Opinion

Wade into the Culture Waters

america-usa-rally-crowdI am convinced that America’s only chance to retain its freedoms and individualist spirit is if the message of their importance is passed on to the next generation via the culture. These days our education system, media and political conversation are dedicated to themes that are largely concerned with what will best benefit the collective. Little time is spent on touting the value of a system that allows each individual to utilize their unique strengths, and showing how that system actually has proven to be the most beneficial way to contribute to the whole society.

Now it seems so much time is dedicated to unfairness. There is a battle over which group is victimized by our system the most. Instead of competition to develop the best products, services and ideas, much competition is focused on a goal of how best to game the system. How can we get something for nothing?

Decades ago, when I was a child, there was a much bigger emphasis on personal responsibility. We learned that in America there was great possibility, but you, as an individual, had to put in the effort. We also were taught that equal opportunity was not a guarantee of success; we were taught to try and try again.

Movies, songs, books and society did celebrate those who achieved as individuals and helped others along the way.  Maybe we can turn things around if we just start encouraging members of the next generation to “reach for the stars” instead of urging them to look for someone to blame for their misfortunes.

Sure, the phrase “reach for the stars” is old-fashioned,  but don’t let the idea behind it become a relic of the past – a freer past, where individuals could “blaze their own path”.

Here are a few books I have recently come across that may help us wade into the culture waters and send a rippling message of freedom and individualism to the next generations.

Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. By Lawrence W. Reed (Regnery Publishing). This book contains more than 50 essays that debunk progressive clichés. It would be a great high school graduation gift.

Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. By Michelle Malkin (Threshold Editions/Mercury Ink). This book highlights innovators who thought outside the box and worked hard to make their ideas reality. It demonstrates how capitalism has raised our standard of living with creations of everyday items we take for granted.

Visit www.conservativechildrensbooks.com for a variety of books in a reading range from pre-school to high school.  The books cover the US Constitution, economics, and other subjects that instill values and rekindle the patriotic spirit. I have listed a few of the books from the site below. One of them is mine!

Striker Jones: Elementary Economics for Elementary Detectives. By Maggie M. Larche. This book explores basic economic principles via short mysteries in settings kids are familiar with.

Founders’ Fables. By Laurie Cockerell.(Kinderfable Press). Ten simple fables that address the concept of limited government through funny and memorable characters. Each story, written in rhyme, begins with a quote from one of our founders.

Coming to America: A Young Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World. By Diana Erbio. This book demonstrates the power of a never-give-up attitude. It follows a young teen’s journey as she struggles to not only live in America, but to be American.

Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood. By Valerie Pfundstein. (Pfun-omenal Stories) A wonderful book for parents and grandparents to share with youngsters to tell them that freedom is not free, and many heroes that have protected their freedoms may be their neighbors.


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Jerry Todd
6 years ago

Straight or Gay – Are we all we can be in spite of our Obsessions?

Don’t we know how wonderfully and beautifully we are made – free will, sex drives and all? We must not let our hearts and consciences be ripped out by obsession with the evils found in academia, finance, governance, science and enterprise. There’s far more good to be found there too

Any obsession can be overcome by full awareness of our gifts and talents and to pursue them. This helps offset any lusted or unwanted urge. Modern Relativism and job frustration are the fuel of despots. So too is the idea of limiting diversity to race, gender and ethnicity. We are all much more diverse than that – endowed by our Creator with limitless possibilities.

An often ignored piece of Biblical wisdom in 1Corinthians 10:13 states: “No test has been sent you that does not come to all men. Besides, God keeps his promise. He will not let you be tested beyond your strength. Along with the test he will give you a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Each individual is different in makeup, intelligence; experience and motivation. Progressive Academia has closed the minds of millions to normal discourse and exchange of ideas. Didn’t Steve Jobs set a wonderful entrepreneurial example by his successes, failures and ultimate triumphs?

