I have asked the question, “What is wrong with our country” many times with very few answers. Why are the gangs taking over the streets, keeping us in our homes scared to even open the door? When I was younger, we did not lock our doors, as a child I was allowed to play anywhere within my neighborhood I wanted. If I wanted to walk to the store, it is allowed because we did not have people driving around shooting people, we did not have people breaking into homes while we slept. So what happened?

About 20 years ago, “a good education was necessary”, which was all we ever heard by our parents. We were taught that if we wanted something, work for it. We were on our own to achieve what we needed or wanted and the only barrier was us and that was it. So what happened, why in today’s America is it, we need someone to look after us? Why are the greedy corporate CEO’s now villains? Why is it that those who make a lot of money, now evil?

That answer is simple, for those who do not wish to work hard, get the education they need and take responsibility upon their own lives, they are the very same ones who were either given what they wanted when they wanted it, or have been taught that it is our government’s responsibility to provide for us. Since the dawn of this country, the parents have made it their mission to provide a better life for their children than they had for themselves. At what point did this ideology cease to exist?

Beginning in the 1950’s, when mothers would and could stay home to raise our children, we were exposed to the family structure. Where the father worked long days and the mother worked even longer at home to ensure her children were brought up with the values and character she believed we should have. The father inspired us to work hard while the mother inspired us to care for one another. This was not always the case, not all had the leave-it-to-Beaver families but for the most part, that was American life.

As the tax rolls grew and welfare demand increased the demand for taxes increased, so did the necessity for the mother to go out and work. The feminist movement began; demanding that women have careers outside the home. So who became the framers of the family? Who shaped the character and value system of the children once both parents were forced to work just to make it? As problems began the government school system began bringing in Councilors to help the few children who needed it. As the stress on the family structure increased, so did the demand for the schools to help children cope with life’s struggles; implementing a general form of values that would take us into the next two generations and replacing the family structure and values that made this country great.

As the demand for taxes grew and the economy demands increased, a slow transition occurred. The public schools began teaching values, or lack thereof. The teaching of individuality changed to the teaching of dependence. As the parents were replaced with TV then computers, our children lost the message of individualism and responsibility. In the 1960’s and 1970’s a new generation of children began entering our society, ones that were not motivated to better the lives of their children but to better their own lives, here and now, the “Feel Good” generation.

Inside this group of new adults came a new voice, one that stressed the value of self gratification. The hippie movement in the 60’s was the first group that did not worry about the future but the present. The “Anti-establishment” movement had begun. A rebellion of the old ways of responsibility had taken over the mentality. The thinking was today, now and for me.

As these children grew up and came into the establishment, they began to change the way things were done. More federal control over the schools and the states, were just a few of the things they did. The idea of self-reliance had given way to the idea of entitlement. Vilifying the rich and successfully created the perfect excuse not to do for ourselves. We now hear the claim the rich somehow stole that money from the poor, they did not work for it but actually took it by deception from the lowest of the low and somehow forced the poor to give up any and all opportunity to have a good life.

But what happened, why did this happen and who is responsible for it? While I have explained the first question, the second question is the most important. Our government is constructed of individuals who, at first, wanted to help the citizens of this country. Once they came into power that agenda changed to “How can I gain even more power”, “How can I stay in office”. The answer is to make the citizens dependent on them for their every need.

Today we have citizens of this country who believe it is their birthright to have everything handed to them and they should not be forced to provide for themselves. Taking what they want is, after all, what they have been taught all of their lives. Working hard for what you want is somehow demeaning and they should have everything they want, therefore we have gang members who were raised on selfishness and greed themselves. These people have been raised to believe that they are the highest power, there is no God and the law of the wild is the only law there is.

Once this country was the innovator of freedom and ideas, yet now, our children cannot even tell you anything at all about the very document that allows us to be free, the constitution. Our children have been devalued to nothing more than animals in the forest of concrete. No value of life, no responsibility, in most cases no father and no desire to provide a better life for any children they may bring into this world. I wonder what America will be like in another generation?