Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The beginning of the end?

I've noticed something happening during my lifetime.  There has been a slow moving change in the attitude of people in America.  A change in the attitude of entitlement.  Many people want things given to them.  While this attitude has been around forever, it seems to be growing in intensity lately.

I came to the revelation of this problem recently while surfing the Google App store for my Android phone.  I was looking for a specific app and part of my process in looking for an app is to read the reviews people have left.  This can be very helpful in determining the value of an app, or if the app is buggy, etc.  One thing in the reviews that has become a glaring example of my previous thought is the number of reviews I have read where people are complaining that an app is not free.  There is a recurring attitude in the reviews I have read that people believe they should be able to have all the apps for their phone for free.  I can't help but think "why"?  Why should someone spend their time and effort on something to simply give it to you?

Now don't get me wrong.  I am all about charity and helping the needy, but many with this attitude are not needy, but merely want something without working for it.  I see this as a troubling trend for our country.  This country was built on a strong ethic.  Pioneers who believed they could build their own future.

This attitude falls into the thinking of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.  People believing that the "1%" people should take care of the other 99%.  A "share the wealth" concept.  This seems nice in theory, but it is not practical.  I recall watching an interview with an OWSer a few weeks ago and it was rather troubling.  This man felt that someone should give him a big screen TV. (Seriously!)  When asked why someone should give him a TV, he answered "Because I want one!"  He went on to explain how utopian society would work.  It's as simple as this.  Some guy has the knowledge of how to build a TV, and he would build a TV for someone, and the receiver of the TV could say, give this guy a chicken, or a belt buckle.  The problem is that the lazy person is still lazy.  He wouldn't have a chicken, because he has an attitude of entitlement.

We have rich people in this country and we have poor people.  The poor don't need handouts, they need assistance.  They need help to be self-sufficient.  It's the entrepreneur that makes this country tick and we need to stop penalizing success.  People also need to stop the attitude of entitlement and remember that you need to work for what you get.

If this country is going to continue to prosper in the future, then we need to stop coveting our neighbor's things and be willing to put forth the effort it takes to succeed.  We live in a great country.  Opportunities still abound...for those willing to work for them.  Let's not forget the pioneering spirit that made this country great.

In 1787, Scottish History Professor Alexander Tyler said the following about Democracies. (Emphasis mine)

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage"

Our nation is going on 250 years and from what I can see, we are at stage 7.  I pray we wake up and that this is not the beginning of the end.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Time travel

It's funny how the mind works.  Today the weather is cool and breezy so after I got home from work, I opened all the windows in the house, changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and laid down on my bed to relax for a few minutes.  As soon as the breeze blew over my legs, I was instantly at my Grandma's house, on the day bed on her front porch in the summer of 1975. 

Grandma had a great front porch.  It was enclosed, but fully surrounded with windows.  The porch faced the east so evening sun was on the other end of the house.  It was always cooler on that front porch.  Grandma didn't have air conditioning so you learned to really appreciate that porch. 

Grandma's house circa 2010
In the summer, us kids could go up and spend a week at Grandma's house.  We LOVED this time at Grandma's.  While she lived in an older neighborhood in a small town, there were other kids in the neighborhood that we could play with, as well as some cousins.  On the days when the other kids weren't around, or when I was just wore out, I would relax on that front porch with all the windows open.  The breeze would come through the windows, lightly caressing my body, putting me into a relaxed state.  Like today. 

Laying there relaxing today I started thinking about those times up at Grandma's house.  You see, my Mom was a bit uptight and worried about everything, so to get away for a week was wonderful.  It was a new freedom, albeit temporary.  Grandma was pretty laid back with us grandkids.  As long as we were home for meals and home before dark, we could pretty much be on our own!  Ahh, it was awesome!  Freedom can come sparingly as a child and I really loved those times up at Grandma's. 

Grandma sold her house around 1977 and moved down to the cities, thus ending my summer times away, but I will always cherish those times.