On July 15, 1979, Jimmy Carter gave a speech that most say was the most important speech of his presidency. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution, Carter delivered a speech of frankness from ideas he received from the American people. Holding a meeting at Camp David, he met a group filled with doctors, lawyers, ministers, and regular laborers to get the opinions from people in high positions to the average working person. Although we are not in an energy crisis, in my opinion many of the words spoken by Carter from the information he gathered can help us as people.
Carter has received mixed reviews during his tenure as president. I myelf am a Teddy Roosevelt man, though some of the issues Carter addressed are similar to Roosevelts. Our country has changed during my short time on this Earth, the economy has been up and down, we have new technologies, exposed to new and different cultures, and become a more efficient people. On the other hand we have been mistreated by our own government, financial instituitions, and each other. Many of these events, like the mortgage crisis and the Madoff's of the world have helped put this country in debt and in a very unfavorable position. One particular statement by Carter was, "Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy." Everyday I hear the people complain about the state of our country. I hear people not being able to do simple things, like eat, have health care, and more. The people running our country and our institutions are getting rich at the people's expense. They have lied to the people, used schemes that seem beneficial but are not in the long run. A woman from the group said, "The big shots are not the only ones who are important. Remember, you can't sell anything on Wall Street unless someone digs it up somewhere else first." Everyday something related to these issues arises, the more that comes out, the less faith the people have.
"In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption." Look around us, someone always has a get rich quick scheme, unemployment is high because people have been laid off but I also think it's because many don't want to work and collect welfare or think they are owed something. It also seems that people are so busy doing them that the family atmoshere has changed. What happened to having dinner at the table with no tv, having neighbors over. It happens in some households, but not as frequent as it used to be. Even with our kids, more time is spent inside in front of the xbox or computer than actual outside time. I remember growing up never wanting to be inside, even when I had an Atari, or Sega, it just wasn't happening. The images that are potrayed in magazines and television are not reality. Everyone is not rich, or flys on private planes, drive Ferrrari's, or makes it rain every night. People place more value on material things or there job than they do themselves or another human being. Clearly the definition of idolatry. I'm no different, there was a time I did that myself until I realized that is not what defines me or makes me happy as a human being. If a person works hard and is able to afford luxury things then so be it, but without over consuming and waste. If anyting pay it forward to someone that actually needs it. In some instances less is more.
To conclude, Carter stated, "We've always believed in something called progress. We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own." Americans have always strived to progress in different areas of life, whether it be for themselves, their families, or their race. This country, as great as it may be, is still not progressing in some areas. The only way that changes is if the people change it. Instead of being stuck in our ways,we need to think out of the box, modernize the way businesses are run, and diversify with people that don't fit the standard mold. Basic principles apply to everything in life, however using alternative means and incorporating them into the basics is how new ideas are formed. The only way progress happens is through adaptation and experimentation. Staying the course is good, but staying the course without an open mind, minimizes that chance of change.
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