I am reaching that age where I have to start thinking about retirement. Now, I’m not there yet but do admit that it’s kind of time to contemplate that next stage of life. I am pretty blessed that I have a job that gives me quite a bit of flexibility. I’m not tied to a 9-5 sort of workday and can somewhat make my own schedule.

I am reaching that age where I have to start thinking about retirement.  Now, I’m not there yet but do admit that it’s kind of time to contemplate that next stage of life.  I am pretty blessed that I have a job that gives me quite a bit of flexibility.  I’m not tied to a 9-5 sort of workday and can somewhat make my  own schedule.

 

Now, if I did have a more structured job I’m pretty sure I would be looking forward to the opportunity to be able to retire so I could “do my own thing”.  But, as I do look to the future I wonder what that time will bring. 

 

I look around and I see a whole host of retired people that are so busy they can’t understand how they ever got things done while they were working.  But, then there are some that just float through life without any real purpose.  Some people like that and if that is their thing then my hat’s off to them – they have worked hard and they deserve the kind of retirement they want.

 

But, my problem is with the vast number of people in our society today that want to live a life of retirement and all the freedom it brings even though they haven’t really worked to earn it.  Of course, I’m talking about the pervasive “entitlement” population in our nation.

 

Now, before the liberals start squawking, I’m not talking about Social Security or Medicare.  I don’t call those things entitlements because people worked for those benefits.  Nope, I’m talking about able bodied adults that somehow think those of us who work for a living should support them.

 

I know that April 15th was just a few weeks ago and how many people in the country got a tax income refund even though they didn’t pay any taxes at all?  Don’t tell me that didn’t happen because I know that it did.  That is what is called “redistribution of wealth”.

 

Hey, I get that there are some people who truly cannot work for a variety of reasons and I do believe we have an obligation to help those folks.  But, beyond that, everyone should earn their way through this life.

 

Someone who is out of a job should be looking for a job or should be working on public service jobs till they can find a job.  And, I think anyone who gets public assistance and can work should have to do something to earn that assistance.  But, that would go against the way we do things in this day and time in our country.  Instead of earning their way, too many just want to have things handed to them and too many elected officials don’t want to make the hard decisions to change the status quo.

 

You may have heard about the tourists who thought they were doing a good deed and picked up a bison calf in Yellowstone that was lying along the side of the road and took it to a park ranger.  Officials took the calf back to the herd but ended up having to euthanize the calf because the herd rejected it after it had been around humans.  The people were good meaning but ended up doing more harm because they didn’t understand the dynamics of the herd.

 

That’s what has happened in our society.  We have tried to rescue everyone from every kind of bad event and in turn have made things worse.  Instead of offering a hand up to those in need, we have given them a hand out and too many have now come to expect to be handed things without earning them.

 

A few weeks ago, I read a column by James Whitford, the Executive Director of Watered Gardens Ministry in Joplin.  I always enjoy his comments and his philosophy toward those in need.  He wrote in the column that “Producers are happier than consumers.”  And, “Socialism and work don’t mix, either.”  Here is someone who lives and breathes helping those in need and he believes that people should work and not expect a free meal.

 

And, here is Benjamin Franklin’s take on welfare.  “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

 

I don’t think I can say it any better than Ben.  I wish we had listened to him.