I have had this discussion with some of the people that I associate with. I was wondering whether I should write a post about it. Then I talked to Revolution2010 the other night and she brought it up out of the blue (we had not discussed it previously). And I decided that I was indeed going to write about it. Much of the problem in America today, in my opinion, comes down to two things, personal accountability and self sufficiency. Personal accountability is something that I have discussed before, and I am sure I will discuss again because I despise the victim mentality that has permeated the American soul. But tonight I am going to discuss self sufficiency, because I believe that the current system does not foster it. And Obama’s plans will unfortunately makes things worse….
Let me start with a little bit about myself that some of you may have assumed about me. Others may have assumed the opposite. And I would like to think that the few of you who know me personally would agree with my self-assessment:
I have a pure self sufficiency mindset. I grew up in a fairly small mountain town (not quite South Park, but close, right Ray and Revolution?). I grew up with a gun in my hand. I was given my first one for my 10th birthday. I used to go out to the woods and spend days out there, sleeping in the woods, living off the land a bit. I could always hunt and fish. I was always pretty good at adapting to life “without the conveniences”. I was handed absolutely nothing. When I turned 16, I wanted a car. I had to buy it myself and I bought a piece of crap Chevy Malibu and spent my time fixing it up. We didn’t have money, but we weren’t destitute. My parents worked hard, and long hours. I didn’t see much of them.
I was smarter than most kids but I wasn’t guaranteed college. I had to get the grades for it and earn a scholarship or take out student loans. Those were my options. When I left school, I was married and broke. I had to make some decisions because no one was going to bail me out. I joined the military. I did a tough job there, that very few could, and I further learned how to survive in many different ways. I earned everything I got in the military, and I got a lot out of it, including a divorce. I left the military once again lacking money, lacking options, and as Revolution could tell you, with a bad attitude and depressed. I went back to school, I quit because of money and started working a crappy job.
But I kept working. I stayed single for a long time because I wanted to rely on no one but me (plus it wasn’t fair to ask anyone to put up with who I was then. I applaud those who tried as they all in some way helped me to be a better person). I remarried (to a wife far better than I deserve), returned to school again (can never figure out what I want to be when I grow up). I worked harder. I continued to move up in life. We aren’t rich. In fact we make the same tough decisions in budgeting that everyone else does. But we are comfortable and educated and we live a very nice life. I found my happiness in succeeding despite getting no assistance in doing so.
But that doesn’t mean that if the world went to hell in a hand-basket tomorrow, I couldn’t leave all the comforts and survive in a nasty world. I can be 100% self sufficient at the drop of a hat. I firmly believe that I can become Jack Bauer, live off the land, and be happy with very little comforts. Some who know me already think I am Jack Bauer, LOL. I could not, however, ever figure out how to save the world with a pistol and that amazing cell phone he has from Sprint. If the alarms ever go off, the only question is where my family and Revolution’s family will meet before we head off into the woods and make sure our boys (her two and my one, luckily no girls as I think her husband would have a GIANT shotgun prepared for intimidating potential dates) are prepared for what is to come and to lead the charge to take our country back when the dust settles. I am self Sufficient 100%. So is Revolution. So is her husband. So is my wife. And we are raising our children to be as well. We will be fine.
So why this trip into discussing my self-sufficiency? Only to say that I wasn’t handed anything in life. And despite the lack of welfare for me, despite the lack of government programs that helped me (and believe me I was as poor as anyone you have known at one point), despite the lack of a USWeapon bailout, I succeeded because I was self sufficient and didn’t rely on that help. It wasn’t in my make-up to expect that help was coming, so I learned to do it on my own. And unfortunately, that is a quality that is lacking in today’s America. I imagine many of my readers are like me, because I draw those types to me. But look around, it isn’t the norm anymore. And here is the rest of the article explaining why that is a bad thing:
Look back to our founders. These men were some of the most self-sufficient men of their time. There was no free education in their day, but over half of the founders possessed a college degree. Those who didn’t had studied, read, and learned voraciously and possessed an intellect superior to college graduates of their time despite the lack of a degree stating so. The founders were brilliant, driven leaders of their time. Self-Sufficiency was in their genes. That their writings still astound today is a testament to their brilliance. That they formed a country that was based on a man’s ability to live free without government interference spoke directly to the self-sufficiency that they possessed and believed most of those in their era possessed.
