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The Decline of Our Nation's Character: The Impact on Our Future, Our Freedom, and Our Happiness

The Decline of Our Nation's Character: The Impact on Our Future, Our Freedom, and Our Happiness

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The Decline of Our Nation's Character: The Impact on Our Future, Our Freedom, and Our Happiness

Länge:
97 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 17, 2013
ISBN:
9781483501086
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

America has changed. Our character has changed. The founders of our nation believed that liberty was essential to human happiness and well-being. They understood that liberty could not long be maintained in a nation that lacked a virtuous character. Pundits on all sides look to our elected leaders as either the cause or the cure to our problems. The leaders, however, are not the issue. They are simply a reflection of our national character. The real problem lies with the citizens of this country. To reclaim our national character, and thus preserve liberty, we must recognize the truth about America’s declining character, understand how it was lost, and recognize the cost of our current course with respect to liberty.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 17, 2013
ISBN:
9781483501086
Format:
Buch

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The Decline of Our Nation's Character - Trent Sigler

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Introduction

America is very different than it was sixty years ago. June and Ward Cleaver were the iconic American family with a good marriage where the husband provided for the family and the mother stayed home to raise the children. Now the most noble profession that ever existed, being a mother, is ridiculed and looked down upon as though it were a most degrading occupation. There was a time when a man’s word was his bond and we could do business with a handshake. In that world, we were all equal. Everybody put their pants on one leg at a time. Now we worship celebrities and sports figures. Their broken lives and lifestyles with never ending divorces and drama have become what we admire and aspire to. I miss the days when a man was embarrassed if he didn’t give a good days work for fair pay. Work has become a necessary evil in our world - a world that is obsessed with play and recreation.

It seems every negative societal statistic has grown worse over the last six decades - divorce, children born to unwed mothers, substance abuse, poverty, domestic violence, etc.. Our lives have grown worse. People are unhappy, yet we seem determined to plunge head-long in the same direction that has produced these results believing that by so doing we will somehow find happiness. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Perhaps the single most important factor to happiness is having a good, loving, relationship with another human being. Having worked for over fifteen years as a family therapist, I can say that our culture is loosing its ability to sustain working relationships with other people. The upcoming generation tends to be selfish, rather than selfless. For them it all about me - fulfill me, make me happy, meet my needs, and if you don’t then we are done. There seems to be little thought for what they might do for someone else. Honesty, loyalty, kindness, compassion, respect all seem to be declining. Our society’s solution seems to be to paste the word Respect on a billboard and tell people to pass it on. In truth, such qualities can only be learned from the inside out. They can never be instilled from the outside in. To own such qualities one must see them put into practice during their developmental years so they can see the value in them and choose to adopt them for one’s self. One contributing factor may well be that children don’t get to see two people who love each other modeling appropriate values day in and day out. No wonder selfishness has taken over our very natures.

Another significant contributor to individual happiness is to be involved in good work. The work of raising a family, overcoming adversity, serving others, and of becoming your best self - a person with dignity, honor, honesty, caring, compassion, empathy, patience, integrity and so forth. The upcoming generation truly believes that happiness comes from play and recreation, not work. Play has its place as a rest from good work, but it is work that brings fulfillment in our lives. Think back over the things you are most proud of. Were they easy or hard? Its only the hard things that we have accomplished, or survived, or overcome, that brings that sense of self-respect and love that is so important to happiness.

A third and important aspect of happiness is liberty. Our founding fathers believed that liberty (the ability to choose your own actions, as long as it does not inhibit the liberty of others) was essential to human happiness and well being.

Having been a marriage and family therapist for so many years, I know there is a lot of literature on relationships. However all the good information and teaching in the world will not help in the absence of quality of character. It takes character (i.e. honesty, patience, integrity, selflessness etc.) to make healthy relationships. Likewise, work will never takes its appropriate place with respect to recreation unless a person has character. These issues I believe are well covered in literature, but a topic that has not been sufficiently addressed is the effect of our declining national character on liberty and freedom which is essential to human happiness. Maintaining freedom is not easy. It requires responsibility, accountability, involvement, honesty, virtue, and a host of other values that require effort. Liberty, or freedom, cannot be maintained in the absence of the work of freedom. As our national character continues to decline this one aspect of human happiness will be lost, and this is the subject I wish to address in this book for the sake of my children and grandchildren.

Our Character, The Principles of the Declaration, Our Loss

A war of ideology is raging in the United States of America today. Liberals on the left are striving for centralized power and conservatives on the right seeking individual liberty based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence. In the middle, a mass of uninformed people who, without knowing it, have lost any real understanding of the principles of liberty that were held dear by our founding fathers. Our founding fathers learned these principles having suffered tremendously under the strong hand of tyranny. The people of our day have no direct knowledge of tyranny, having lived largely in freedom, and their progression towards a benevolent tyranny has been so gradual that they have not yet awakened to their plight. With inherited freedom, like inherited wealth, vigilance is replaced with complacency, and with complacency a weakened sense of duty. Many of this mass of people would strenuously object to the assertion that they do not understand the principles of freedom believing that they not only understand them, but support them, all the while we march closer and closer to socialism. Others included in the mass of the uniformed willfully march on towards greater government involvement because they seek happiness where it cannot be found. They want to take the path of least resistance which includes shifting personal responsibility to the government and accepting government help. As the character of this nation continues to grow weaker, people, in general, are much more willing to trade the hard work of freedom for a life of recreation, and lack of individual accountability, stating the belief through their actions that the easier life is the happier we will be. In the end, they will discover that liberty is essential to human happiness, and that tyranny and misery go hand-in-hand no matter how benevolent the tyranny. Socialism in many ways is easier. Responsibility is a heavy thing. People who lack character will take just about any form of government as long as the government does not interfere with their recreation. We can elect socialist politicians as long as the Super Bowl goes on as planned. However, once the transition from freedom to tyranny is complete then nothing, including our recreation, will be off

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