Watching the Winter Olympics is such an inspiration to me. Skilled and talented athletes who strive not just to win a medal, but to achieve their personal best at their chosen sport are exciting to watch and a pleasure to root for. Sometimes that personal best is not enough to win a medal, but it is always the goal of the athlete to do better this time than last time, and to do better next time than this. We cheer that determination for excellence in our athletes, but sadly, America does not encourage that same spirit in our everyday lives.
Last week a government agency declared that the Affordable Care Act encourages people to work less (or not to work at all) because they would rather the government pay for their health insurance than work harder to make more money, so they can pay for it on their own. This is a very sad statement about the complacent culture that has spread throughout America. When did it become acceptable to stop struggling to achieve personal best in our lives? What happened to people working toward the goals of achieving the American dream? Why have we let the lazy and corrupt infiltrate our culture with mediocrity? How do we get back on the path toward excellence? The answers to these questions are not easy, because answering them requires seeking truth. Truth can be ugly, but it is always the best way.
The beginning of our downfall came with the government’s implementation of Social Security. At that point, government began to discourage Citizens from saving their own money. The last time America was truly united in spirit was during World War II. Since the middle 1940’s individuals have pursued personal gain and have ignored the growing and over-reaching government. In these last 70 years an unfathomable amount of laws and regulations have been passed and implemented; each one taking away a little bit of our freedom.
Schools and their government handlers have encouraged sloth among our young people by allowing them to fail and promoting them anyway. They are told they must have a college education in order to have any sort of success in life. When young people graduate, very few of them are able to find a job; mostly because even though they are educated, many of them do not have the skills necessary to do a job. The importance of a college education is fallacy. Perhaps in elitist circles it is important, but here in the real world if you don’t know how to do anything, you are not going to go very far. Innovation comes from imagination, and imagination is discouraged by our entire educational system. Students spend too much time in the classroom being indoctrinated into socialist ideas and little or no time learning the basics they will need in life. Students who cannot read, write or do arithmetic should not be promoted to the next grade, but they are. Students who are not capable of simple problem-solving and life skills (like balancing a check book) should not be able graduate to the next level of education. When teachers do not have the ability to do these things; we cannot expect them to teach others. Through the indoctrination of the socialist agenda in our schools, we have cultivated an entire culture of slothful people who have no common sense nor do they have any idea of personal responsibility.
We have allowed lazy and corrupt individuals to set themselves up in places of power and influence. Government bureaucracies on every level from local dog catcher’s office up to the office of the President have become swollen with people who manage to line their own pockets with tax-payer’s hard earned dollars while growing their power over the Citizenry. America was designed to be a Nation with a powerful Citizenry and a limited government, but we have turned that around by allowing bureaucrats and unions to expand their power. The American People cannot sustain the bureaucracies and unions (period). Hard-working individuals who abide by the laws and pay their taxes are becoming a thing of the past. We have a growing culture of people who expect to be paid for doing nothing. Sooner or later, innovative, hard-working individuals will take their imaginations and their skills to other countries, and America will wallow in the muck of it’s own apathy.
The driving force behind the apathy of the people of this nation is the media. With a few exceptions, most of the media is more interested in distracting the Citizenry from the truth of what is going on than actually reporting the truth. We have made celebrities out of pseudo-journalists who make their stories more about themselves than the subject they are supposedly covering. They rush in to “interview” people with nothing more in mind than exploiting an angle that may (or may not) get them better ratings (or a cushier place in the media food-chain). The media have become the propaganda machine of the increasingly power-hungry government and it seems their sole purpose is to deflect the Nation’s attention so we do not see as they destroy our Freedom. In order to be free, a nation must have a media that puts emphasis on truth and avoids the pitfalls of self-promoting manipulators, exploitative attention-seekers and liars.
Olympic athletes struggle to hone their talents and skills. They train every day to reach that element of perfection that will help them attain a personal best. They will give proper credit to their trainers, coaches and families for helping and supporting them in their journey. But, they know that all the help in the world does not get them that medal; it takes personal responsibility, hard work and the desire to be the best. Sometimes circumstances beyond their control keep them from standing on the podium to have that medal placed around their necks. The athletes who reach their personal best but come short of the medal will go back to work. For the next 4 years they will train harder and they will focus more intently. They will look beyond the personal best they achieved today and elevate the bar for tomorrow. They will place expectations on their own abilities and strive for excellence. The truth is, we need to cultivate that same attitude in every aspect of American life. The truth is, we need to turn our backs on people who promote apathy and require those who expect to be paid for doing nothing to get off their butts and go to work. The truth is, our freedom depends on us! America has a personal best and we will achieve it if we stand strong and stand together to do so. Once we reach that excellence, we must be willing to maintain it by surpassing it each day. Circumstances are keeping America from excelling. It is high-time we change those circumstances and make sure they are in our favor.
May God bless us with the wisdom, strength and courage to fight the evil that is taking America down the dark path to socialism.