To be told or decide for ourselves

Published 3:31 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I wrote this column from Camp Glen Arden, where I was the baker on the 4th of July. The fourth was a big day of games, watermelon and fireworks at camp, and it’s fun. It was also a day when we sang patriotic songs all day, beginning at breakfast and ending with taps. The first song of the day was “America the Beautiful”; grace for breakfast was “God Bless America.”
Early in July and article ran in the Tryon Daily Bulletin about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. (My daddy always believed that one of the signers, George Mason, was our ancestor. It was not until a few years before Daddy’s death that we discovered that we are descended from James Mason, George’s brother who took the road south to eastern North Carolina from the port at Norfolk). Anyway, the TDB article was about the sacrifices made by the 56 men who put their lives and money on the line to announce publicly what they believed to be of value. By contrast, what I read in the rest of the paper was about people wanting something, but wanting someone else to pay for it.
Nowadays it seems like we are not even willing to give up our opulent lifestyles for the sake of our country. Is our country the people or the government or business or the land that sustains us? It’s all of it. But all I hear and read about is the economy, period. Our world is facing an environmental crisis and all we can talk about is the economy. We can’t see past the next “got to have it” advertisement to even comprehend what is of real value. Are we puppets of business, telling us what we want and what will make us happy? All of us know deep down inside that we are being duped, but we do nothing about it.

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