Jobs, like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck never finished college, yet each has achieved success beyond what anyone felt they were capable. Limbaugh is totally deaf from a drug reaction and has cochlear implants, relying largely on a voice translator when he is on the air sharing with an audience of over 23 million. 16 years ago, Beck was a stumbling, mean alcoholic whose future was surely in doubt. Today he has launched a new network called “The Blaze.” He is considered one of the top 100 oil painting artists in the USA and holds the record for having 4 New York Times best sellers in 4 different venues at the same time. The Times has yet to review even one of his books because he doesn’t fit their “progressive” template. Maybe because he attributes his healing and success to God – to Jesus Christ!

Perhaps in the politically correct, stymied diversity and spiritually vacuous environment of education today, the very spark of life and ingenuity are driven out of the student’s reasoning and imagining processes. Steve, Rush and Glenn are classic examples of freedom of thought and action, Even the sciences suffer because much funding for research and exploration comes from entities that will only fund grants to academics and scientists who already agree on the political outcomes of the work. Academic freedom is not license.

Much of the mishandling of our obsessions comes from an amoral environment. There is nothing wrong with a boy or girl, man or woman having a tender conscience. My daughter, now in her 40’s told me that as a teenager and young woman she would always hear my voice when she was on the verge of doing something she shouldn’t. I never tried to learn my batting average. I just know she turned out great – beautiful inside and out as are her children.

Look into your clothes closet (or pile), books, games and TV shows… Is this your life? Will a good shove get you to seek and develop your own endowment? Have you given up hope of being better tomorrow than you are today? Are you being pushed by your “friends” into places and activities that are causing you to lose control of your life? Are you marching, screaming epithets and destroying property, or are you studying your passions with a sense of history and reason? Are you seeing beauty, or is it all drama? Are you waiting for “the government” to solve your dilemmas? Is your professor really nuts – but you need the grade?

Things can be much better in our own hearts, in our communities and our nation. It will never be perfect, but it has to start by knowing ourselves and our unique gifts and talents. Our animal instincts can drive us into relationships that draw us away from our better selves. The mob tells us our every urge must be satisfied, that our rights trump privileges. I was once part of a mob at a University of Illinois riot, and I’ll never forget how my brain went into a mind-numbing auto-pilot – something I would never allow myself to be drawn into again. Young people who are wandering from their moral roots in faith and patriotism would do well to wake up to the spiritual warfare we are all engaged in, whether we like it or not.

I have developed and explored a Creativity-Service/Sexuality Curve as it applies to males and females in the great variety of human traits and drives found among us. Some day others will take notice

Jerry Todd
6 years ago

I wrote this in 2013 Straight or Gay, Am I all I can be in spite of my obsessions?

Moffitt
6 years ago

I agree with Steve, the Dem Party is the something for nothing party. I’m not sure how it happened, but all of my children are hard, hard workers. My oldest has three businesses and my daughter works to organize estates. My youngest is the chair for a state party. My wife and I don’t see enough of them.
As I look in our neighborhood and begin counting those who have served I am pleased to find at least five veterans on our block alone. They are all good citizens and conservative, save one. I am proud to be an American and I do not fear the future. We may be in for rough sailing, but we fix our mistakes and move forward.

Steve
6 years ago

Democrats can’t win elections if they didn’t promise social programs, government dependence, and race bait.

Robert saltzman
6 years ago
Reply to  Steve

You can by voter and election fraud

ScarletDove
6 years ago

I have provided all of the “Rush Revere” American history books to my 10 yr-old grandson, books he loves. Also in his favor, he has parents who are not lefties and is in a parochial school so is not exposed to the public school claptrap.

