As I watch news stories, global political intrigues and the domestic disaster befalling our nation – broken families, perverted sexuality, murder of babies, profanity-laced discourse – I can’t help but wonder if, as a people, we are not willingly ignorant of the repercussions of our choices. It seems so.
In a recent conversation with a friend, we wondered if America is becoming as uneducated, unaware and unreasonable as many other countries in the world. This column emerged as a result of that philosophical discussion.
Are we uneducated? The school systems are woefully deficient in true education and many are now deliberately rewriting history to influence our concepts of life and what matters in the few short years we exist here (after which, of course, according to them, we die and that’s it). Regardless of the school we attended, regardless of good or bad teachers, regardless of “opportunity” issues or perhaps limited access to higher levels of learning, there is more information online than we could read in a lifetime, so no longer can we claim lack of education as a reason for our condition.
With the advent of unlimited information on the Internet today, what possible excuse can there be for anyone over the age of 16 not to know history and all the implications of what has gone before, not only in America but around the world? We have hundreds of years of history here and thousands of years of history abroad to teach us how to live, and how not to; how to live successfully, and not unwittingly (or willingly) destroy the very blessings, if not gifts, handed to us by bitter, hard-won experience. Willingly ignorant?
Are we unaware? We can choose to make ourselves aware of the dynamics around us and decide what we want from life, what we need from society and what we must do to bring about the qualities that define “the pursuit of happiness.” Conversely, living in a daze, unaware of the manipulations of our leaders, looking away to meaningless activity and existing in a state of “nowhere” does nothing to enhance life for us individually or collectively. It’s time to show up and engage our thoughts and actions, for good.
Living intentionally, and consciously, is a choice we all make, or don’t. We can pretend we, as a nation, are not in dire straits – politically, morally, socially and spiritually – and continue to spend our days and nights staring at mindless television and running from realities we think we can’t affect. Or we can actually think about where we are today in America, how we got here, and how we can change what isn’t working. Otherwise, we are willingly ignorant and deserve what we get.
Are we unreasonable? More and more, there is less and less we can identify as “reasonable,” which the dictionary defines as “sound judgment; not exceeding the limit prescribed by reason; moderate; not expensive; capable of rational behavior.” Do any of these definitions describe our culture today? Even one? We are becoming an unreasonable people, unable to constrain certain behaviors and conversation, blathering on about void and empty concepts and TV celebrities who make much noise but offer little in substantive ideas for course correction.
An astonishing observation I make of late is the mind-bending decisions made by our leadership at both state and federal levels – decisions that every day determine the course of our lives, and mostly without any input from us. Throw in the myriad moral insanities, the unreasonable political correctness that stifles every thought and word in our discourse, our willingness to go along with, and accept, the notions, laws and rationale from our “leaders” and “educators,” and life in America is rapidly becoming unreasonable.
America is a God-breathed idea. We have fought since 1607 to bring to the world those principles in life that He intended would bring not only peace and fulfillment for us all but, at the risk of sounding corny, principles that would become a lifeline for the world – principles of self-government, an example of how to do it right, how to prosper and make life work well for everyone. All it takes is the willingness to learn the mechanics of our government, be honest with ourselves about ourselves and choose the high road that will bring us back to what we once were and could be again.
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