No. 161



One of the things I love about small children is that they are totally, and often, brutally honest. The former radio and television personality Art Linkletter made a good living interviewing kids who always said, "The Darndest Things." A good example is the story I heard about the mother who gave little Johnny a dime to put in the collection plate during Sunday School. After Church the mother asked, "Johnny, did you put your money in the collection plate?" He said, "No, me and the devil are gonna have us some bubble gum."

While little Johnny may not have pleased his mother, at least he was honest, which is more than we can say about a lot of politicians these days. If you are concerned about the breakdown of ethical character, integrity and basic morality in our country, I have some things to share that I hope you will seriously consider.

In view of all the scandals that have taken place the past few years, it's obvious we must return to the basic morality and ideals of our forefathers. There has been and always will be sin, but even during my lifetime I have seen it move from the discreet, to the big screen, the tube, the tabloid, the front page and now the Internet.

Please understand, I don't have any political axes to grind and it does not make any difference to me which party they belong to, or their gender or national origin. I can say with complete honesty, I just want what's best for America and the American people.

The question in my mind is, "What kind of nation will we have in the 21st century if we don't return to basic morality and character values that made it possible for the United States Of America to become the greatest nation on earth."

What every American needs to realize, if they don't already, is that we are not "independent" but rather we are "interdependent." This means in the long run we must depend on each other. When we see people who are dishonest, won't pay their bills, tell lies, fail to pay their taxes and commit acts of gross immorality, it affects every person in this country. If left unchecked, this kind of behavior just lowers our standards and we all ultimately pay the price.

While I don't know how you feel about it, I love people who are genuine. This is to say they are real and don't engage in half-truths and double talk. I'm sure you know that a half-truth is still a lie. When it comes to the right way to live, to act and to treat our fellow human beings we have something that will serve as a guide that I would like to call "the genuine article." You know it as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and ever since the days when God gave them to Moses on Mt. Sinai, they have been the basic moral code that has guided all civilized people.

If you have not read THE TEN COMMANDMENTS in some time, why not take a moment and read them here. If you will read each one slowly and think about what it means, I believe you will agree that America can take a giant leap forward if we will take them serious and began to obey them again.

1. You shall have NO other Gods before me. 2. You shall NOT make for yourself any idol or graven image. 3. You shall NOT take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. 5. Honor your father and mother so that your days may be long. 6. You shall NOT murder. 7. You shall NOT commit adultery. 8. You shall NOT steal. 9. You shall NOT bear false witness against your neighbor. 10. You shall NOT covet. I hope your life is a source of hope and inspiration to those who know you best. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)