Last Sunday the Pastor posed the question of what we would consider to be necessities in today’s life. He gave some statistics from an earlier, time, maybe 50 or so years ago, wherein there were only about 19 things listed whereas in the current time were listed about 98 items. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but those are close. Wow, 98 items considered necessities for an American.
Well, me being me, when he said “necessities” I immediately began thinking of survival, as opposed to microwave ovens and hand-held devices. The first item on my list was a good knife as I figured with a good knife I could either build or kill my way into most everything else. With some effort, after reaching only about five essential items on my list, I quit the inventory and got back to the sermon. Since then, though, I’ve had a chance to reflect on that question and the meaning of it to our society.
It came to me that our inability as Americans to survive in meager circumstances, or put another way, our dependence on technology, gadgets and the government, is evidence of the decay of character in our society. By that, I mean, our inability to be independent, innovative and willing to put up with hardship reflects how truly weak we have become. Our lack of perseverance in the face of adversity is evidence of our impotence. Unless we are surrounded by what many in the world would consider sumptuousness, we don’t believe we can make it.
If we don’t get our water out of a tap from a government approved water system, where will we get it? If we don’t get our protein from the local mega-store, sliced, diced, shrink-wrapped and priced, how do we get it and process it? If the burners on the range don’t work, or if we at least can’t get charcoal for the grill, how do we cook it? Need vegetables? How do they grow? Where do we get seed? When our shoes wear out, what do we do? When it’s cold outside, how do we stay warm?
I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.
Being innovative and imaginative is essential whether you’re in downtown Houston or central Nebraska. Skills of observation and patience are not natural talents, but acquired skills; both are essential and both can be acquired through discipline. The ability to reason and employ a rational, decision making process is needed in order to survive and thrive. Again, that is an acquired skill. Determination, grit if you will, is a trait to be cherished, not erased.
Why do I address this idea of necessities and survival in this column? What, you may ask, does that have to do with Taking Back America?
Our nation was founded by independent free-thinkers who were able to craft in their collective imaginations the essence of liberty. That imagination did not come from a dependence on the Crown of England to provide for their every need, but a willingness to be innovative; a willingness to persevere in the face of scarcity; a willingness to survive. The lack of that spirit is at the heart of the troubles we now face in America.
Health care issues; let the government fix them. Poor education in our schools, the government will fix it. Lack of discipline in the schools, we will regulate that by the government, too. Economy is weak; the government will provide for us. Coffee too hot at McDonald’s, let’s file a lawsuit. Offended by someone’s callous comments, get legislation to make that a hate crime. Don’t want to pray in public, make sure nobody else can either through lawsuits and legislation. Too lazy to work, go on welfare. Too lazy to get job training, get welfare. Want to make the stupid decision to quit school; that’s ok, there’s welfare for that, too. Have babies out of wedlock because of dumb decisions; that’s ok, we will give you money, medical care, food stamps and tell you it is a personal decision (even though tax money from productive citizens supports your dumb choices).
Whatever the problems we may face, the government will take care of us; cradle to grave. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.
We have lost our independent spirit. We have lost the ability to innovate. We have lost the desire to stand on our own. We no longer want to be self-sufficient. We no longer teach our children what discipline is and why it is important. In short, we have become a nation of parasites.
Fortunately, not all of us are parasites as there are still enough productive tax payers out there to support the rest who are, but the numbers are dwindling. The decisions being made in congress will continue the crippling of our society until finally, the parasites will be the majority. And, when the parasites are the majority, we will be finished.
As for me, though, I’ll take a good knife.