This nation was built on hard work by enterprising people — people who only wanted an opportunity, and with that opportunity were willing to work hard and sacrifice to make the most of it. They knew what they were working toward and were willing to pay the price to reach their goal. Handouts, free rides, get-rich-quick schemes, and not pulling your own weight were discouraged by society as a whole, not celebrated or condoned as seems to be the case today.
Things like work ethics, courage, reliability, honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith and commitment are values that were ingrained in our nature at one time. Is it any wonder, as we strayed from those values, we find ourselves in the mess we’ve created today. From the time I was a youngster, it was these values passed down from my parents and grandparents that were forced upon them by the Great Depression. We can only hope these strong moral values find their way back into our future as perhaps a byproduct of what we are about to go through.
This country has always been at its best when we’re all pulling in the same direction, at the same time. Until we return to the values that made us strong, get everyone truly pulling in the same direction and fairly sharing the burden, eliminate the free rides/entitlements and see a return of honesty, integrity and respect, we are destined to flounder in blame, self-righteousness, and a widening of the financial divide that is at the root of our issues today.
While the problems are most apparent right now at the federal level, it will begin quickly to trickle down to the local level as dollars become scarce and borrowing gets even more difficult. As a nation, state and individual communities, we must all take a more active role in voicing who we send to elected office and how our tax dollars are spent.
I have no doubt our country will find its way through this difficult period. Let’s hope the lessons we learn and scars we’ll wear will help us build a better future for our children and grandchildren, giving them a better grasp on the hope and optimism our parents and grandparents gave to us that we let slip away.
Dan Alexander is publisher and owner of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.