As we gather for family or neighborhood picnics to celebrate the Fourth of July, it'll be easy for conversations to turn ugly. After all, Independence Day isn't what it used to be.
Rather than me blogging on, I'll cede my pulpit to skinnied down, pithy insight from John Horvat II, a researcher, educator and international speaker on the U.S. socio-economic crisis. As he puts it, everyone around the picnic table seems ready and willing to complain about everything – well, not everyone.
“The problem is big government!” one exclaims. “We need to just get rid of big government and that'll solve everything.”
“It’s taxes! That’s what killing us," argues another. "We need to cut taxes across the board. I can’t make my new car payments, student loans or pay my mortgage.”
“I can’t make it anymore on my Social Security,” an older baby boomer chimes in. “It’s not right.”
No doubt, you've heard those grumbling before, perhaps even from your own lips.
A different, seasoned perspective
As the bellyaching dies down, a frail grandfather and veteran of World War II offers this fresh insight: “Yes, government has changed. But, we’ve changed, too.
“When I was growing up, families looked after their own members. We didn’t need or want handouts. We managed, even if we didn’t have the latest gadgets or the best car. When there were problems, everyone pitched in. Times were hard, but we were happier.
“Today, it’s all about money. Back then, money didn’t rule everything. People had honor. They were faithful to their spouses and family. People weren’t afraid to be leaders and accept responsibility.
“We knew the difference between our government and our country. Politicians are one thing, and America is another.
"Today, people treat our county like a corporation where they expect only dividends. When the going gets tough, everyone abandons her and sells off their shares. That’s not right.
“No, America should be more like a family. When the family’s in trouble, everyone pitches in.
"I pitched in. I served my country because America is my country and I love her. Many of my buddies served too … and some didn’t return.
“I’m sorry for rambling on but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. We need to turn to God again. We used to say ‘Give us this day our daily bread . . ..’
"Now, everyone turns to the government. They don’t even know how to ask God for things, or what to ask for.
“We complain about government. But we’ve become just like the government we criticize. We’ve got the government we deserve. We should get our own ships in shape. We need to return to order.”
So when the rockets soar into the night and burst in air, think about how marvelous and unique America is compared to the rest of the world. Be filled with pride. Be thankful you live here.
Be thankful that a great many citizens and soldiers still labor to keep bloodshed from darkening our doors. Be thankful for this very special, unusual place called America.
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