No. 1128



It is often said that givers must set limits because takers don’t have any. While you may not see it or believe it, I have just described the root cause for most of our nation’s social and economic problems, and why we are now facing a long road back.
Now, I believe you will agree that one of the major problems in our nation is what we call the “Entitlement Society,” where a high percentage of our citizens are looking for a handout of some kind. Politicians who have put the interest of these people, because they are larger in numbers, above those who are actually paying the bills is the primary reason we have a national debt of more than $20 trillion. Do you have any idea what the interest would be each year on $20 trillion, even at 3 percent?
However, our nation’s economic woes pale in comparison to the slow downward slide of the ethics, morals and character of far too many of our citizens. Please understand that what I want to share with you during our visit today is not doom and gloom and crying over spilt milk, but rather a heartfelt word of encouragement and thoughts of how we can work together to right the ship of state. The reason I know it has to be righted is by simply watching the evening news and seeing the first five to 10 segments devoted to crime, especially murder.
Personally, this is not the kind of America I want to leave to my children and grandchildren or to yours, if you have any. President John F. Kennedy had it right before he was shot and killed on that fateful day in Dallas back in 1963, when he said, “The great danger is not that the present generation will destroy our system but that we will not transmit it.” Of course he was talking about the generation of the 1960s when there was widespread unrest over the Vietnam War, which was manifested by civil unrest, free love and drugs.
To get a little perspective, all you have to do is think about the children these people produced and the generations that followed, over the next 50 years, and you will have a better understanding of why we got so far off course. Based on your age, you may or may not have insight into what I am saying. People of my generation had a lot of company or witnessed firsthand the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II and the days when you did not have to lock your doors at night, your word was your bond, and large families still had most of their meals together.
I do not totally place the fault of our nation’s downfall at the feet of the younger generation because, as Earl Nightingale used to say, “A person cannot be any better than he knows how to be.” What I am saying is totally foreign to people living today who are less than 40 years of age, because they were not around to live the life those of us in the older generation have lived. But there is one thing we have in common, and that is the fact that we are all Americans and we still have the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
What we need to be reminded of is that you can’t sink half a ship. When the ship goes down we all go down with it, and we all have an interest in making sure it does not go down. To get on the long road back will require each of us to tighten our belts a little, if we are physically able, not to expect the government to take care of us, to vote and elect people who understand what paying the price really means, and not continue to spend money we have to borrow. We must also teach our children the values of good citizenship and obey the laws of the land. Character does matter.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)