What is the hold up

no-child-left-behindWhy are we holding up? Life doesn’t (and it shouldn’t) hold up when you are falling behind. Our work doesn’t hold up when we take a break and our bodies don’t hold up to wait for our maturity.

Since elementary school, I have experienced this theory of “holding up” so that those that fell behind, can catch up.

We slow the curriculum in schools so that those that will likely never comprehend the material, can catch up.

We even financially support those that haven’t properly prepared for a viable career, thus allowing them the same quality of life as those that did.

Am I mistaken? Did I need to be held up in history? Or was Columbus on a leisurely journey? It wasn’t the California gold walk. It was called rush for a reason.

America wasn’t in an arms race because we were waiting around for Russian scientists.

Carl Lewis didn’t tie nine Olympic gold medals.

And, graduate students aren’t spending precious dollars in order to get the same job as anyone else.

For some reason, this country likes to forget its history and the history of mankind, for that matter.

Since when did it become fashionable to hold up?

Just look around, turn the TV on. The media has to write for 7th graders, they have to publish for what they now call, “the common man”. Why? Yeah, I know, money. Which suggests that the majority of people are mentally inadequate.

Perhaps so, but, in order for that to be true, it would defy human history. Which suggests the rule of 80. That as a general trend, 80 percent of the population falls within the average intelligence.

Based on that, the money argument doesn’t fully explain this. What happened? We held up. Now, people that would otherwise be fully capable of understanding complicated matters, don’t.

Society no longer makes complicated demands of the average citizens, therefore, people have regressed, or worse yet, they have lost interest in challenging one another.

And why shouldn’t they? Society will just hold up.

Dear America

Dear America,

I shall preface this piece by acknowledging that I hold no political affiliation. However, as a citizen of these United States, I do hold an opinion.

When I look at the current political sphere I cannot help but feel ashamed and concerned.

For the past few weeks since President Obama was re-elected, I have read countless stories from both the left and the right labeling President Obama everything from a savior to a socialist.

With the majority of the nation’s attention set on the political system and its cast of characters, it occurred to me that a greater problem exists.

The problems we all face together are more of a result of our own undoing than they are of past administrations. After all, as Americans, we must recognize that we are not the product of a failed government, but rather, our failed government is a product of us.

We support these politicians. We trust in these politicians. And, we promote their continued failure each and every time we re-elect these politicians. Now, this is not to say all politicians are failures, which would be grossly inaccurate. But, like in anything else, party or team related, I judge success by the final product and the final product has to this point been unsatisfactory.

What the average citizen doesn’t understand is that whether you are a democrat or a republican, in order to succeed in effective government, you must work together and thus, succeed together.

There is no individual victory. Our presidents, past and present, may have had great ideologies, great knowledge and great wisdom. But, all of that would have gone for not if they had not possessed great leadership.

Imagine for a moment the political process when the runner up in a presidential election became vice president.

In our current political environment, that would be an abject disaster and that is how I know that the problems lie within our nation, not our government.

In broad terms, our nation lacks the raw fortitude to see the job done, to work without prejudice and a self-serving agenda, the way our founding fathers, our grandfathers and our fathers did.

Before I sat down to write this piece, I thumbed through some of my old history books. I clicked through online news archives. I even asked a Korean War vet, Anthony Vince, whom I met on the train this week.

“Back then, they put you over there, and you fought for your life and the guys you were with. It’s as simple as that,” Vince said.

“You weren’t worried about what they were thinking at home; you were worried about when your next meal was coming and freezing your ass off.”

What Mr. Vince was getting at was the feeling of desperation. And, not just desperation, but how you handled it when you were faced with it.

Today, there seems to be this feeling of entitlement and not the sort of entitlement that the Bill of Rights ensures. Rather, a self-serving, Uncle Sam said so, form of entitlement.

Everybody seems to think that because we are America, that we no longer have to get our hands bloody. Well, that just isn’t so. You make your own future, if you want to have the same opportunities as others; you have to fight for it. You have to earn it.

Consult a history book and you will see that in the face of tyranny our founding fathers fought and died for the very freedom that we have today. They had the toughness and the grit to see the job done.

During the civil war, those enslaved African Americans had the fortitude and the conviction to free themselves from their owners. It did not come easy and it surely wasn’t an overnight victory. They fought and died for their freedom and they forever changed humanity because of their strength.

Read newspaper clippings from the real great depression. You’ll see stories of men working 80 hours per week, for no wages, just to give their families a chance. They had no guarantees, no entitlement.

These men did not just wait for President Roosevelt to bail them out. While it is certain that government action was forthcoming and necessary for the longevity of the nation, what mattered to these people was their immediate survival and that of their families.

Strangers worked together. They lived in hand-built huts in fields outside of nearby cities, sometimes four families to a hut.

The point is, they relied on their inner-strength and earned their every minute of life.

During Title 9, women fought because they were not being given equal treatment. Not because they thought it was a trendy cause. They didn’t just create a Facebook page about voting, they had to endure exceptional hardship before finally breaking through the barriers.

Look then at the men who fought and died in the Vietnam conflict. These men had to fight in a war that was universally recognized as unjust. Yet, they were there, fighting beside their fellow man. Fighting for their lives, for the lives of the strangers fighting just beside them.

Now, I come back to present time and I look at the headlines and all I see is whining and words with no action.

I see a society so wrapped up in being politically correct and passive aggressive that I don’t think the typical citizen even comprehends what they individually stand for any longer.

It seems as though Americans today are fixated on discovering reasons to become offended, rather than changing what it is that they find so offensive.

Recent generations of Americans simply hunt for excuses not to get dirty. I suppose it is just far easier to antagonize and find reasons to quit than it is to forge your own path.

Americans, if you want to see changes to your situation, to your country, you must fight and earn them like those who came before you did.

You cannot focus your time celebrating your party’s victory. Because, hey, it wasn’t a victory, it was an elected position, an elected duty to serve the betterment of these United States.

Likewise, those of you ranting against our president, complaining of taxation and flaunting irrational pontifications of Marxism and other ridiculous inaccuracies, you too are missing the message.

It isn’t them versus us; it’s us versus us.

The sooner we as a nation overcome our selfish sense of entitlement and recognize that we are responsible for our own actions, the sooner we as a nation can rebuild our once glorious America.

Sincerely,

Your Editor