Look to the following generations that proceeded west to settle the frontier and make new lives for themselves and their families. They took their family, put them in a covered wagon and set our with everything they owned into unknown territory. They had absolutely no one to depend on outside of that little group. Government wasn’t giving them a handout. And they didn’t expect one. They made their choices knowing full well that they would succeed or fail on their own. They caught their own food, or starved. They built their own homes, or didn’t have one. They taught their children, protected themselves, and created a life. Our pioneering ancestors were self sufficient.
Look at many of those who are successful in business today. How many of them are not self sufficient? Correct answer… None. Self sufficiency is a mindset that doesn’t wait on others to provide anything. It is a mindset that says I am wanting to have this happen, so I am going to have to work to make it happen. The leaders in the business world today are men and women of this type of character. Take a look at the profiles of nearly every successful business person you know. CEO’s are self sufficient. Leaders in industry are self sufficient. Those who rise above the status of manager and instead become leaders at your workplace are self sufficient. They make things happen, both for themselves and for others.
Politicians today are self sufficient. I know many of you don’t like to hear that because you dislike them. I am right there with you, but the fact remains that they have gotten where they are because they have a self sufficient mentality. I would argue that unfortunately many of them don’t have a good moral character that would allow their self sufficiency for good, but it doesn’t take away the fact that they are able to self motivate, and then create opportunities to succeed.
The point is that self sufficiency is not just a good thing; it is a great and essential thing. Without a certain level of self sufficiency, people just do not succeed. They fall into malaise and begin to become more and more dependent on all the people around them who are self sufficient. And that brings me to the point of this article: I am often asked why I despise welfare so much. Because I do, and I would eliminate it tomorrow if I had the chance. And the reason why I despise it is because it creates a dependency on government that slowly eats away at a person’s character and self worth. I dig social darwinism. You adapt or die. Because that causes the self sufficient to continue on while those who aren’t perish.
The one good thing that FDR did with the New Deal was that he didn’t just give away assistance. He offered the opportunity for those who needed the hand up to work for it. Nothing free. This not only got things done to improve the country, but gave those men the opportunity to look their family in the eyes and say “I provided this food for you with the sweat from my brow”. FDR understood that to do otherwise would break the spirit of America. The spirit of hard work, self respect, and self sufficiency.
Somewhere along the way that aspect of welfare got removed. And with it, the soul of those who were less fortunate in America. It was one thing to create a dependent nanny state for many of the poor in need. It was another thing entirely to do so in a way that began to erode the self esteem and spirit of poor Americans. We have become a dependent society; lazy, apathetic, expectant, and above all else not self sufficient. It isn’t everyone, but it is now a majority. And that is scary.
This has been perpetrated by both parties. It is on fast forward now. Barack Obama and the far left progressive movement in today’s political spectrum would continue to build on the dependency of Americans. They will provide more and more, making society less and less self sufficient. They don’t do it to kill the American spirit, they do it because it gives them control. But that doesn’t change the result of their actions: an America with fewer and fewer self sufficient people. And that is bad.
What our world needs is leadership at all levels. Globally, nationally, locally, and within our families and workplaces. Those leaders are becoming harder and harder to find as each generation becomes more dependent than the last. What our industries need is ingenuity. And that is a trait that is exclusive to the self sufficient individuals. As self sufficiency dies, so does the American spirit and the edge that used to make America great. We often blame the downfall of America on politicians without further understanding how that happened. The downfall in America is due to the decline of self sufficiency in her people. And that self sufficiency was destroyed by government. THAT is how government is killing America.
I could be wrong, but I doubt it.