There’s a stop sign in our neighborhood not far from a state highway. Seems like it’s been there a couple of years. Incredibly it has been knocked down over twenty times by a neighbor’s count. They finally put a temporary base on it to make it easy to switch out. The sign is still there ready for the next driver unaware.
I’ve keenly been aware since my early years that nobody owes me anything. As a believer I know we enter this world already indebted for an eternal gift that we can’t pay for. Add to that being born or raised in a free country and you’ve got some serious gratefulness issues. Unfortunately folks, the hand of “gimme, gimme” is on our knee with evil intentions. You know Harrison’s motto that there ain’t no free money. More often than not things came with a price tag—loyalty, obligation, scratch my back, support our side—most likely there’s a catch. Seemingly more people are readily taking the payola and worrying about any attached strings later. Bills do come due. The piper must be paid.
The struggle for our minds goes on. The easier route is to take free stuff. We all need help sometime. The danger is that it can become a habit like nursing a four year old rather than breaking the habit. Each time we take free stuff we find ourselves more entrenched in the system. Self-reliance tends to slide backwards. Breaking cycles of poverty is hard to do. Many continue to take the easy road rather than decline freebies and say, “I can do it myself.”
No one owes us anything. We are so blessed with the freedom of opportunity in our country. Jobs go begging. It’s hard to explain to some people how good it feels to earn stuff with our own two hands. There’s a world of people out there desiring or trying to reach our shores and taste the sweet nectar of opportunity and rewards based on hard work. There’s a growing number of people who view us workers as suckers for getting up, going to work, and putting in a full day. They are the ones who have long since felt the sensation of self-satisfaction for spending our day doing something constructive.
Work takes many forms and occurs in a wider variety of locations than it used to. Homes become workplaces as the world goes online. Still, there’s still a big demand out there for people to help provide all the needs and wishes of our world. It’s critical that our country remain a work-oriented society if we are to maintain our freedom. If we surrender to the world of non-work, accepting what people give us, we will not only miss the joy of knowing what it feels like to earn our way, we’ll find those freebies aren’t free as the strings are pulled and we are dropped to a place we don’t want to be.
By Dr. Juan Harrison