Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Us against them
It is so easy to blame all of our societal ills on our duly elected leaders. Us against them. "They" just keep spending money. "They" raise the debt ceiling. "They" protect the banking industries and mortgage companies. "They" are evil. We are merely innocent pawns in their multi-billion (or is that trillion?) dollar chess game.
Not so fast. The reality of life is "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". The more we yell about how tough life is, the more they throw money at us. The more money they throw at us, the more we yell. And on it goes. We are so concerned about getting what we want for ourselves that we have forgotten that you don't get something for nothing. There is a price to be paid for everything, whether it is a "free" lunch for our children at school or a low interest rate on a mortgage we can't really afford. We scream for the government to supply us with a paycheck when we are unemployed because it's not our fault we can't find a job. We scream for the government to "help" us with our grocery's because times are tough and we can't provide for ourselves. We scream for the state to pay for our hospital stays because medical costs are too much for an individual or family to bear. We want subsidized housing, agriculture and education. We want the state to pay for schools, special needs programs and youth sporting events. We expect special services provided by the state when we have children with hearing problems, chronic medical issues and mental health concerns. And then we wonder why our country is going broke.
Ultimately, all change begins with us. We can keep voting one person after another out of office, but not a thing will change. Nothing will change until we quit putting our hand out. Nothing will change until we take responsibility for our own lives and our own choices. Nothing will change until we choose to care for our own children, our own parents and our own selves. Until we are ready to do the hard things, we are willingly putting ourselves at the mercy of a corrupt government. Until we are willing to pay for our own hospital bills, our own mortgages, our own children's lunches and our own children's hearing aides, we are responsible for destroying our own country. We are responsible, not "them".
We will live. We will live without a constant influx of other people's money. It will hurt. It will reduce our standard of living. But so what?! It is during times of famine and times of want that truly great people are molded. It is during adversity that character is built. Be that person. Choose to be a standard. Choose to take responsibility, regardless of what Fred, down the road is doing. It starts with one person, with one family, with one neighborhood. It starts with you saying "no". No to a free lunch. No to welfare. No to medicaid. No to a corrupt government. Say "no" to a handout and "yes" to true freedom. It isn't really us against them. It is us against us.