Murder in America has increased to an alarming 42 percent. Road rage and assaults are commonplace. Why? The nightly news says it’s guns, it’s the pandemic, it’s unemployment, it’s, it’s, it’s.

The reality? Overall, people have become lazy and unhappy with themselves, and rather than change it, they blame and take from others. It’s the mindset of what’s yours is mine, crippling our society because of selfish immaturity.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Working hard to build a family, business, anything, equals a meaningful life and satisfaction at the end of the day, knowing you pressed through, determined to finish the course no matter the circumstances. The journey of life is about following through with decisions and promises. Every single day, even when it’s hard.

Whatever role you find yourself in, parent, student, business owner, do it to the highest degree of excellence, mindful of the responsibility to be the light for others to follow. Someone somewhere is watching and learning from you. Sadly, too many young people aren’t being taught the value of perseverance, hard work and biblical principles.

Abolishing prayer and God in schools in 1962 paved the way for a pervasive moral decline and acceptance of everyone doing what they want, whenever. Fast forward to grade inflation over study, participation trophies over practice, video games over books, “hook-ups” over commitment, and movies and songs encouraging violence and drugs.

The Bible in James 4:2 says, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”

Asking God for things isn’t bad, asking with wrong motives is and won’t ever bring long-term success. Happiness lasting until the next new thing or person. The bullet of jealousy mustn’t hit others to assuage lack of grit.

Families and societies are only as good as we are. As Maya Angelou said, “When we decide to be happy we accept the responsibility to bring happiness to someone else.”

The violent rhetoric and brutality today are at odds with this value. American society is made up of toddlers, whining and blaming others for misfortunes and mistakes. It’s easier to blame and take than it is to get up every morning and choose to do what’s right no matter what. Playing the victim and blame game continues the engine of pain for everyone.

Maturity understands it’s not just about you or me. It’s about all of us. We must remember when we’re tempted to war in some way, to keep the bullet in the mouth and take ownership for our life, the good and the bad. So, resolve to do the hard things in life and also help others. Growing up in every area equals a life of excellence and contentment.

Leslie Cappiello, Ph.D., is an educator and lives in Galveston.

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(7) comments

Charles Douglas

Ms. Cappiello, beautifully stated! I enjoyed this, and God bless you for putting the truth, and, life help in print, and sharing it with others. You never know what individual will grab a thought, idea, or an anointed word that you put in print which will change their situation, or life! God Bless you for being used for the greater good.

Ed Buckner

Dr. Cappiello, I agree with some of what you say--that all of us need to take responsibility for our own actions, etc. But then you go off the rails. You write, "Abolishing prayer and God in schools in 1962 paved the way for a pervasive moral decline and acceptance of everyone doing what they want, whenever. " And that is misinformed in several regards.

No court in the US, and certainly not the US Supreme Court, has ever abolished prayer and God in any school, public or private. The 1963 decision rightly banned *government* agents from determining what prayer, if any, should be offered by students. The ruling was a restriction on governments, not on individuals.

And however you define "moral decline," the court prayer rulings cannot responsibly be blamed: many jurisdictions never had government-required religion before the ruling, for one thing. Objective measures of crime rates, etc., show no correlation with the court rulings, for another.

Christians like the professor have an unquestionable right to pray and to accept the Bible as God's word--but not to impose praying or Bible beliefs on students. In America, non-Christians, including atheists and followers of other religions, have every right to avoid government-imposed religious acts and decisions.

Mary Godfrey

I certainly agree that far too many of us have lost our way. Especially as some of us continue to say America is a Christian nation. There is too much violence, too much bigotry, too much ignorance, too much unforgiveness, too much hypocrisy, too much of almost everything that turns us away from our Creator. One of the greatest sermons ever preached to the masses still rings true today. I refer to it often. It also comes from the Holy Scriptures.

The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-48 has always been my personal touchstone. It keeps me honest as I attempt to be good and do good.

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Ted Gillis

There are also plenty of us Christians out here who do not care for other Christians preaching to us. Go be Taliban in your own house, and quit trying to include us in your screeds.

Carlos Ponce

Let Mary Godfrey post what she wants. You can always "scroll" if you don't like what what someone posts.

Dalton Logan

[thumbup]

Mary Godfrey

Carlos Ponce, I never thought I would say this to you......Thank you👍🏽

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