When you look around at American society today, what do you see?
I see a nation of people that have lost their self-reliance.
When I was growing up in the 1950s (yeah, I’m THAT old!), most people took pride in being self-reliant. People had jobs and provided for their families. Regardless of what the job was, most Americans took pride in their work and they were proud to be the head of the household.
Since that time, our sense of pride has diminished and along with it our self-reliance. This really came to my attention when I saw the video below that was produced the year I was born, 1951. Please take a few minutes to watch it and reflect on our society today.
The video listed four aspects of being self-reliant and I would like to add a little commentary to each of those.
1. Assume Responsibility – Sometimes I refer to the current generation as the ‘Not Me’ generation. No one wants to assume any responsibility for their actions. Have you ever caught someone in the act of doing something and the first thing they do is claim innocence, even though they know you caught them red handed?
Perhaps one of the best examples we have at the moment is President Barack Obama. He’s never accepted responsibility for anything negative, but he’s real fast on the draw to take responsibility for something positive even if he had nothing to do with it. He still blames George Bush for the economic problems we are having, when in fact our entire economic fiasco was the product of Bill Clinton initially, but escalated by Obama in the past 4 years.
Obama will stand and say to the nation that he will not entertain any of the Republican proposals unless they include his demands. Then he turns around and blames the Republicans for being unwilling to compromise.
When millions of Americans fail to accept responsibility for themselves, they turn to the government to be responsible for them. Consequently, more people become too lazy to work, unemployment goes up, welfare goes up, crime goes up, alcohol and drug abuse goes up and the traditional Christian values we once had go down, along with our self-respect. If Americans don’t respect themselves or their neighbors, then who’s left?
2. Be Informed – I can’t tell you how many people I know who tell me that they don’t watch or listen to the news because it’s always depressing. They don’t read the newspaper and they ignore the plethora of news sites on the internet. They end up not having a clue as to what is happening to our nation or the people around them. They end up making decisions based on emotions or misinformation rather than being informed themselves.
This was never more evident than during the 2012 election. Interview after interview demonstrated that a large number of people didn’t really know anything about the candidates or the issues other Obama was black. That was the main reason so many people voted for him. When they were asked about the economy, they thought Obama was doing a great job and everything was well on the way to recovery. They believed the lies told by Obama and his campaign people without checking them out. They had no idea that Obama was guilty of many of the same things that he was accusing Mitt Romney of doing.
People who stay informed generally are those that become successful in life and able to make wise decisions. People who stay uninformed generally find themselves at the mercy of those that are informed.
3. Know Where You’re Going – How can anyone not know where they’re going if they aren’t informed or take responsibility for themselves? Millions of college students are going thousands of dollars in debt without having a clue what they really want to do after college. When they hit the job market, they still don’t know what they want to do or be when they grow up. Many people with no direction in their lives end up going nowhere other than welfare or prison.
4. Make Your Own Decisions – If you assume responsibility for yourself, keep yourself informed and know where you are going, it makes your decisions easier and wiser. People that blame others, have no clue what’s going on and have no direction in their lives end up as losers and drain on society. They become incapable of making a decision and those that they do make are often the wrong ones because they are clueless.
However, there is one caveat I have to add to this item and that is turn to God first to help you make that decision. I’ve made my share of bad decisions over the years. I took responsibility for myself, I kept well informed and I had a direction for my life, and still some of my decisions were the wrong ones. I failed to trust in God. Yeah, I would pray about my decisions, but I prayed that God would bless MY decision, not that I would submit to His will and direction for my life. When I finally did, He worked in ways that still send my head spinning, but I know for certain they were the right decisions because they were His decisions, not mine.
If most Americans would follow these four steps, they would find that their lives would be so much fuller and rewarding. Chances are they would become more self-sufficient and would have to rely on the government less and less. With self-reliance comes pride in one’s self along with confidence. The person can hold their head up and say they are taking care of themselves and their families, perhaps for the very first time. That’s a feeling that warms your heart and soul from the inside, especially when you are doing it with God’s help.
If most Americans would follow these four steps, we would have a whole different culture in America today. Less people on welfare. Less people in prison. And we wouldn’t have a socialist Muslim in the White House who is hell bent on destroying the America we love!