American Quote Thursday

         Benjamin_Franklin_1767           

           If you wou’d not be forgotten

           As soon as you are dead and rotten

           Either write things worth the reading,

           Or do things worth the writing.

                                                                          -Benjamin Franklin

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New Rome

183479649-56a3ca0a3df78cf7727f2f21No, this post is not about Percy Jackson. Sorry. But, seriously, what do you think of when you think of Rome? Flowing togas? Amazing plays? Latin? Rome was amazing, no matter what it makes you think of. They constructed revolutionary buildings, amphitheaters, they created a concrete so strong, it’s still standing. They were the height of the known world. And, guess what’s even more awesome, our nation, America, is considered New Rome.

For illustration: During Rome’s glory days, they were considered the strongest Kingdom in the world. If you were educated, you spoke Latin. If you were really educated, you got caught up in the world of Roman science. If you wanted to move up in the world, or make a new start, you traveled to Rome. It was the heart of the world. Sound familiar yet? Well, it should. That’s America.

This is a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. The beauty of Rome, her learning, her power, was all seen in America, and note that I am using the word ‘was’, not ‘is’. This is where the not so great part is. Long story short, Rome tore herself apart in the 200s A.D. She got too big for her britches, and her culture started to decay. People quit carving those awe-inspiring statues, they stopped building new amphitheaters, they quit making beautiful art.

Sadly, we can see this in our county. Look at how we’ve changed over the last hundred years, guys! We’re falling apart at the seams; can’t we see it? Movies, songs, architecture, art, it’s all become less than what it was in 1918. Our culture has started to copy Rome’s fall, and we need to do something about it! And I don’t mean watch old movies, dress in a conservative manner, and quit using swear words. Those are all well and good, but it’s not the big picture.

If you sing, sing your heart out of your chest! Pour yourself into songs, write your own! Don’t sing what the country wants to hear, goodness knows music themes have become repetitive enough to drive anyone crazy. If you dance, or play sports, same thing! Push yourself to your limits. Show America that you’re there! Writers, write your mind, tell people what they need to hear, not what they want! Musicians, you can become the next Mozart! Mathematicians, architects, artists, builders, come out of the shadows! If you don’t have a hobby or dream, go find one! Make one! Guys, just because America doesn’t look like it wants or needs you, fill your life with accomplished dreams! If we can all do this, if we can push ourselves to greatness, we can escape Rome’s fate. She’s waiting for us at the bottom of this cliff; we need to stay airborne. And, if we fight for it, we can!

American Drive

45th-anniversary-apollo-11-launchAmerica is a great country, that’s not in debate. We have one of the most effective and efficient governments in history, our Middle Class is richer than over half the world, we’re strong, we’re smart, we’re the height of the West.

We didn’t become like this overnight, you know. We aren’t the country we are today because fifty-five men wanted to show England who’s boss, although that played a major part. We’re like this because we’re standing on our grandparent’s shoulders, who are standing on their great-grandparents’ shoulders, who are standing on their great-great-grandparents shoulders. Their accomplishments have carried this great nation into the sky and given us the wings that we can use to soar. So, why aren’t we seeing that? Why is the news filled with missile threats and war and poverty, instead of the joy that someone has found a cure for Aids? Or Cancer? Heck, we kicked Polio’s butt last century, why aren’t we flying anymore?

Our generation is missing the drive that propelled our ancestors to accomplish what their ancestors could only dream of, even if the latter had entertained ideas of rockets and cures. We need to find that drive again, hang onto it for our dear life, and let it take us where it needs to go.
Our country didn’t plant its flag on the moon because it wanted to. You can want anything, for crying out loud! Just because I want to be the next Tolkien doesn’t mean I’m going to wake up one day with an epic on the bookshelf and reporters begging for a hint at my outstanding success. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, the USSR played a major role in the motivation of our countries greatest minds, but that wasn’t it. Our leaders could have sat in their offices, twiddled their thumbs, done a Macaulay Culkin face, and exclaimed, “Oh, dear! Whatever shall we do!” Nope. Everyone got out of their comfy chairs and ran past the Soviets, toward the Horizon, shouting, “We’re going to beat ya, suckers!” even when we were falling behind. And, you know what? Shocker, we beat them.

We did all that because we wanted to. Because we saw a mountain and thought, ‘Yes. It’s going to be tough. We’re going to fall. We’re going to bleed. We’re going to push ourselves so hard, our hearts are going to break.’ But think, fellow Americans and teens, what it’s going to feel like when we plaint our flag on our moon! Think about what the world will say when they see us, when they see how we clawed our way back to our past greatness with our teeth and nails! Just because we are falling down a cliff doesn’t mean that we have to hit the bottom. We can show the world that we’re better than that, we can learn to fly again.

President Kennedy said in his famous Moon Speech, ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Guys, let’s push through the hard to our moon, for our country.