FUTURE LECACY OF CHILDREN
By VFP099 member Ed Sacco
Published in Asheville Citizen-Times April 11, 2016
How do we prevent our society from snuffing out the best of a healthy childhood, and infecting our youth by a way of life that lacks Spiritual courage? At this time in history, the future legacy we create for all of humanity, especially our children, depends on our active participation in healing our nation.
To be a visible witness, to stand against the illusions of our “way of life” requires the courage of a spiritual warrior. One who will stand fast and see through the “soft rhetorics” of celebrating our military power which diverts us from the evils of war. War is hell! Good people seem to be overwhelmed and paralyzed with inaction, or withdrawn to “a way of life” for comfort and security, ignoring the horrible suffering that war inflicts. Notice how Americans admire and celebrate the military more than any other institution including organized religion, Congress, schools, and the press.
I lived the American dream, proud to live in a country that offered hope, had a citizen army, didn’t torture like our enemies, and offered social programs including an affordable college education. The “progressive spirit” was shared by most. The first president I voted for was Dwight Eisenhower who promised to end the Korean war. Later the Nixon administration expanded our democracy by lowering the voting age to age 18.
The world wasn’t perfect. The capitalistic system I supported has not resulted in a contented and happy people. We now idolize the “free market;” favoring profits over people. The lessons and tragedies of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam did not bring us peace, but led us to constant war. I do not wish to discredit the military, but the policies of politicians“we the people” elected to office.
I am thankful for the spirit of my formation years, but, what kind of world are we modeling for today’s youth? In 1966, 80% of American college freshmen identified “a meaningful philosophy of life” as an essential goal. In 1996, 70% identified “being well-off financially” as the top value; a meaningful philosophy of life fell to sixth place with 42%.
President Eisenhower, a military man, knew the horrific influence of war. He warned that this was not a way of life for the hopes for our children.
Today, war is the new “normal.” No teenager in America can remember a time when our country was at peace. We need to take a stand for peacemaking, for compassion and empathy, and selfless service for others. The future legacy we create for all our children depends on it. We cannot serve a loving God otherwise.