Much has been said about the path of our country and whether or not we are headed in the right direction. I would like to share with you my perspective on the path we, as a nation, have embarked upon. To do so I must begin with the history of what we were, how many of us still are, and how we continue to view ourselves.
I have repeatedly heard it said that the USA is the most generous nation in the world. We see ourselves as a nation of generous people quick to lend a hand in times of trial or tragedy. To a certain extent this is still true, though what constitutes trial or tragedy appears to have changed from an illness or loss of job to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
We were once a nation of self-sufficient people determined to carve out their own destiny from the hard earth beneath their feet. They faced hardships head on and accepted that life was a challenge to be risen to. We once understood that what you earned for yourself was of far more value that what was handed to you and we worked and sacrificed in order to make a better life for ourselves and our children. We were a nation of people who would go without so another could have. We would assist when someone fell on hard times. We would open our homes to family members in need of our aid and help them get back on their own feet. We understood the pride of earning what we had and would find ways to assist an individual that allowed him to keep his pride intact. Most importantly, and most definitively we would sacrifice our own lives in order to save the life of another. This is who we were.
Although we would still like to view ourselves in that soft light, that is no longer who we are. So what have we become instead? We are now a nation of people willing to delegate our responsibilities to another to uphold. We cry for our fellow man to bail us out of situations we created for ourselves. We sacrifice our children's future for a more comfortable present for ourselves. We spend money we don't have on things we don't need and wonder why there's not money for what we truly require. We believe our government when it tells us we are owed something and we expect somebody else to pay for it. We embrace new social programs but we cry out in anger when we are expected to foot the bill. We tell our officials and ourselves that we should not be responsible, that the man next door is more able to afford it so he should be the one to pay. Instead of sacrificing ourselves for others, we now sacrifice others for ourselves. Instead of liberating the oppressed as we have always done, we now trade our own liberty for a creature comfort we are more than capable of earning for ourselves with the hard work and perseverance that served us so well in the past. We expect things to be fast and easy and throw in the towel when they turn out to be long and difficult tasks. Life is no longer a challenge to be risen to, but a reason to protest. Instead of sacrificing so our children are cared for, we sacrifice our children on the altar of our own convenience and comfort.
We are steadily moving down the path from being the most generous nation in the world to being the most selfish and this quite literally breaks my heart. I love this nation and her people. I love the true American principle that with hard work and perseverance you can change your life and forge your own destiny. I believe in what we once were and with all my heart and soul I want to see us turn back on our current path and return to the selfless generosity we once possessed. I believe that the USA is still the shining city upon a hill, the beacon of hope and liberty to the world, but there are those among us who wish to douse that flame of hope and liberty. They wish us to follow instead of lead and they wish us to sacrifice our liberty for new government programs. They wish us to abdicate our American right and privilege of self-government so that we can be taken care of. A concept that would have filled the people we once were with outrage and disgust.
I pray with every fiber of my being that we, as a nation, remember who we were meant to be. That we are designed to be a nation who takes care of ourselves and neither needs nor seeks to have a keeper in our state or federal governments. We are a free people and we do still control our own destinies if only we would remember to do so.
May that beacon of hope forever shine in the glorious city upon a hill.