ScarletDove
6 years ago

This is the result of cultural rot courtesy of the left! The schools, taken over by lefty years ago and now forcing Common Core, are indoctrinating children who attend public school. Smart parents have removed their children and educate them in private, parochial or home-school environment. I removed my children from public elementary school in the early 80’s and put them in parochial school where they were actually educated in a smart learning environment. My children were being used as social experiments for different kinds of learning techniques that some adult thought was cool but they did not work and were way behind as others. Unfortunately, “public school” children will be indoctrinated and all the wonderful literature, books, actual American history and the magnificent Mark Levin conservatism will never reach the public school kids unless grandparents provide it. I feel very sorry for the children of progressive/communist parents–what kind of drivel is being drummed into their minds over the years!

Daniel Sopher
6 years ago

It’s not just generational indifference, but also one of imigration. I offered a young Latino man a Spanish copy of one of Mark Levin’s books . He looked at it and said,” It’s a book, no thank you”. Sad.

maria rose
6 years ago

Great article, but I have a question, how do you get today’s generation to read those books? With social media so prevalent everywhere, most don’t want to waste time reading long essays, they want the information in 140 words or less.(i.e instant gratification).I had to learn how to text and use Twitter in order to keep up. While I still enjoy reading and watching the news, I am getting a quicker notice this way. In order to get the messages these books entail, there has to be way to convert it to the new media

Diana Erbio
6 years ago
Reply to  maria rose

The books at Conservative Children’s Books, my book “Coming to America” and many others you may want youngsters in your life to read are for ages 4 through high school. Read aloud together. You may be surprised how open they are to that. Let them do the reading to you. We have to try to get them to read books again. In my opinion, “only” digital is not a good thing, and that is coming from someone who majored in Computer Science and programmed computers for over 10 years :-)

PaulE
6 years ago
Reply to  Diana Erbio

I have to agree with you Diana. I spent 28 years in multiple forms of electronic communications technology and computer hardware and software design, architecture and implementation amongst other things. There is simply no way you are going to “compress” the complex ideals of capitalism, global economics, national and world history, the sciences and everything else into coherent streams of 140 characters or less. While I agree with Maria Rose that today’s young people have incredibly short attention spans, it’s actually quite pitiful to observe, the complex issues of the world cannot be dumbed-down to accommodate the lazy and the ignorant. Sorry if that is too frank for some, but we can only dance around the issue so long. I agree with you Diana, people need to actually read entire books, in either physical or electronic form, to gain an understanding of everything.

I had the opportunity a few months back to talk with a number of 20 somethings from eastern Europe (the old Soviet states so they know what socialism is all about and they universally hate it and can’t believe we want to embrace it), where the classical educational concepts we grew up on still exist and are actively promoted. These young people have a better grasp of what is going on here in our country and the rest of the world, as a whole, than our young people. They have intellectual curiosity, they are hungry to learn and don’t expect to be spoon-fed everything. They’re understanding of history, economics, the sciences, etc. are as good, and in many cases, better than our top students here. They have a drive to succeed and aren’t waiting for a hand-out. The reason I tell you this is because this is an example of the competition for jobs and the future that our young people face. Their focus is on getting knowledge and applying it to better their lives. Our young people are focused on “diversity training”, “gender studies”, “global warming”, “social and economic justice”. Guess which group will have a bright and prosperous future and guess which group will be whining for more government hand-outs, because their supposed “victimhood” limits their options?

By the way, congratulations on making the weekend magazine. It’s about time!

Ann, RN
6 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Good comments. Thanks.

ScarletDove
6 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Excellent post Paul, I especially appreciated your discussion about the Eastern-bloc young people……our Sanders-loving millenials could learn much from these young people.

