I love my country and it pains me deeply to think we may never live up to the aspirations of our founding fathers. As we sit here today waiting for the next act in the soap opera we call politics as usual, doesn’t it seem like just another rerun? The President is going to give another soundbite speech, this time about job creation, and then the usual cast of characters from the media and both sides of the aisle will express their partisan concerns while hawking their must-read books and then it will be followed by something even more newsworthy like the next hurricane. Our incessant need for the next big story feeds this never-ending saga and the result is always more of the same. Welcome to the 21st century, where nothing actually gets done.
The price of greatness is responsibility. That’s a pretty high price apparently because no one in a position of leadership in this country wants to take responsibility and we, the people, hold no one accountable. We all like to call America, the greatest country on earth, but are we? For all of our democratic advantages we haven’t reached the summit as much as we have set up base camp. We seem to be perfectly happy with just having more than any other country, even if it means we have to borrow trillions of dollars every year to pay for it all. That’s not greatness, that’s complacency.
We have so much more to accomplish and so much more freedom to share with other, less fortunate, people in the world but we will never get there if we settle for just being good enough. The whole world needs us to be great and to show how a free society is the best choice for all nations. The price is high but so what? Where else can we go to get a better opportunity than what we have here? We’re America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. That’s not just hyperbole, that’s a fact. No nation in history has ever done more for others than we have and we’re always the first to help and the last to leave. We even help our enemies once they have been defeated. What other country has ever done that? We have a 200 year tradition of bringing freedom to every corner of the globe and that is our manifest destiny. We cannot turn our backs on the very thing that makes us great.
It has been said that God only gives us as much as we can handle. Well, he must think we can handle this too. That’s all I need to know to keep trying. I will never accept mediocrity as an outcome worth living for and neither should you. We can overcome any obstacle put before us but we have to work together. Our common cause is too important to ever stop trying and if our leaders won’t lead, then the hell with them. Let them follow us for a change and they surely will once they realize we mean it. The price of greatness is responsibility. We are ultimately responsible for whatever happens to us, not the media or the politicians, just us. As soon as we accept that responsibility and man-up for the hard work and sacrifice that is sure to come, we will all have something to look forward to, a better world for generations to come. Isn’t that the legacy we want for our children and grandchildren?
I know it looks like our way of life is nothing more than a flickering candle right now but it won’t take long to make that small flame become a bonfire when we have the courage to do what’s right. What’s right is more important than party affiliation, race, color, gender or faith and it will surely bring us together in ways that nothing else can. America is the first country to ever be founded on basic human rights and that is the key to our greatness. We are free because our ancestors fought and died for those rights. They paid the ultimate price to give us everything we have today, so how can we do less for those who come after us?
The price of greatness is responsibility. Who’s with me?
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.