Friday, August 13, 2010

Difficult Decisions, Difficult Truths, Turns Out the Easiest Answer is the Difficult One

We like to avoid difficult things. Its human nature. But, when we do we end up making it harder on ourselves. Consider some examples.

First off a lame one, doing the dishes. I suppose there are people out there who actually enjoy doing the dishes, but I think they are probably in the minority. Most of us avoid doing them. A common occurrence is the piling up of dirty dishes and letting them get all crusty or gross, or there is the practice of "letting them soak" which just leads to disgusting, stinky, stagnant water (I have a bit of a pet peeve about that:) Its harder to clean dishes that are crusty and gross. Honestly the easiest way to do dishes would be to clean them right after they are used. At least rinse them off and load the dishwasher as you go. That way at the end of the day (or whatever time period) the only chore is to start the dishwasher, rather than facing a mountain of dishes when all you really want to do is go to bed and often you just leave it until morning. So, why don't we clean the dishes at the most opportune time? Because we think its difficult, we put off the unpleasant. The reality is the easiest answer is the one that seems hard at the moment.

Alright so a political example. For decades the government has been letting the financial dishes pile up. And boy are they dirty and crusty and nasty now. Political cycle after cycle our elected officials have tried to take the easy/lazy way out. Push the debt onto the next cycle and just try to please the masses with some delectable delights. They've been stuffing our faces hoping we won't notice the mess they are leaving behind.

Well, somebody sometime is going to have to finally clean it up. Its far better to do it right now, to do what seems difficult so that it is not more difficult later. We also have to take a look at the difficult truths about where we actually are at financially. Here are a couple of highlights from a presentation from David Buckner of Columbia University. The US debt in 1990 was $3.2 trillion, in 2000 it rose to $5.6 trillion, that is a 75% increase. In 2010 it has risen to $14.4 trillion, which is a 157% increase. Understand a very important truth, this dramatic debt increase is a combination effort from both Republicans and Democrats. The easy answer would be to just vote in a different party. But, change of a name doesn't seem to change the direction. The difficult answer, the right one is to elect people who will face this terrible truth, that this is all unsustainable, and do something about it, not words action. Here's more difficult truth. Right now interest on our national debt is at the lowest level in history. Now, before you start thinking it is good news, understand that means interest can only go up. The United States owes interest on $14.4 trillion dollars even a 1% increase in interest adds $144 billion, a 10% increase would add $2.3 trillion. Here's more, the $14.4 trillion is just what we owe our lenders (other countries, most notably China). But, for the first time since its enactment Social Security is in the red, this year. As of now the US has promised $6.6 trillion in Social Security, funds that are not there. What is even more difficult is how much is promised in Medicare, $36.3 trillion. Those 3 things combine total $57.3 trillion in promises. Right now that equals $184,000 that each US citizen (men, women, and children) owes in promises.

We must look this terrible truth in the eye and go forward to make difficult decisions. And it is a guarantee, it will be difficult. The government has got to stop spending. They have got to cut out entitlements. They have got to quit making empty promises.

Another difficult thing that absolutely must be done. We have to learn history, all of it, especially the difficult things. The most important lesson from history is to never forget. Forgetting spawns the repeating of mistakes. We have to take a good hard look at what we believe and find out if its true or not. Sometimes we even have to be willing to let our hearts break for learning the truth. I have recently been doing research on Psychology and its ties to Progressivism. Boy, I tell you what, it breaks my heart to report that there are some nasty crusty dishes in the mental health field. I love my work as a counselor. But, I have to tell the truth of what I've found. I'll be posting a rather lengthy piece shortly (be forewarned). Its uncomfortable to learn history sometimes, but its absolutely necessary.

One final example. Jesus Christ promised that His yoke is easy and His burden light. That's the truth. And yet we have this tendency to try and seek a different answer. For some reason we get it in our heads that seeking righteousness and divine help and healing is somehow difficult. The difficulty is really just in humbling ourselves. But, it must be done. In striving to keep the commandments we actually make our lives easier. We don't have to be burdened by the consequences of sin. We need God more than ever. Choosing Him, will pay off more than we can now imagine. Don't just turn to Him, run to Him.

Now, I've got to go start the dishwasher :)

God Bless America and Americans as we move forward with faith and courage. The difficult truth, the difficult decision often ends up being the easiest path for us and for the generations to follow.

1 comment:

Robert W. Franson said...

Very good! I particularly like the historical consciousness summed up in this line:

"The most important lesson from history is to never forget."