November 6, 2009

What We've Lost Is Our Character

Reasonable hard working people still exist in America. Typically one can find them staring in disbelief at the television screen late at night after working a long hard day. They see the parade of wasted human potential that makes up a good portion of their fellow citizens and wonder what in the world has happened to this country. While there are always many facets to complicated problems there is a thread that runs through many of this nations problems. It is character; or in our case the lack thereof.

There was a time not that long ago; I know because I still remember it and I'm not THAT old; when a man was judged by his character. We were taught that your word and your honor was all that you had that no one could take from you. It was the most important thing in a man's life. From this foundation all other aspects of his life evolved. The success or failure of his work, his faith, his relationships are all determined by the strength or weakness of his character. This fundamental aspect of human nature has been the bedrock of the rugged individualism that has allowed this country to thrive in liberty; for one must have character to keep liberty. Lack of character requires another source of discipline to fill the void and tyrannical governments are all too happy to accomodate.

One could always find lack of character in some individuals but the extent to which it is lacking today is shocking. The following is but one example, many others can be found in almost any organization in America, from Congress to so-called religious groups to the much maligned journalists painting the pages of dying rags across this great land. This involves one of our favorite pastimes meant to distract us from this very Last weekend a college team was playing and one of their young men; and he is a man, not a boy, not a kid, a voting age, drinking age, warring age American man; was involved in a pile up at the end of the play. This young man then proceeded to try and force his hand into the ball carriers facemask with the obvious intent of gouging the eyes of the victim. Now, please just think about that for one moment...

Here is a man who is willing to purposely harm, perhaps severely, a fellow human being for his own personal advancement or advantage. I submit to you that you need not know anything else about this young man. Please understand, as a redeemed soul I have great faith in the power of forgiveness and redemption. But this comes after long periods of soul searching and personal criticism followed with more long periods of rebuilding ones character. But this story is not just about this young man, it is about all of the people around him. What would you think should be the punishment for a man who is willing to bring physical harm, completely outside of the collateral injury inherent to the game, to a fellow player? How about a half game suspension? Yes, my friends this was the sentence handed down by this organization. After some criticism on the airwaves the young man has 'voluntarily' agreed to sit out a whole game, oooooh. No one that I have heard is asking for what should really be done. This man should never play organized sports again. This type of action is unacceptable in a civilized society. The thought that some day this man could be reaping huge rewards in a professional league after this action is enough to turn ones stomach. Our young men will never develop the character that they so desperately need if so called adults refuse to hold them accountable for this type of activity. This man is by no means alone and the examples are too numerous to name, and I don't have to. You have several running through your mind right now. You do because they are so prevalent in this society.

We can never preserve our republican form of government without first rebuilding our national character. We must start in the most natural place to start, with our children. We cannot teach our children anything that we do not ourselves know. We must collectively develop our own character and in turn require our children to follow suit. Yes, some among us will pay a heavy price, such as this young man losing his chance to participate in a sport he has spent many years pursuing. However, the rewards far outweigh the price for they are respect, honor, trust, faith, liberty and freedom from the shackles of those who would fill the void with their own brand of character; one which is beaten into our brow with the blunt stick of tyranny.

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