Charles Lopresto
6 years ago
Reply to  maria rose

It seems to be impossible to get the younger generation interested in anything that is outside of their cultural pop environment. The President himself doesn’t seem to encourage anything but his own interest and friendship with the hip-hop icons. Our teachers, of which many are very young themselves, and quite often very Liberal. don’t have an interest in many of the things we were raised on. I get especially irritated with the notion that we need to cover things that they can relate to. I thought part of the purpose of education was to open them up to things they don’t know or relate to. And this idea that too many classics are created by old white men is a real cop-out. Even many of the old movie classics are ignored. You can learn, for example, more about the Depression in one two-hour viewing of “The Grapes of Wrath (1939)” then a dozen books. And no movie about the Holocaust is any better than the 1960’s film “Judgement at Nuremberg.” Kids have never seen “The Best Years of Our Lives, They were Expendable, Captains Courageous, On the Waterfront, To Kill a Mockingbird,” and it goes on and on. All they know is superheroes, zombies and serial killers in ultra-violent films with no real stories or character development. and certainly nothing about the positive aspects of America. Just thinking.

morenanica
6 years ago
Reply to  maria rose

Here are some small bite messages that work for social media…Forced Socialism is a Human Right Violation!

Diana Erbio
6 years ago

Conservative Children’s Books, that I mention in my article, has a booth at the Texas GOP Convention, (May 12-14). I am proud that my book “Coming to America”, is part of the amazing collection of books that is also available at their website (link is in article above). Maybe some of the books will be purchased at the convention – or from the website :-) and shared with youngsters across America! If we do not pass on the things we believe has made America great, who will?

Rik
6 years ago
Reply to  Diana Erbio

Diana, you are so right, great article, as usual. I tend to read a lot, I go to the library at least once a week. Generally, it’s the very young, and teenagers from the school across the street, doing their homework before mom or dad pick them up after work. Then there’s the seniors, those that don’t have a computer, that come in to use or to read. Very rarely, have I seen single, 25 – 50 year olds reading books anymore. Heck, they don’t even read newspapers anymore. I doubt they even really watch local news. It’s reality shows, game shows, so-called comedies and sports. Heck, I caught a brief glimpse of one comedy where a teen glorifies running away from her lunatic bible thumping foster parents, ha, ha. There are no wholesome TV shows anymore, just garbage. This will never be stopped in our lifetime, perhaps never! … We are headed to open borders, one world nonsense being spieled. No national pride in country or God. It makes me sick to see “illegals” protesting while they wave Mexican flags. I’m afraid it’s too late already, America is lost its identity.

Ivan Berry
6 years ago

A time when heros swam against the stream. I remember. Individualists, unlike lemmings, do not go over the cliff together with collectivists. Great suggestions and insights as usual, Diana.
PaulE’s statements about the educational system triggered a thought concerning how it could be turned back to principled rather than collectivists ideology. Make note that there have been some responses to transgender toilet use demanded by the president and courts threatening to give up Fed education grants, etc. in lieu of compliance and refusing to be bribed. Just maybe, locals and parents could stand up and take back their control of local schools as the founders intended–just maybe.

PaulE
6 years ago

Excellent article as always Diana. Extremely well written and precisely worded. Unfortunately, looking at the rabid following Bernie Sanders seems to enjoy in the 18 to 50 year old age group, it is quite clear the twin messages of “victimhood” and socialism are carrying the day. Until we can break the back of the progressive public education system and mainstream media, which both overtly advocate both these messages, we are only going to continue to lose more ground. Our biggest hurdle is the absolute ignorance of what we would consider basic historical and economic facts. Yes we have more people going to college today than ever, but the shear lack of what I would describe as basic knowledge is incredible. It’s no wonder we’re loosing our competitive edge with the rest of the world. There is simply nothing there, if you know what I mean. Yes they have been indoctrinated to accept socialism as preferable to capitalism and they have been taught to consider themselves victims of something, but that’s about it.

Verneoz
6 years ago

“…retain its freedoms and individualist spirit is if the message of their importance is passed on to the next generation via the culture….” The fact that this is not being done is all by design when the education system was taken over by the progressive movement. The US Dept. of Education is the progressives’ single most influential instrument in use to transform US traditions and family values. The transgender activism by the DOJ to cut the education funding of NC is a recent example.

Steve
6 years ago

Good article , show our youth the options available to them and reinforce the ideas that you are special and you do matter . Keep on writing .

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