Saturday, May 25, 2024
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America, Toughen Up, Your Ancestors Endured Far Too Many Hardships

America, sometimes we overlook or forget that we are the direct descendants of people who were tough as Teflon.

Our ancestors endured extreme weather — cold and hot — without central heat and air.

They endured painful, sometimes agonizing medical procedures without the benefit of anesthetics.

They toiled in the field, performing 70 to 80 hours a week of almost back-breaking farm work just to have food to survive…or they had to hunt for food, using primitive weapons.

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They caught illnesses and infections, for which we now have vaccines, but for which they had to rely on their bodies’ natural immunities alone to fight off, and often they did not survive.

Heck, some of these people didn’t even have shoes. 

Yes, for many thousands of years, multiple generations of people endured — and then survived — those and countless other hardships to help bring you and everyone else into this world.

In contemporary America, even the poorest among us can access quality medical care. They can sleep on a fluffy pillow at night. They can sit on their butts all day and consume carb-heavy processed foods that taste great but make them morbidly obese.

But can they cope with life’s many adversities in a healthy and constructive manner?

We’re too comfortable. What few adversities we have in our lives pale compared to what our ancestors experienced.

And we’ve spoiled our children and young adults. They’re narcissists who take their petty dramas to TikTok for sympathy or to fish for compliments. Some of them live so comfortably that their minds wander, and they can’t decide whether they’re a boy or a girl.

Adversity builds character. Adversity teaches self-reliance. Adversity forces people to rely on their own ingenuity to get by in life. 

We protect children and young adults from adversity.

If you’re a parent, then you won’t live forever. Think of your child not so much as a friend but as a future adult. 

Now we live in a culture where people, especially children, must have their feelings coddled. We worry about their self-esteem more than we do their capacity for civility, assertiveness or independence. We protect them from the slightest harm.

Contemporary society protects people from the consequences of their mistakes and/or having to learn from them.

People are no longer the least bit challenged to claw themselves up out of the dirt and rise to become better, more proud individuals and take life’s challenges and beat its ass into bloody submission.

And, worst of all, contemporary Americans are spoiled. They show no gratitude to the gullible people who bent over backward to shield them from life’s problems in the first place.

They are what I like to call the “Gimmeys.”

“Gimme me this. Gimme me that, etc.”

Many of them vote not what’s best for the country overall, but for politicians who promise to give them the most stuff.

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By the beginning of Rocky III, Rocky had clearly lost his edge. Fame and wealth made Rocky too fat, too happy and too domesticated. 

Rocky’s former opponent, Apollo Creed understood what America was all about and reminded Rocky of his roots.

Remember the “Eye of the tiger,” Apollo said, reminding Rocky of his ferocity and his determination to wage wars in the boxing ring.

The eye of the tiger.

Leave this life knowing you were brave enough to confront adversities.

Leave this life knowing it wasn’t one of non-stop luxury and comfort.

Leave this world knowing you didn’t complain about problems that were petty compared to what your ancestors endured. 

America, a life free of hardship and a life that didn’t even try to defeat hardship is not a life well lived. 

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