America is not the greatest country in the world anymore

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October 30, 2013 by Brian

sad-eagle-flag” But… we sure used to be.” The truth of that statement hurts.  Is it completely true across the board?  No.  Still, no one in our group denied it, or attempted to persuade us that America was indeed still the greatest.

We are still #1 in several categories (like foreign aid), but our overall score isn’t anything to brag about.  As the actor in this short video says “The first step to solving any problem is to recognize that there is one.”

Here is the video titled “The Most Honest Three Minutes In Television History.”

So what can a HolySmokes guy do about it?  Really. We are just 50 guys living in Daytona Beach, with a blog that reaches a couple hundred people.  Throw in our families and that is a total of what?  500 men, women and children?

National standings on things like education, poverty, illegitimacy, crime, marriage, faith…they seem like gigantic problems, over which we have essentially no control.

Here is the thing.  Those statics are not the problems we need to solve.  They are symptoms.  For example, if we try to solve our education problems as a stand alone effort, we will fail.  If we try to make ourselves the best we can be, and our friends, families, and neighbors join the cause, the national problems will take care of themselves.

If you want to be part of the solution, instead of a contributor to the problem, these are the things we must do.  We are starting now here in Ormond Beach.

  • Prioritize the value of personal connection.  It is unacceptable that we have hundreds of Facebook friends, and literally, do not know our next door neighbors.
  • Be involved in your community.  Know what is going on, and contribute to the betterment of your neighborhood/city/county/etc.
  • Recognize that “Decline happens when you stop building things, and start managing things.”  So, build things.  Have big dreams and create something.  Aspire to something greater than average.
  • Recognize that there are winners and losers.  There is only equality in opportunity, not outcome.  Strive to be a winner.  And, learn how to become stronger when you lose.
  • Stay committed to things.  It’s too easy to give up when things aren’t perfectly to our liking.  Show people what it looks like to be committed; to you marriage, to your job, to your volunteer position, to your church, to HolySmokes.  Let’s teach our kids what commitment looks like.  It weathers storms, and has lasting impact.
  • Teach your kids what a real man looks like.  This entire website is dedicated to that.
  • Have uncomfortable conversations with your kids.  It’s not OK to leave the hard things – the awkward things – undiscussed.  Be a leader in this.
  • Be a gentleman.  Have good manners.  Treat your parent and elders with respect.
  • Bring back common courtesy.  Civil discourse.  Give people the benefit of the doubt and treat them as you would like to be treated.
  • Be more accountable for the things we do.  Teach our kids about money and debt.  Live a life of financial responsibility, and demand that they do the same.
  • Be generous.
  • Be something. See what you can do, not what you can get.
  • Either be a good leader, or a good follower.  Just don’t be in the way.  There are to many squatters in the world today, just taking up space and contributing nothing.
  • Teach our children the basics of being responsible. Mow the yard. Clean your room.  Work before play, etc.
  • Don’t expect immediate results.  (see our recent article called “Don’t Eat The Marshmallow!”

If many men, in many places, started leading according to these principles, the national problems would take care of themselves.  Let’s do it.

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