Taking America for Granted

This was going to be my day.. Staying home,  with a million things on my to do list.. I have put things behind me to save to do one day, and today, was the day I had planned in my mind to get started. As  I began to walk aimlessly around,  trying to figure out where to start, my eyes fell upon a shelf in the garage.  (I did have a purpose to go out there, to get my crock pot from its new home on the shelf so I could start dinner. ) The problem being, its new home just happened to be right on the same shelf where I had put a stack of old books to go through one day. The first one on the top of the pile was old and I could tell, it had a story to share. So I picked it up gently to  study the cover. As I opened it up to see the date and where it had come from, the first page just flipped open.  “Taking America for Granted” was the title of the very first article. This book  was actually the 30th addition to the Readers Digest Series. 1951, it had been written and published. Funny to me to read and be reminded of how smart people were back then. Maybe we should take a break from the people who we elected to be looking out for our best interest today and listen to what people of the past had to say. It is all so true , what this author wrote. We do take our lives for granted and this entitlement season  which so many people are preaching, is going to kill us, as a country.  Even in these times that the author was writing about circumstances then, I cannot even begin to imagine what in the world he would be thinking if he were here today, to see what we the people are doing to each other.   These are the words from an editorial in Vogue as written for them.

There was a time, in this country when even a whole day of life was not taken for granted, much less water, shelter, a safe night`s sleep. Now, by reason of a uniquely bountiful heritage, we take for granted too much. We assume. Expect. Insist.

Nowhere else in the world is this possible. Nowhere in the world is it wise. We not only accept, unthinking, the great urgencies  of food, shelter and clothes, but the whole spate of little things that make up a way of life, a standard of living, a pattern of security.  we assume that some kind of transportation will get us to work. We take for granted the protection of our locked front door, a roof to our living room, heat, lights. We expect our children, bursting with vitality and vitamin B, to knock our hats askew with the vigor of their welcome. As breathing, we take for granted a hot bath soap. The evening newspaper, penicillin and sodas at the corner drug store. We assume that young husbands will, with their bare efforts, make a successful future for themselves, that older husbands will retire on what, over the long years, they have put away, for savings, of course, are inviolate. We expect our daughters to have an evening dress We cheerfully assume that some decent men will get voted into public office. We know that the veterans can get a GI loan, and assume that, with it, one of them will start a future U.S. Steel. Another will marry, and produce an Edison, a Jefferson, a Carver. We take for granted that we will not be shot, imprisoned, or have our everything confiscated, that our children will live to grow up.

What we forget, what we forget every day, every moment, is our own history. That it was not entirely to give us those delicacies of life, these luxuries, become, necessities that those men stayed on a Valley Forge for 22 cents a day, that Abraham Lincoln did that fine, unpopular thing, unwavering, that over 56,000 men died in prison camps between 1961 and 1964, that later, half a million lay in their cream and radios that innocent, bewildered women were burned at the stake, bore children during Indian attacks, suffered cruel lampooning as pioneering educators, were partners in the greatest pioneering adventure of all, the sweep to the West.


It is good to remember what our simple right to vote cost other human beings. Perhaps they had no thought of us, as individuals, they were concerned with making their America. What they made is what we have. To take this heritage unthinkingly , for granted is a first step to losing it.

Have a blessed day.


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