What’s Missing?

FirstEssentialWhen I was touring Mount Vernon last month, I was struck deeply by this statement.

It seems so totally foreign to the ears of Western culture today.

We laugh at our sitcoms filled with people we wouldn’t really want as our friends. Celebrities seem to be having contests of who can do the most disgusting publicity stunts.  Revolving door rehab seems par for the course for those we idolize and monetize.

What’s missing? What’s happened? I kept asking myself as I took in the exhibits on our first President.  I mean, he wasn’t a saint, he made mistakes and did things that I would disagree with and take exception with, but even a cursory glance reveals a man whose greatness stemmed from his character. How many men can you name in a place of national prominence today that could make that statement of Washington’s with firmness and conviction and actually be taken seriously by the public at large?  Think about it.  I can’t think of five men.

I’m not sure how we got here, and I don’t know how to get back.  I just know I am saddened by it.  I think God is too.


2 comments to What’s Missing?

  • David McKibben

    There is a way, a simple way to get people to understand what good moral character is all about. And it will come from each and every one of us who lives by The Golden Rule. The hard part, in the beginning, is to live it without expectation, and without prejudice. And to be the best possible person you can be.
    If I live this way, and you live this way, the next person might do the same, and so on.
    If you expect a quick fix or a bolt of lightening from out of the blue then you are going to never get there. Ever.

  • alastair

    and even more lovely would be for all the world to recognize good morality, only as a result of God’s greatness and mercy. :-)

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