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Responsibility a thing of the past

When I think of the basic social problem in America, it is standing by and waiting for someone else, some professional or government agency, to fix the problem. The fundamental fix is to take personal responsibility for others right now with what you already know and can do. That holds true not just in disaster situations, but with crime, education, social services, housing, unemployment and many other things.

That’s what people in a democratic government are required to do if they want to live free lives. They must raise one another up right now today like they are family. That is why democracy decentralizes power from national to state, and from state to county and city, and from city to school and neighborhood and homes. That is why the powers that be give wide discretion to parents to direct their children’s upbringing. When children are of legal age, they still need plenty of supervision and guidance, and they are not getting it today, except from advertisers.

Today, since our people have forgotten how democracy works, they pass the buck to some politician or business leader or professional agency who might promise to fix the problem but never will. Politicians love for the people to give up on their God-given and Constitution-given responsibility to govern their immediate communities. Even workplaces must make room for employees to help run the place and unions to help employees.

Our ancestors spread far apart from each other across the hills, plains and riverbeds of this country. With no one else around to make things happen for them, they started their own businesses, often farms, schooled their children themselves, took charge of religious or ethical instruction under their own roofs, participated in citizen policing activities in the town and county, opened their homes to vagabonds, vagrants, workers in need of housing, widows, single mothers, orphans, immigrants. They acted like kings and queens, governors, health care practitioners, educators, correctional officers, legislators, judges and police chiefs.

They found out they could do all those things with their own native ability. What’s more, their own parents taught them those things were the responsibility of citizens like themselves, not always tax-gobbling governments.

Social services were once the responsibility of families, churches, schools and businesses. Gradually, social services were turned over to towns, then counties, then states and finally the federal government. We even seem to want NATO and other global agencies we participate in like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and soon possibly a Universal Dictator of all Mankind to tie our shoe-laces for us.

Sound like a good idea to you? Not to me.

Kimball Shinkoskey | Woods Cross, Utah

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