Bitter or Better

Through the years and in the changing times this country has stood. It can be debated by many as to where the force or might behind it may or may not have been derived, we do know however that it has stood as a legacy of ingenuity and a testament to the productivity that can come from a society structured as ours has been.
The people of this land are experiencing change in cultural, social, religious and economical trends to one extent or another. Whether it is a business owner, a senior citizen, a college graduate or the single mother trying to maintain a family amidst increasing living expenses, all are being touched by an emerging new world that is threatening delivery in short order. Many find that the world in which they were raised, i.e. standards, morality, politeness, patriotism and even a certain code of ethics have in some senses all but disappeared. Still in other ways, the more mature citizens in our culture find technological marvels which in their childhood would have seemed as unfathomable impossibilities. The shifts in our howbeit small ‘sands of time’ have uncovered a world that is new, yet very old.
Despite all the changes we experience in technology, economy, big business and myriads more that could be enumerated in the time which is our own, one thing remains; it is still people that matter most. Whether it is exercised on practical level or not, the truth of the matter persists. In a time when so much emphasis is placed in the polls, parties, and on politicians, the biggest factor and that which really makes the biggest difference is our relationship with the people who are in our lives day in and day out. The revolution that put this country on the map to its supreme stature would have never been able to be accomplished without the unity of its countrymen. The strength that was exhibited in the ability to act in harmony with each other is a statement to the importance of human relationships amidst perilous times.  
            Regardless of your religious or spiritual convictions, there is a universal law that has been written on the hearts of mankind. They are laws which dictate certain guidelines in the treatment others, in spite of my feelings about them or their beliefs. Loving my neighbor and treating him the way I desire to be treated is not out of style despite popular opinion. To reach out to someone who is hurting (which seems to be the norm), or intervening in someone’s distressed universe, and in doing so touch their life and bring a little heaven to their hell is not unfashionable.
            In our day of ‘advances’ in societal structure, we find that we are more individualistic than ever. As long as the status quo can be maintained, it will work, but what if it cannot? Communication has been taken to unprecedented levels, and is available in more diverse ways than ever before in the history of mankind. Unfortunately as a result, we don’t have better relationships. Is the social severance from a traditional person to person exchange which is being sprung on humanity a good thing? Will the repercussions of a disjointed citizenry in the event of economic upheaval take us the same route as our predecessors in our ability to band together for the justice and salvation of our families?   
            Reform does not start in Washington; it starts on Mainstreet, in my home and in yours. What happens when times get harder than they already are? Are we just going to keep driving the stake of diversity into and among our people? Diversity is only a downfall if we let it be; it can equally be a strength among us. Helping and supporting each other is vital, a truth with which our forerunners at the very inception of this country well were acquainted.  
            We have seen devastation in many areas of the country in the past years, and around the globe. Some of it is publicized, some goes all but unnoticed. No one knows for sure what lies ahead, but when adversity once again arises, would you rather have your neighbor and townsmen as allies or enemies; as friends or foes? There is much change, and there will continue to be so. We can ask ourselves the question, are we getting bitter or better? How well do you know your neighbor? How are your relationships?

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin.

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