National headlines from the past news week have undoubtedly set most Americans on edge. Shocking scenes of the tragedy at the Boston marathon finish line and the fiery images after the explosion of a fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas leave us all bewildered and baffled in the aftermath of unspeakable human suffering. Similar tragedies such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Indonesia’s tsunami, and countless others leave us wondering where we can turn for peace. Perhaps you have specific sources of comfort on which to rely.
May I suggest some universal truths that apply to all?
Unfortunately, our destructive politically correct society has dictated the way we are “supposed” to react and respond to life’s tragic events. Thank goodness many Americans in Boston, Waco and countless other great American cities ignored that memo this week. How refreshing it was to see the streets of Boston lined with selfless Americans forming a gauntlet and linking arms while singing “God Bless America”, praising the first responders, and supporting the victims of that tragedy. Their automatic reaction was a testimony to human nature and the true American spirit that blasted meaningless PC nonsense and further verified that human behavior cannot, and never will be, mandated just because a few “feel good” politicians deem it so through legislation.
Anyone remotely familiar with history is no doubt reminded of the universal truths that made America the greatest nation in world history. Through the U.S. Constitution, wise founders prepared for the frailties and selfishness of man by preparing a document unrivaled by any other nation. It is a system of checks and balances that prevents kings, dictators and imperialists from controlling a free people. Our Constitution brilliantly provides for man’s innate desire to be free and pursue his/her own happiness through liberty and the dictates of his/her own conscience. It has been the envy of every other nation. Why has it lasted so long? Why is it being threatened today? Will it survive?
Something that I have observed with each terror attack, or horrid crime committed, is how the government attempts to band-aid the situation after the fact. Everyone rushes to the scene after the damage has been done. The shocked media then puzzles away. “What happened? What possibly could have prevented this tragic event?” The answer is in our history books. It lies in the universal truths about different forms of government and the governed – Rome, England, Greece, France, China, etc. What do they all have in common? All world super powers crumbled and failed because of interesting similarities: an obsession with the rich and famous, with sports and entertainment and loss of moral compass. They wanted to be taken care of… They wanted things to be easy – a “give it to me now” entitlement mentality. Sound familiar?
To cure what ails us in these uncertain times, there’s a simple solution to achieve a higher degree of personal peace. Not easy, but simple.
Individual responsibility, integrity, respect and love of fellow man, and hard work. That’s it. Imagine how the world would change instantly if everyone truly adopted those universal principles. Or even made an effort! Until we take responsibility for our own character flaws, stop blaming others for our misfortunes, and correct our own selfish desires, we imperfect humans will allow other imperfect humans to govern us. There are those who “think” they know the rules better and they should be able to imposed them upon us. Is that a free country? (Incidentally, America isn’t even ranked in the top 20 “most free” nations in the world. And you thought we were #1, right?)
There are those who complain that Capitalism and the American ideal is somehow evil and does not work, even though history shows that more people have risen from poverty and squalor because of Capitalism than any other system. But it is not without a price. Capitalism and a free Republic can only be successful with an honest and self-governing people.
Democracy is a tough business. Maintaining a thriving Republic is even tougher. Most of us have never experienced anything but freedom and prosperity and cannot fathom anything but. How can we expect it to survive if each of us refuses to take an active role in preserving it? What will you sacrifice to insure a prosperous future for your children? If “you’re just too busy” or “politics just isn’t your thing”, then don’t complain when your freedoms are further eroded and safety is compromised. Today’s peace signs will be allotted to you as the government sees fit. Don’t be surprised when your parental rights are slowly usurped by that same government.
The great news is- though a small window – you and I still have a little time. Within our four walls we can affect change by teaching our children and grandchildren personal responsibility, integrity and hard work; not to sit around and wait for someone to come “save” them. They are capable of anything they can dream of. They can do it themselves. They need to hear it from you every day. And that, my fellow Americans, is where we can turn for peace.