Sunday, March 11, 2018

Who is entitled to what?

I was struck by a thought the other day as I watched and listened to the world pass by. I attended a home improvement show near the home town that is a yearly major event. It features all the vendors and things one can do to improve their home with all the products and services one could hope for. It was attended by people of all ages, income levels and backgrounds. It was a true mish-mash of our culture.

What struck me was how much we have in this country. Sure, there are pockets of poverty spread throughout. There always has been from the earliest days of our nation. There likely always will be. With that being said, think about the current situations we live with. Years ago our mothers and fathers jumped at the chance to defend this country in the face of world-wide oppression. World War II was the largest conflict in the history of mankind. Yet these people, farmers, tradesmen, whites, blacks and immigrants from all over the world who had either been born here or came to these shores lined up to serve and possibly die.

What were they defending? At the time they were coming out of the worst financial depression that had ever gripped the nation. They were only sixty to seventy years removed from the Civil War and blacks from the oppression of slavery. Social and racial injustice was still an ongoing national strife. But from this group, a group of people that had just enough to survive, maybe just a bit more, these people stood up and rallied together to overcome the tyranny that was true oppression.

What I find now are several generations that have one of the highest standards of living in the world. If they so choose, they want for nothing. Years ago if you were poor you had no resources to even eat. Now, even for the poor resources are plentiful. Yet what do I hear? I hear voices raised in discontent, not always due to social issues but, 'I'm not getting my share'. 'What's in it for me?'

I'm coming to the point in my life now that I want to turn a deaf ear to those who rail against others who have more. No one owes you anything material in life, not the government, not anyone. What you should expect is the opportunity to succeed and be treated fairly by everyone else. Guess what? This is the real world and although it would be nice if it worked that way, it isn't going to. It would seem even the poorest in our society have televisions and cell phones and creature comforts that those who lived several generations ago could not even imagine, and yet they are ungrateful. So what does that mean? If you want it, go out and earn it yourself. There will be obstacles in the way. That's the way life works. Don't want to overcome obstacles? Then don't complain about others who did.