Happy Fourth of July! Much research is required to write relevant and cohesive articles that bring something new and of value to the parade. I frequently read and watch sources that are in opposition to my heartfelt and brain-tested beliefs. It is easy to get stuck in the wash, rinse, repeat cycle of saying the same thing over and over, just in slightly different ways. After reading endless articles and viewing too much television news and discourse for just about anyone, I found several repeating themes foundational to understand better who we are and how we are pulled in specific directions. They are:
- Humans inevitably seek comfort, satisfaction, and validation, which become their core values, if they have developed any. Comfort runs the gamut from simple self-aggrandizement to love of family, belief in God, and service to others.
- Once in our comfortable pajamas, we generally find it challenging to change out of them.
- We tend to be happiest when we live, work, and interact with people like ourselves, and this transcends almost all other imperatives—government tries to bully us into something we are not.
- We tend to be lazy, as in a body at rest tends to remain at rest. We are conditioned to expend effort only when it is deemed in our best interest, which is likely genetically coded into us. This also explains why we frequently don’t act in support of our own best interests.
- Moral codes vary. We tend to be honest, especially when someone is looking. Still, believing that we are not getting our share of society’s loot means many of us are becoming increasingly comfortable with a situational outlook allowing for little lies and small thefts of time, material, and other things. This fractures our formerly rigid moral code.
- We tend to underestimate the importance of knowledge and logic, leading us to see life as fungible and fluid when it is neither. Feelings are more important to some than truth.
- We want easy solutions to challenging problems that require fundamental and long-term sacrifice. Too many of us want it all with little sacrifice, not truly realizing that the world does not work that way.
- The highest value we can ascribe to is our love for others; the lowest is loving ourselves too much.
Conservatism, not the political definition, but as a way of life, is the difference between living in the light and living in the grey, where your actions aren’t judged. At least, that’s what the anti-logic crowd wants you to believe. You are metaphorically swimming in shark-infested waters once you step out of the light. All that keeps many of us on the straight and narrow is our willfulness, material needs, and character. Weakness sees you manipulated by people, organizations, the government, and others who think of you as little more than sheep to be herded. Unfortunately, many never rise above that expectation.
We live in a seemingly complex world. But upon closer inspection, that complexity is superficial. Think of our world as a wedding cake. The smallest ring is the essential truths that see us prosper and succeed or fail based on our character and effort. Each subsequent larger layer is incrementally more complex but only superficial to our core values. Holding correct values, we can navigate the complexity of life and be happy and secure. Another of my rules for life is that most choices are simple, although the details can get complex. Fundamental decision-making on essential issues should fairly scream the correct answer at you. But we must remember that there is always a cost to our decisions.
The essence of life is leaving this place better than you found it. There are unlimited ways to do that, but only the conscientious among us will achieve that goal. Living in the light does not come naturally to everyone; it is a learned behavior. Conversely, those who choose the path of darkness or live in the grey requiring little reflective judgment, are morally adrift. It is foolish and illogical to believe otherwise.
One of the government’s fundamental purposes is to be moral and enforce morality through law and example. Morality is a concept that cannot be dismissed out of hand. Morality is the glue that creates a civil society that works for the betterment of all. We did so successfully for a very long time, until lately. Citizens cannot live and work in opposition to each other and yet be cohesive when it matters. Individuality is great, but unity of experience, expectation, and direction is also essential.
When we gave up God, we gave up much more. Government was never expected to be anti-God. So much of our dogma, including what it says on our currency, on the sides of government buildings, and even with the appointment of Congressional Chaplains, reinforces the belief that God is not divorced from government. Many of us need and want God in our everyday lives. When the government makes laws, we expect it to ask, “What would God do?” But although seemingly heresy today, most of the producers in this country agree on the importance of a morality-based government that is fading fast.
Too many of us despise or ignore God for the negative judgment we rightfully bring upon ourselves through our selfish actions or inactions. While some believe it is imperative to divorce ourselves from spirituality, this is a false premise. We cannot compromise a sense of moral imperative central to the success and cohesiveness of our nation. Remember, it is written,
“One nation, under God with Liberty and Justice for all.”
God and country are at once inseparable and aligned in effect. Our country now worships diversity, mediocrity, and failure as somehow admirable. But, if we are to be the best version of ourselves, we must embrace three tenets:
- An overarching code of how to live, including sacrifice, is necessary for raising our young. Your children come first, even if you must delay your self-pleasure.
- Role models. Regardless of race, creed, or other distinguishing characteristics, we need appropriate role models who authentically walk the walk and talk the talk and undertake positive, pro-society daily living.
- We can do everything right and still fail if we do not select great, effective, charismatic leaders who people will follow, especially when our fellow men are asked to sacrifice for the good of society. The bond of trust between the people and their leaders must be created and maintained. Though you would hardly believe it today, partisanship and leadership are antithetical to each other.
All great civilizations, and by extension, their people, must have faith in their systems, leaders, and fellow citizens. Faith is a combination of logic and belief, not always supported by something tangible, yet, still very much the bedrock truths we rely on to maintain a homogeneous society. In its absence, we have become a foundering, rudderless nation that makes war on ourselves and others without the requisite thought that makes our words and actions logically correct and sustainable.
There you have it. There is no easy way forward. I expect the country to further fracture politically and geographically in my lifetime.
God Bless America!
Allan J. Feifer — Patriot
Author, Businessman, and Thinker. Read more about Allan, his background, and his ideas to create a better tomorrow at www.1plus1equals2.com