I am a WWII junkie, the era of the so called “Greatest Generation.”
People who knew or have known these outstanding people have marveled and asked “How did they do it?” and “What made them the way they were?”
I have always wondered that myself but never really thought it through until lately.
Four basic things seem to stand out:
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First, they took responsibility for what each did. There was never blame placed on the other person.
Second, they were a proud lot. They would take any job - no matter how menial - just to survive and put food on the table. They often moved to find jobs in the next town or the next state. Taking anything from the government was just unthinkable.
Third, they were industrious. If they didn’t have something they either went without or they made it. There are literally thousands of stories of folks who made hundreds of items they could not afford to buy.
Fourth, they had integrity. They did the things the way they did because it was the right thing to do.
That was the American way. That’s the way they were brought up.
One way or another, these folks came here from every country in the world. Their ideas and hopes melded into one idea, to live free, for liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And yes, up until WWI, they did build that.
Today we have the “It wasn’t my fault,” “What can I get from the government” and the “I want mine” generation.
These present day ideas are too ingrained in the modern ideology to change for a generation, and perhaps forever.
It is sad that the values that were the foundation of the Greatest Generation are mocked and made fun of by political officials and the late night comics. To them, the beliefs and lifestyles of the Greatest Generation are a joke.
Some will say that generation was an anomaly, a rarity and likely never to be seen again.
We humans are basically lazy. We were once hunter gatherers then found farming. With farming we found it easier to feed ourselves and our families. Our past has shown that we always tried to do what was easier, not harder. It’s human nature.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy must have seen this time coming because he asked the American people “Ask not what your country can do for you ...”
Today, most people think Uncle Sam means sugar daddy. They should remember history and that sugar daddies run out of sugar.
Most senior citizens think it’s a tragedy what is happening to our way of life. The young adults are too busy to notice there is a change, and our grand kids will never know what they missed.
The majority has made their wants and desires known; they want it now. There is no going back.
They’ve convinced me. I am joining the majority. Tomorrow morning I am running out and finding out what kind of sugar I can get from my sugar daddy, Uncle Sam.
The writer lives in Southport, N.C.