[PART ONE] “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America

JFK.  Definitely one of my favorite presidents.  I did a nice homage to DDE a while back if you’re interested.  There’s just something captivating about the office of the President, and it’s always intrigued me.

I couldn’t be President, I can tell you that right now.  Definitely not in modern times.  All the news networks dissecting what you say and over-analyzing the minutia of your every action.  You know, it wasn’t always like that.  Sure, you’d hear him on the radio or see him on the TV, or read about him in the paper, but it didn’t seem so.. nit-picky.  People didn’t get their feelings hurt because they didn’t have time to. A hundred years ago, the world was in the throes of the Great War.  Fifty years ago was Civil Rights Movement.  This year?  The media is lambasting President Trump for getting an extra scoop of ice cream.  That’s not to say that there aren’t more important things going on.  THERE ARE.  But where is the attention paid?

Not totally unrelated, but the term ad hominem refers to a personal attack, or “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.”  Apparently, there’s now a term called ad feminam  which appeals to prejudices about women.  Okay.  I’m going to come back to this, but there is something you need to know before I go on.  I am married.  My wife and I have two daughters.  We encourage them to do the activities they want to do.  Because this is America.  But they don’t get free reign over the whole house.  Because we’re still the parents.  Moving on.

I’d like to touch on another phrase now, from our very own Declaration of Independence: the Pursuit of Happiness. If you have time, I would suggest you Google the origins of the phrase. I know most people agree where Life and Liberty came from, but the old PoH is a more widely disputed nugget. Check it out. Life and Liberty are pretty straightforward in my mind. No one should end your life and no one should imprison your mind or your body.

These are part of the wealth of rights that as Americans are blessed with at birth. Rights that people in other countries aren’t. We can believe what we want, marry who we want, speak out against the things we don’t agree with, stand trial when we are accused of a crime.  The list goes on.  It is the government’s responsibility to protect those rights. But it is not the role of the government to provide.

I’ve talked about this before.  Charitable acts should come from charitable organizations. Not the government. When the government (or anyone else for that  matter) tries to make everyone happy, then no one is.  When the government removes itself from the daily and personal lives of it’s citizens, the citizens are free to, you guessed it, pursue their happiness. 

I know that the pursuit of happiness of not promised by the Constitution, but as a foundational and somewhat universal idea in our culture, I want to base the following notion off of it.  The PoH implies an action. Or rather, a lack of hindrance. The government will not stand in the way of you pursuing what makes you happy.  More importantly:

The government is not responsible for providing you with happiness.

Bold and italicized because I mean it. The government is too big and too focused on giving people things when we all were given one of the greatest gifts in the world: American citizenship. I understand that not everyone can break out of the situation that they were born into. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have the chance to. Hard work is a beautiful thing and it seems like a lot of people are more content to complain than to do something about it. See my previous post about hard work for examples. 

We take a lot for granted here and I feel like a lot of times we don’t give back. In fact, I feel like a lot of Americans speak badly about our Great Nation because they haven’t achieved their happiness. That’s not the government’s​ fault. And it’s not my fault either. Spend your time and energy not demanding what the government can do for you, but what you can do for yourself.  We’ll discuss next post what you can do for your country.

God Bless America.

With the rights granted to me as an American Citizen by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution I sign this

Freely,

David Glass

Five-Minute Betterment: “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives” – John F. Kennedy

I, like many people I know, have a list of favorite presidents. I think G. Wash (George Washington, of course) and Abe Lincoln were cool and did wonders for our country so they’re givens. JFK is on my list because he handled some real heavy stuff like a champ despite his age and the public’s reaction to him being a Catholic. 

I’ll tell you who has climbed to perhaps the top of my list recently is Dwight David Eisenhower. If you ever get a chance, I would strongly suggest that you take some time to read his Wikipedia page, but for now I’ll just give you the one of the many reasons why I like Ike so much.

The Interstate Highway System!

Ask yourself: When was the last time I utilized one of the major highways on the map below?

  
Because I use them all the time. In fact, the Family Glass et al just traveled down I-37 to hit the beach for some fun in the sun. 

There ain't no doubt I love this land #GodBlesstheUSA #America

A post shared by David Glass (@thatmanglass) on

And before that? Well, a couple of days ago we moved camp down I-35 a ways.

And before that? Well, we took the I-30 across to Arkansas and the I-55 up to Illinois for a jaunt with Holland’s parents. 

All the while, in my most curmudgeon-y way I kept (keep) ranting about how amazing DDE is and how outstanding of an idea it was for him to establish a system of highways that drastically improved automobile travel in our nation. 

[It all started with a mission that Ike was assigned as a much younger man that involved assessing road travel conditions from the east to west coasts. His team averaged something like 5 mph over the entirety of the trip and the experience stuck. Moving on..]

My point was that young people these days (curmudgeon) don’t have any appreciation (curmudgeon) and take everything for granted (curmudgeon). 

People in general (myself included) don’t say thank you enough. 

So, today’s #FMB is take JFK’s advice and make some time to say thank you to the people who have made a difference in your life. 

[Thank you President Eisenhower, for the Interstate System. It has made the country infinitely better.]

Here’s my real one:

Thank you, Holland, for being in my life. Thank you so much for your love and support and for believing in me more than I ever could have imagined. Thank you for carrying and birthing our daughter and for keeping her alive and well all this time. I know my role in that pales in comparison. Thank you for your smiles and your tears and everything in between. You are my whole world and I love you more than life itself. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Now it’s your turn, Dear Reader. 

Take five minutes and thank someone for the difference that they’ve made in your life. And thank you, as always, for reading. 

Eternally,

Gratefully,

Glass