National Greatness Once Upon a Time
Decline of national greatness, a nation of greatness beyond any of history, has been observed throughout my lifetime. Once upon a time the United States of America (USA) stood out in greatness in its place in the world and in the opportunity for achievement and freedom for its citizens. My life began a few years prior to the Second World War – a period of hardship and sacrifice. Many gave their all during the war, and those who remained at home sacrificed to support the war effort. Those who served in the war theaters returned home and began their recovery of health and applied themselves to reentering, starting and supporting their families. Those who served and made the strides of national prominence into the great and positive force it was became known as “The Greatest Generation,” and their efforts created a feeling of freedom and well-being for the nation. There has been a steady decline in that feeling and reality for many years. Freedoms, opportunities, personal responsibility, and civic responsibility have disappeared in the wake of politicians interested only in their accumulation of power and control of the population of the country. Forces being observed now, in the year 2016, seem intent on destruction of the USA through introduction of external, hostile, forces bent on conquest for incompatible cultures and political and religious goals.
My Cousin, Rick McElyea, made the below post on his Facebook page. I believe the post was made several years ago. However, I saved it, and I believe many of you will share the well-expressed feelings that are just as relevant, if not more so, today.
A great and respected Music Friend of mine posts a Late-Night Thought before he ends the day, this one really hit home in a unique way…by Jimmy Hill……….LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS: Tonight, my thoughts lean toward the contrast of my childhood to the current day. As my birthdays accumulate, I see more and more changes in society and lifestyles in general. My thoughts are random tonight. It is though my youth was spent in another country or maybe even on a different planet. Of course, my paradigm is based solely upon living in North Alabama all of my years… and rural North Alabama at that. Most families consisted of two parents, and they were of separate genders. The children were well mannered for the most part. Ministers, school principals, teachers, the elderly and ladies were given special respect. Neighbors helped neighbors. School and sports activities never took priority over Church services. People felt secure at night to sleep with only screen doors closed in the summer months. Residents trusted neighbors enough to leave home for the day without locking a door. Families sat at the supper table and ate together. There were no optional meals for the finicky adolescent. There was a code of dress, cleanliness and conduct to be observed at the table. Cool water was drawn from wells by chain/rope attached to a bucket and no one thought anything about sharing the same dipper for a drink. Kids played outside and rode bicycles on country roads without any parent’s concern of the abode of a child predator. If there was an injury, no one considered a blood borne disease. Thoughts of a possible lawsuit were considered ludicrous, and the only concern was to help. People visited and were welcomed without an invitation. There were actual quality conversations without children interruptions. And some of those conversations were topics for only the adults. TV shows were clean of strong language and suggestive scenarios. Certain products were never allowed to be advertised. Instead of convenience stores, there were country stores that were run by a non-broken English-speaking neighbor. The storekeeper allowed credit to the patrons. Alcoholic beverages were not sold in the store. Dads carried the boys for haircuts on regularly scheduled basis. Elected officials were looked on with respect as statesmen rather than politicians. There was dignity in the way political campaigns were run and the way that people represented their candidates of choice. It was a family embarrassment for a child to be born out of wedlock. Couples got married and then lived together. Fast food was a treat instead of the norm. School buses transported almost all kids to and from school. Usually there was a mom waiting at home for the children when they got off of the bus. Children changed clothes when they got home for at least another day’s wear before washing. Children were “disciplined” by more extreme measures than time out or taking away a gadget. Business deals were often sealed with only a firm handshake. Never would a man or boy consider wearing a hat inside a Church sanctuary. Children had no option in the decision to attend a church service. A child disagreeing or giving correction to a parent was strictly prohibited. Hitchhikers were trusted. A Soldier hitchhiking was never passed up. Vehicles stopped when meeting a funeral procession and no police escort was needed. People feared and honored God. Those days are now only a sweet memory, but I believe that the days of my growing up were the best. I guess it is up for opinion. Tonight, I have a smile on my face and a smile in my heart for living it. Thank you, Lord. I’m greatly blessed and highly favored.