There are so many tragic tales of the folly of pride in humanity’s history and in our various fables.  There is the famous story of Icarus who flew too high, metaphorically wanting too much in life, but the heat of the sun, a metaphor for reality and the world, melted the wax on his wings and plunged him to his death.  He had, in a word, what the Greeks called hubris or excessive pride.  Pride seems to be an unavoidable fact in life.  But we should never give up the battle against it, nor submit to it in our lives.  It can and has brought so many people down.  Just as you begin to soar, like Icarus, and stop remembering your own frailties, you will inevitably be brought down, too.  We are not gods, not even close.  With all of our capabilities, glories, and accomplishments, it is too easy to make the mistake of believing we are gods.  But we are truly not, and it is the height of foolishness to fall into believing that we are gods, either individually, or gathered in groups such as government.  A group of flawed humans is simple weakness, frailty, and foolishness greatly magnified.  The simple mistake in the individual becomes the monumental blunder in the group as greater numbers build it up and make it go farther than it should have. 

The war on poverty in our own nation is one of those foolish blunders.  Now after wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars over many decades in this foolish pursuit, we find that poverty is not even slightly diminished. We have come to the point that we find the Bible is right (who knew?), that we will always have the poor with us.  In fact, poverty has grown greater due to our efforts to eradicate it.  In spending so many dollars in absurd humanist ways, we have tried to “dig our way out” and have, in effect, destroyed the very things that give mankind power and wealth in society, the family, the desire for more and greater, and self sufficiency.  Instead of lifting people out of poverty, we have predictably dug the hole deeper, creating a permanent class of helpless individuals who barely know how to feed themselves and care for themselves. 

Unfortunately, when you do for a man or woman what the individual should be doing for self, then you take away the one acceptable area of pride, self esteem, a humble understanding of our infinite worth to God, and you take away esteem’s source in the ability to work and to do so in creative ways.  Government-mandated poverty, just like abortion, steals from all of us including its victims.  No human life is a burden.  It is always a possibility, so we should not take that life without due process of justice, nor should we turn that life into a burden, nor deny it of work, nor prohibit its pursuit of happiness, if at all avoidable.  When that life is taken out of the workforce, you take away so many blessings that might have been bestowed on humanity, the possible artists, poets, surgeons, teachers, musicians, scientists, craftsmen, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, engineers, etc., who might have rendered so many millions of services and even solved so many of society’s problems but now are merely helpless creatures taking money to do nothing.  Money should never, ever be given to the individual for nothing.  If we are to have some sort of system in this country to collectively help the helpless, it should be accomplished from the private sector where it will always be subject to control, audits, openness, the personal touch, and responsibility, and it should come with demands.  When you take away all work, you take away the possibility of dignity in that person’s life.  And, there is always some service that they can accomplish in return even when they are sitting in their homes.  No human being is completely devoid of talent and worth.  We all come with some gifts and capabilities no matter how humble. 

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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