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Do You Feel Proud of Yourself?

Political commentator and columnist John Hawkins just gave America an uncompromising look at itself in Townhall.com. His essay is entitled, “5 Things America Should Still Be Ashamed of Doing.” I want to publicly thank him for the “morality check.”

The five things are: Acting Like A Skank In Public, Allowing Your Children To Inconvenience Other People, Being On The Dole, Politicians Lying To The Public, Promoting Separatism And Race Hatred. I think every item on this list hits the mark. I might even add a sixth item: Shirking Our Rights and Duites as Citizens. (We will save that for another time).

Let’s focus on #3 for a second, Being On The Dole. Here is a quote from Mr. Hawkins:

One of the best scenes in Cinderella Man came after James J. Braddock had a hand injury that killed his fighting career and he was forced to get welfare to feed his family. You could tell Braddock was utterly humiliated by the experience. Afterwards, when he started making money boxing again, as a matter of pride, he went and paid the money back. If everybody felt that way, there probably wouldn’t be a person alive who had a problem with welfare…

You’re supposed to be ashamed of not being able to pay your own way. It should be EMOTIONALLY PAINFUL for you to live off other people and if it’s not, it’s a sign that something has gone wrong with you as a human being.

Yes! To live contrary to our inner drive for independence is to lead a pained life. Not only do you suffer, but others can suffer as well.

In my home community, we recently experienced the tragedy of a young father dying of a heart attack. He was only in his 30s and left a pregnant wife and six other kids. He had no life insurance and very little savings.

Fortunately, people stepped up and donated to charity to preserve the welfare of the family. But don’t think for a minute that being forced to live on handouts was good for their morale. Besides which, if he had purchased life insurance, communal funds could have been used for others in need. Disaster victims, abused wives seeking shelter, and many others in crisis could have been helped. Public money only goes so far.

Very affluent people can feel shame too. Can you imagine inheriting a huge business or piece of land, but having no money to pay estate taxes? You would have to sell this asset at a great discount just to pay that bill on time. It would be emotionally painful to lose value on what is yours and let people take advantage of your misfortune. That is a big reason why wealthy people buy life insurance.

Whether you are rich or poor, financial self-sufficiency can keep you proud. Thanks for reminding us of that, John.

Are you proud?