What is best? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I’ve been watching America: The Story of Us and learned some things that definately weren’t in the history books. One of the lessons learned is that making hard choices is in the fabric that defines us. It was a hard choice to defy the global superpower of the day. It was a hard choice to set out west and give up some of the comforts of the east. It was a hard choice to give up the family farm to be a part of the Industrial Revolution. It was a hard choice to choose between tradition and innovation. It was a hard choice to get involved in a war on the other side of the world not just once, but twice. It was a hard choice to take to wandering to find work in the Great Depression. We still have some hard choices ahead of us.
They say that hindsight is often twenty-twenty. Some of the stories featured weren’t exactly intended for all audiences. Interestingly though, some people did the extraordinary by only having faith in themselves and in God. I wonder when we lost what they had. Was it as we surrounded ourselves with more things than people? More technology than relationships? More shifting of our own responsibilities to others? Is it possible for that original fabric to survive intact from our founding to our falling? Perhaps not, for if we still had that fabric then we wouldn’t let ourselves fall if we could help it. Like little children saying, “Not me!” we look to our leaders to save us. They in turn say, “Not me!” when their failures are made known. When will somebody say, “Surely I can solve my own problem!”? For as long as “Not me!” is in charge of their own health, their local and national politicians, their children’s education, etc. very little will ever get done. We know this because the “Not me!”‘s have left no lasting mark on history and the “Surely I”‘s have not only made history, but they’ve written it down for us all to learn from.