Friday, November 22, 2013

Ask Not...

On January 20, 1961 John F Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States of America.

**Now, before I go on, let me state for the record that I am not endorsing his politics. I honestly am not even sure that I KNOW what his politics were. So, I beg of you, please do not take this as any sort of POLITICAL statement.  Instead, read this as an AMERICAN view point.**

In his inaugural address JFK spoke the following words"

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not 
what your country can do for you

—ask what you can do for your country."

This quote soon became an anthem for our nation.  An idea that, I believe, we could all benefit by turning back to. This notion of working together for the greater good of all involved. This belief that rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty for each other - and, thus, ourselves.  What a concept.

I see a growing complacency in this country that is very disturbing. It has become acceptable to rely on anyone but ourselves for our own survival. Too many people are sitting at home instead of taking jobs that they deem "beneath" themselves.  Too many people have decided that it is easier to collect government assistance than it would be to take a low paying job, thus establishing a work history which would, eventually, qualify them for a higher paying job. Too many people have forgotten that THAT is how it is supposed to work - you get a foot in the door, you qualify yourself, you gain experience and you work your way up.  Sadly, the "WORK" part of that equation is becoming a lost art.

When did working to make something of yourself become so foreign? It is almost a detestable notion, and that frightens me. This country was made great by the idea that, in America, anyone can become anything they dream of with a little hard work and ingenuity. How many great companies were founded by a few dollars, a good idea and a little hard work? It's what made this the "Land of Opportunity", after all.

My biggest concern over this trend is that the more complacent we, as citizens, are becoming, the more overbearing the administration is becoming as well. A nation founded on the idea of a government FOR the people and BY the people is rapidly becoming a people UNDER the government's rule. It stands to reason, does it not, that any entity upon which a person or persons becomes dependent, also becomes an entity which said person or persons becomes subservient to.  Anyone that we depend upon for food, housing, general welfare and standard of living also becomes an entity that we are forced to answer to.  If you are dependent upon a parent for these things, you follow their rules - we all learned this as children.  If you are dependent upon an employer for these things, you follow their guidelines for your paycheck - we learn this in our first jobs.  However, this is not a notion that was ever intended to apply to our government!   We were not intended to answer to THEM in how we live our lives (aside from obeying the laws, etc...), they were intended to listen to WE THE PEOPLE in the choices they make. Not the other way around!!!

I am not, in any way, opposed to government aid. I have used it. I have many loved ones who have used it. Many that I love use it today. But, for all intents and purposes, it was never meant to be more than a hand UP, not the hand OUT that so many are using it for today.  And, clearly, when used for the wrong purposes, it becomes harder to supply, therefore harder to receive and then, eventually, non existence.

The thing that frightens me the most is that the general rule of supply and demand dictates that we cannot go in this way.  To use the "classes" as a general idea, for purposes of demonstrating my point only, let's look at it this way:  If the "lower class" decides that it's easier to just stay home and wait for someone else to take care of them rather than take a job that they deem "beneath" them, there is a whole portion of the economic system out of place.  When no one is taking the entry level (or "lower class") jobs, it becomes more expensive to produce goods and services. When that becomes more expensive the "middle class" are the first to get downsized. Therefore, the "middle class" becomes the new "lower class" and now NO ONE is doing the work.  And, when no one is doing the work, the "upper class"are no longer selling their goods and services so they stop producing and, therefore, stop earning and now they are "middle class" on the fast track to "lower class" themselves. And, now, the only ones who ARE working are those in government and administration. And now they hold ALL the cards and can rule over the general public any way they see fit. Because they are providing for our needs .. until, because no one is working and therefore no one is getting payed or paying taxes, there is no money left for ANYONE'S provisions!!!

See how that works? The first step to becoming a dependent society is by throwing away the liberties that we take for granted. And a dependent society is nothing more than a dictatorship in which we will all be found standing in line for bread while we tell our children what it was like when America was free.

We need our work ethic back America. We need our resolve back.We need our pride back.  We need our NATION back. And we need to remember that this Freedom that we take for granted was never really free at all. It was fought for with the lives and the lifeblood of our forefathers and it needs to be protected as the sacred treasure that it is.  We owe them ... and each other ... at least that much.

So, let's teach our children - again - that hard work and ingenuity are the keys to success. Tell them that they can become what they want to be if they work hard for it and don't hurt anyone else along the way. Tell them that the only job that is "beneath" them is to have no job at all. And remind them that we are all in this together.  Because we are ya know.

So, ask not what your country (or government) can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country ... and your neighbor and your family and your friends and for this world in general.

And, I gotta say it - you know me!!! - GOD Bless America ... and America, can we please Bless God?!

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