We've Fallen and Can't Get Up
The Declaration of Independence stated our purpose and the Constitution made clear our freedoms. Along with the Bill of Rights these documents have stood the test of time and demonstrated their merit but another was and is needed. Its not enough to say what we are permitted to do. We also need a statement what we will do, as a society. Not so much a mission statement but a commitment to each other.
As a society, America has not lived up to its true potential. We have fallen on our values and are seemingly unable to get up. We are quick to defend the human rights of those who live in closed societies and quick to criticize those who suffer great hardship under dictatorships and don't rise up to overthrow their despotic leaders, yet we completely fail to recognize our own short-comings. We live in a big glass house and carelessly throw rocks. I believe we need another directive for America and that would be the "Declaration of Priorities by We The People".
The first issue to address is that of human suffering in our own country. How can it be that The Great Society has homeless, hungry, and destitute citizens who lack even the most basic of assistance from other Americans? Many have come to this state through no fault of their own... there but for the grace of God go I. So why don't we do something about it? We seem able to do this for other countries.
Priority 1: No American shall be allowed to unwillingly suffer the abuse of the elements, hunger, or the ability to receive remuneration for making a positive contribution to society.
The second most pressing issue is that of importance to the public welfare. A person's value to the public sector is reflected by the amount of money he is able to earn, not necessarily his contribution to society. We should commit that those who provide a service to our society, which is valuable and and essential to our mutual welfare, receive compensation which reflects the true measure of their worth. For example, many professional athletes and celebrities are paid millions to often do little more than to make us laugh or cheer. I don't begrudge them their income because its based on what the public is willing to pay, but on the other hand, shouldn't a teacher's salary be of equal or greater value to us. Our future progress and mutual welfare depends on improving and expanding the education of each new generation. Teachers are but one example of those whose contributions are not financially recognized.
Priority 2: The government shall ensure that those, who through their work, make a significant contribution necessary for the benefit and longevity of our society shall receive a minimum compensation equal to that of Members of Congress.
I know this could go on and on. There are so many more priorities we should address and I would welcome your comments to that end. I don't want this article to be characterized as a directive toward socialism because it is not. Its simply my way of saying that we-the-people need to get our act together and determine whats really important to our future and ultimately our survival. It's great to be free and want less government oversight, etc etc but we are truly on our own and it's up to we-the-people to do the right and smart thing. Forget the politicians. Let's help each other get up.