You could blame having to work hard on Adam and Eve for getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden. If the Bible's not your thing, blame Darwin who established the compassionless truth that life is about the survival of the fittest. Whatever the cause, life has never been easy.
M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, started with an unsettling truth: “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths."
That truth allowed parents to keep repeating their favorite family lectures: "The fairy godmother isn't coming, so stop your complaining and do something to make things better." "When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade." "You can't drive a parked car. Get off your duff and get moving."
Sure, some people have better luck, but in the tough times, we can learn how to play a poor hand well. The struggles we face make us stronger. They develop our character and the resolve needed to find our way in this difficult but exciting adventure called life.
Easy doesn't do it unless gifts land in our lap. Focused effort consistently earns better results in the good and the bad times. Winners never always win. They win and lose more than the losers because they stay in the game. They compete. They learn. They fall down, but they bounce back up.
While one American coasts through community college only to drop out and choose a restaurant job with good tips to support the surfing he loves, another American takes core pre-med classes, works her tail off to get into medical school, endures long hours and low pay as an intern and resident to become a doctor. They have different priorities, make different choices, and earn different results. Both are blessed to be born in this land of opportunity, but one takes advantage of that opportunity to better her position. The other has the right to choose an easier road.
Some Americans take responsibility for their health. They watch what they eat, exercise regularly, have regular checkups, and pay for insurance to cover those unforeseen medical problems that just might ruin anyone's day. Others care less about health habits, would rather spend their money now than worry about insuring problems that probably won't happen. There's no warranty on anyone's body that comes with the original equipment. Some take care of what they got; others use it until they lose it. Once again, easy doesn't do it.
Some Americans work harder than others. Some prepare better than others. Some save more than others. Some contribute more to society than others. Most successful Americans don't win lotteries or inherit their wealth. They earn their success the old fashioned way through effort, persistence, delayed gratification, and hard work.
Even with hard work, some will get hit hard by life. They'll need the support of others to get back on their feet. Americans have always believed in self-reliance coupled with a willingness to help others. They're eager to help people who work to get back on their feet. They applaud them when they do.
Unfortunately, some in America want nothing to do with personal responsibility. They want the best medical insurance someone else's money can buy whether they're a high risk or not. They want a higher wage than their boss is willing to pay whether they deserve it or not. They want rent controls, tax credits, subsidies for college, and loan relief because they picked majors that didn't translate into jobs. Some want perpetual unemployment benefits until they can find a job worthy of their "skills."Yes, there's a divide in America and it has a lot more to do with personal responsibility than any "unjust" income gap. Too many have been enslaved by politicians who justify taking from producers to fund a culture of dependence instead of empowering their followers to succeed themselves. Unfortunately, easy still doesn't do it and never will.
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