federal agency has generously paid $12,000rnin moving expenses to an illegal immigrant. When the U.S. Department of Housingrnand Urban Development purchased an apartment complex in Oceanside, California,rnit kicked out all the tenants, most of whom subsequently moved into federally subsidizedrnhousing units in the same area. Illegal alien Olivia Solario, ineligible for subsidizedrnhousing, was nonetheless able to exploit a relocation law that compensates peoplernthrown out of government-owned housing. “It’s the law,” said Nancy Lahey, arn”relocation specialist” at HUD’s Los Angeles office.rnschools, they are not taught to controlrnthemselves and parents are too preoccupiedrnto do their duty, what kind of futurernare we sowing? As I look ahead, I imaginernmyself old, feeble, in a nursingrnhome, and completely at the mercy ofrnone of our unholy progeny all grown uprnand working as a geriatric nurse or aide.rnI am unnerved by the thought of havingrnto depend on a sociopath to provide forrnmy basic human needs when I am incapacitatedrnby age. Even now, nurses andrnaides and other medical people have littlerncompassion. I recognize that theyrnmust contend with physicians whornwould be gods and rude and demandingrnpahents and family members, and thatrnthey are overworked in hospitals that arerntop-heavy with aggressive, bottom-lineoriented,rnresume-building administratorsrnand short of the hands-on staff thatrndispense the blessed drugs that ease pain.rnStill, there is no excuse for treating patientsrnand their needs with scorn or apathy.rnContemporary hospitals might lookrnstate-of-the-art from outside and advertiserntheir concern for humanity with zippy,rnpeppy jingles aired over local radio stations,rnbut—reflecting the values of ourrnsociety—the people who work in theserncounterfeit sanctuaries seem to care veryrnlitde about people or their miseries.rnTo escape a world where charity is notrnto be found in hospitals or anywherernelse, I plan to move someday to greenerrnpastures. The transformation of the culturernof my state into that of the Northeastrnis almost complete, so I will be migratingrneventually to the Blue Ridge Mountains,rnwhere courtesy is not considered anrnaberration and where I have retreatedrnfrom fime to time in the past. Developersrnand urbanites have begun to invadernJohn Boy’s country—Charlottesville hasrnalready fallen—and his culture too willrndisappear with time, but there are stillrnspots along the Parkway where the outragesrnof scurrying modern man andrnwoman and their issue seem to be lightyearsrnaway. When I do leave my Marylandrnand settle in Virginia, the birthplacernof my great-grandfather, Bushrod SmithrnNash, I will be considered by the localsrnjust another newcomer from up North,rnbut though their lyrical high-country accentrnwill mask my almost imperceptiblernone and they will misunderstand who Irnam, I will be happy to be back home withrnmy kinsmen.rnJoyce Bennett writes from L^onardtown,rnMaryland.rn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn