Wisdom of our Elders

Wisdom of our elders.  Much has been said about the decline of society.  Every older generation feels that the younger is doomed, and the world is about to end.  One of these speakers from the past was Paul Harvey.  If you are under the age of 40 you may not remember this gentleman.  He served as a mirror of society for decades.  His radio delivery was distinct and memorable.  Collected below is one of his more popular monologues.  This monologue varied slightly over the years, but the basics are below.  If you would like to hear him read another version from his radio show, click here.

If I were the devil . . . 
I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world; 
I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings; 
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around; 
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue; 
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership; 
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies; 
I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient; 
I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings; 
I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit; 
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them; 
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda; 
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation. 
I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation; 
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art; 
I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled; 
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct; 
I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive; 
I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional; 
I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

Paul Harvey 1999 (adjusted by Paul Harvey since 1965)

In 1965, it might have felt as though the US was coming apart at the seams.  The youth was rebelling against their parents and grandparents.  They were grappling with responsibilities they didn't want and claimed they had never asked for.  They wanted to just be left alone to do whatever struck their fancy and the older generation had no easy answer for this.  The United States was changed forever by this generation.  Many of these "Baby Boomers" were solid citizens trying to raise families, work hard and contribute to the rest of society.  Unfortunately, the relative few advocating this new lifestyle began to ruin it for everyone.

The mass consumption of drugs designed to change a person's perception of reality (because it was perceived that an altered state was the only state to live in) became popular and commonplace.  These youths believed that reality was just too hard, and they needed to be transported to another place of being.  The old guard tried to fight back, but by then it was too late.  Simply by outlawing these illicit substances they drew more attention to them and therefore more of the youth.

The idea of doing what makes you feel good arose in the late 1960's into the 1970's.  Depravity increased with each passing year.  The rush of doing something illicit or depraved only lasts for so long.  Very often the stakes have to be raised over and over until the individual stops the behavior or falls down that deep dark pit to never return.

Our society has crept closer and closer to the edge every year.  It would have been inconceivable to have a homosexual kiss on prime-time TV 20 years ago.  Now it is common.  It would have been unheard of to commit let alone admit to an extra-marital affair, but that also is common place.  There are those who believe that only through showing "reality" in movies, TV, videos games and books is the only way to truly understand.  We have taken to celebrating "reality television".  The only thing this has in common in most cases is that every individual is trying to be more outrageous than the last.  It is cheap to produce, and the public laps it up and begs for more.

There is an old phrase from the early days of computer programming.  "Garbage in, Garbage out."  We can't expect that a child raised in filth won't naturally turn out as a depraved, pleasure seeking, narcissist.  It is up to each of us to change our attitudes, and those of our children and to recognize that the moral standards of the past should apply to society today.  Dear reader, you and your family are under attack from all sides, all day, every day.  Only you can decide to change you.  This is where you need to start.  Don't wait on this, as it will only get harder tomorrow.  

Paul Harvey spoke these works nearly 50 years ago.  They applied then, and they apply now.  It is up to each member of our society to stand up and say that you deserve better from the entertainment industry, politicians, and the rest of society.  You aren't required to go along with the crowd.  Stand up and be counted as someone who is moral and ethical and demonstrate that to your children.