I can’t speak for you, but I don’t want everything handed to me in life. When it’s all given to me, with little or no effort on my part, then I am diminished. Something within me dies.
This is the great utopian error of modern day political liberalism. That we can create a society where everything is given to you. Where everyone is safe. Where danger and risk has been erased on all sides. Here’s your healthcare. Here’s your pension. Here’s your foodstamps. Here’s your birth control. Fear not: From cradle to the grave, the government has all your needs covered. All you do is surrender the lion’s share of your earnings to us in taxes, and we’ll take care of the rest. But it’s the devil’s bargain.
Forget for a moment that such a society is a myth. Perfect security cannot be provided by any government. Forget for a moment that such a society is unaffordable. Our nation has amassed more debt under the last two presidents than at any time in its history, and the devil is coming for his due soon. God’s Laws of Economics will not be mocked. (Now the latest insult: the Left dangles like a hypnotic charm before naïve Millennial’s eyes the promise of free college.)
But forget all that. Even if the Life of Julia were possible, I don’t want to live in a world like that. For it would be devastating to the soul. I don’t want to live in a world where there are 21 valedictorians per graduating class. And everyone wins first place. I want a world where hard work is rewarded, and personal responsibility is cultivated, and excellence is pursued, and opportunities are provided for people to advance their lives through discipline.
I feel the most proud of the things I worked the hardest for. I may never be formally published, but I will forever be proud that I wrote a sequel to Ben-Hur. And it was not easy, it was hard, it took years of research, writing and rewriting – and because of how hard it was, because of how much discipline it took, I feel a sense of godly pride about it.
Somewhere in the closet is a box of racquetball trophies, including the one from 2002 when I won my first open racquetball tournament in the state of Connecticut. It took 20 years of playing, practicing and competing to get there. I was 40 when I finally broke through in an open tournament, and became for a short season one of the best players in New England. (And then ripped my back to shreds. But that’s another story.)
You feel the best about the things you really have had to work at. It’s how God made us. You don’t want to have it all handed to you. Parenting is hardwork but I’m so grateful for the relationship I have with my 30 year old daughter today. Marriage – hardwork, but 32 years in, Janis and I are enjoying the fruits of a lot of learning, sacrifice and struggle. The best things in life flow out of what we achieve through taking advantage of the freedom and opportunities we are given.
And that’s what government should be about – safeguarding freedom and opportunity, not guaranteeing a safe passage through each and every stage of life. We have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not a right to “free” preschool, contraceptives, healthcare, college, and other cradle-to-the-grave absurdities.
I’ll pay you taxes for safe roads and bridges, a wise and strong military, locally run schools, police and fire protection, a justice system that is just, sane and secure immigration controls, reasonable regulations to keep my food, air and water safe. We need government. It’s a gift from God. But government is not God.
I heard on the radio the other day someone reading something written by someone (Dean Alfange, according to Google) called “My Creed”. It’s good. I’d never heard it before. It’s worth a reading, especially as a presidential election draws near in a month.
I do not choose to be a common man,
It is my right to be uncommon … if I can,
I seek opportunity … not security.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen.
Humbled and dulled by having the
State look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk;
To dream and to build.
To fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole;
I prefer the challenges of life
To the guaranteed existence;
The thrill of fulfillment
To the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence
Nor my dignity for a handout
I will never cower before any master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect.
Proud and unafraid;
To think and act for myself,
To enjoy the benefit of my creations
And to face the world boldly and say:
This, with God’s help, I have done
All this is what it means
To be an Entrepreneur.