Enough is enough! How many times have we said it and have many times have we heard it? What exactly does it mean? 

There was a time that most of us will remember when the high ethical and moral standards were so deeply instilled in us that very rarely would we even consider straying away from them. The risk of reprimand and repercussion from our elders was far too great. 

And even if we dare attempt something out of the ordinary, we felt uncomfortable. Something just didn’t feel right. Fast forward to 2013 and we don’t need to look very far for examples of things gone terribly wrong:  

Young ladies scantily clothed in the grocery store, the movie theatre, in church, or any place in public — clear signs of little self-respect. 

• An adolescent comes home excessively late. The justification: just be glad he’s home and nothing bad happened to him. 

• Employees who show up consistently late to work and meetings — the justification is that we don’t know what they had to go through to get there so let’s just be glad they showed up. 

• Someone we know does something “unthinkable”.  The justification? Well, he had a very bad childhood and it’s really no wonder he hasn’t done anything like this sooner.  

What would have happened to you, had you let out a curse word in the presence of your parents or elders? Some of you, even now in your adulthood can feel the pain that would have been inflicted within a millisecond. But now, in 2013, children and adults spout off foul language in general conversation, no matter who is in their presence. Little is said other than a yell to the offender of “hey, hey, hey!” 

Inappropriate conduct left unaddressed is likely to be repeated over and over again. I’m sick of excuses and continue to be amazed at the manner in which some people and situations are dealt with.

Like an overgrown tree which causes problems to other trees, property or foliage around it, we can trim branches but until we uproot and removing it or replant it where it can flourish — that is, unless we deal with people directly — nothing will change.  

Yes we all know that the one person we are most responsible for changing is ourselves, but we are surrounded by others who contaminate our space with all manner of inappropriateness, and it’s not alright to let it slide. When we do that we are giving in to silent approval. 

It’s time to raise the standards bar and insist that people meet the expectations.

Shawnette Somner is a mother and educator. Email: ss911@myhome.bm