Just this morning, I was watching a news piece on a major network about “rights” in regard to traffic stops by police officers. And it’s no wonder this is in the news. If you know me, you’ve probably already made up your mind that I’m going to side with the cops. Nope, ’cause cops are human, too. They make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes–and they have guns. But, so do I and I do no want anyone telling me that I can’t own one or two, or a dozen.
That’s not what this blog is about. I want to give you another word, responsibility. Let me add something to that, personal responsibility. When people live their lives in an environment where they always feel like a victim because someone else has told them they are a victim, they are going to grasp for rights. This is especially true among the poor in the U.S. When something seems to threaten their perception of what they ought to have, they can be quick to react, and react in a very uncivil way. That brings up another word, entitlement; I’ll come back to that in a bit.
Recent events in Baltimore, Maryland bear this out. Thugs reacted to the death of a citizen by destroying things and taking things that weren’t theirs. Whether or not you seek to justify that type of behavior, it is simply wrong in a civil society. But then the question arises, do we really live in a civil society now?
In every walk of life, you and I are going to face individuals who have little if any regard for the lives of others–they will always, yes always “react” and it will be at best negative and at worst, violent. They are victims, victims of their own minds. But that is not most people.
Most people really do just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace, whatever their perception of peace is. If they believe their peace is threatened by the law, they will react, but with constraint. Why? They haven’t lost sight of responsibility, personal responsibility. If their peace is threatened by the loss of an entitlement, their reaction will be stronger because they are entitled. But are they really?
The entitlements of the welfare system in this country are nothing more than crutches that allow many lazy, “victims” of society to take advantage of the rest of us who work hard and want to live our lives in peace–while we work. This may never end. I can assure you it won’t end until and unless everyone stops focusing on rights and starts focusing on responsibility. Responsible people make their own way in life, regardless of the circumstance. They don’t bandy around all the social welfare epithets that claim their station in life is someone else’s fault. They pull up their boots, find work, work hard and do the best they can with what they have. And they live in peace.
You are probably thinking, this guy doesn’t have clue about being poor and needing help. He has never lived in abject poverty. No, I haven’t. But I have seen it up close. America’s poor do not know real poverty. The truth is, you don’t have to go very far from our shores to see real poverty. Please understand, I’m not making light of what many of our citizens face every day. But I KNOW you can live in poverty and still have peace. I see whole families that live on less than $10.00US each week in a one-room shack barely larger than the average US bathroom.
Here’s the thing that amazes me. When I talk to them, they are generally very thankful for what they have and they are not trying to take what belongs to someone else. They are not crying about what the government is not doing for them. They work hard for pennies a day, come home tired, eat the little they have, love their kids, and live in peace. It is amazing.
One more thing. If Americans ever wake up and realize their privileged status amongst the worlds’s population and take personal responsibility for their actions, stop depending on government to sustain them, and turn to God for their real, lasting help in life, our nation has hope. The Lord Jesus Christ gave his life to give us eternal life. By the way, the only way to have REAL peace is to turn to Jesus.