The High Cost of Ignorance

For thousands of years, this truth has stood in all the cultures of the world: no one deserves anything they do not work for. It is still true, but many in America have lost sight of the value of it. For several generations in our country, politicians, in an effort to foster their own flawed ideology, have put forth the idea that some people are entitled to have things without making any personal effort to earn them.

The result of this mistake is what some have called the haves and the have nots. The haves work for a living; they earn their money and buy things with it. The have nots sit around complaining that they don’t have enough when they are already getting what they don’t deserve. Unfortunately, many of the have nots really believe they deserve to be supported in their laziness by hard working Americans. And many politicians are supporting this unsound economic strategy.

The result: a lot of people  feel entitled when they, in fact, do not deserve anything they are receiving. This situation has gotten out of hand becasue it has been going forward for generations. Granted, there are individuals who cannot work because they are physically or mentally unable. Society will always support those people. On the other hand, able bodied people who simply refuse to work or claim they can’t find a job are becoming a plague upon our society.

Reading this you might ask why I am against people having what they need. I am not. I am against people getting something for nothing—no effort, no participation, no responsibility. Why do I feel this way? Glad you asked.

I’m 63 years old. I’m getting ready to retire—sort of—you see, even after I retire from the vocation I’ve had for the past 30+ years, I’m still going to work for a living because it is the right thing to do. I simply don’t want other hard working people to have to support me.  Someone might say, Oh, but you’ll receive Social Security benefits, won’t you? I will at around age 66.  But let me tell you something. Social Security benefits are not an entitlement. I’ve paid into it for all of my working life. As a minister, I’ve paid 15%, not the 7-1/2% that people pay when they work for a “regular” employer. (I won’t even address Congress stealing from the fund.)

I began working at the ripe old age of 10, that’s right, ten years old. My first paying job was mowing a cemetary with a push mower and I mean push mower not something self-propelled or with a seat. And that doesn’t even address spending most of my growing up pre-teen and teen years working on a 500 acre farm. My granddad had milk cows, tobacco fields, corn fields, grain fields, gardens, chickens, hogs, and horses.  Someone had to feed the animals, milk the cows, and work the fields.  Guess who? And you know how much pay I got? Not a red cent. My cousins and I worked hard and we got to eat good and sleep sound.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t have fun growing up. I did. I had a bicycle, a skateboard [okay, in those days a skateboard was just that, a board; it was an 8” wide piece of painted plywood with roller skate trucks bolted to it], a ball glove, an old, faded football, and a big field to play in. The farm had a creek to splash in. My dad took me fishing and hunting. I shot game and drove farm tractors long before I had a driver’s license.

Life wasn’t always easy but, then, when did the rule of life become sit down and do nothing while someone else pays your bills.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people in the news protesting for their cause and that’s why I wrote this piece. I just wonder, I mean, really wonder how many of those protesters work for a living. I wonder how many of them put stuff back at the grocery store because they can’t afford it. I wonder how many of them pay taxes. I wonder how many of them have a high school education. I wonder how many of them have ever worked a day in their lives.

Here is why I ask those questions. They always complain about what they don’t have instead of being thankful they live in America. Their plight in life is always someone else’s fault. They obviously didn’t pay attention in grade school because they can’t form a decent sentence. They destroy things—including families. They kill without a thought about how many people are going to be affected, just like the terrorists.

Their collective opinion of America is dark and damaged. Why? They don’t engage society in any other way than malice with a lazy “I’m owed” attitude. My point, I’ll say it again, noone deserves anything they do not work for. I know that sentence has a preposition dangling at the end but don’t you get the point?

Someone has to stand up and tell all these thugs to shut up and get a job. I don’t have the bully pulpit to do that like the Democrats and Republicans do. They’ll have their conventions and tell us all they ways they are going to improve our lot if we’ll just vote for them. Last time it was hope and change. How’s that working out for you?

I don’t have a crow to pick with anyone about who is important and who is not. God made us all, he loves us all, he gave himself for us all, and he will save all of us who trust his Son, Jesus Christ. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone would stop complaining and start praying, things would change in America. Don’t you think it’s about time?

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