I’ve written before about how my wife and I raised seven children — one boy and six girls. An interesting thing happened with some of my children. When they turned 18, they got tired of me telling them what I thought they should be doing and declared that because they were 18, they were now adults who could make their own decisions. The first time I heard that proclamation, I laughed and asked what happened on their 18th birthday that transformed them into the type of person who no longer needed to listen to their parents. The response I got was, “I’m an adult now and I’m old enough to make my own decisions.”
The foundation upon which the United States of America was built consisted of two religions: a secular religion that was based on the beliefs and principles of individualism, self-reliance, freedom, hard work, patriotism, and independence, and a biblical religion that was based on the beliefs and principles of the 10 Commandments, the God of the Old Testament, and the teachings of the Son of God.
There are several ugly truths about life that most of us ignore. I want to cover two of those ugly truths today. The first is that the path through life is fraught with uncertainty. The second is that by the time we’re mature adults, we have had experience with the first truth, but most of the time, we tuck it away into a deep dark corner of our minds. Then we go on with our lives behaving as though the first truth does not exist.
When I was growing up during the 1960s and 1970s, there was one TV in my parents’ home, and there were only three television stations to choose from. The stations were affiliated with the three national networks — ABC, NBC, and CBS. The programming for each of the stations ran from 6:00 AM in the morning until 1:00 AM the following morning. After the last TV program ended at 1:00 AM, there was usually an instrumental patriotic song that was played and then the images on the station were replaced with several thick, horizontal, colored lines that appeared while an annoying audio tone played in the background.
I recently listened to an interview of a business consultant who said that he blames Thomas Jefferson for many of the problems in the United States, because Jefferson was the one who came up with the phrase in the Declaration of Independence that we have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The consultant said that he had no problem with the life and liberty part of the phrase, but that Jefferson’s use of the words “pursuit of happiness” was a mistake.
During the early 1980s, I read an article about a woman from the Soviet Union who had visited Washington, D.C. The woman was the wife of a top official in the Communist Government of the Soviet Union. While she was in Washington, D.C., the woman and some of her female friends from the Soviet Union were given a tour of several buildings and monuments. When they toured the Capitol Building, she said, “Ours is better.” When she saw the Washington Monument, she said, “Ours is better.” She made the same comment when she saw the Lincoln Memorial, the National Cathedral, and several other landmarks in Washington, D.C.
About 15 years ago, I hired a woman — I’ll call her “Jill” — whose primary job was to assist me with marketing my law firm. One of her duties was to talk on the phone with new potential clients, discuss their situation with them, and if appropriate, schedule an appointment for me to meet with them. Jill was blessed with several gifts. She was outgoing, energetic, enthusiastic, a great conversationalist, and was good at building relationships. She had previously worked as a sales representative and was also a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative who was accustomed to selling to other women.
During the years that my children were growing up — the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s — my wife, Georgette, made sure that they were exposed to as much music as possible. When she was pregnant with each of them, she would pray, read, and sing out loud, so they would develop a love for God, reading, and music. After they were born, she did the same thing while she nursed each of them.
After former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he was running for president, he said, “We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.” During a subsequent interview with Good Morning America, in an attempt to mimic Trump, Biden said that his campaign slogan is, “Make America Moral Again.” He then said that his goal is to “make America return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity of people, and treating our people with dignity.”