Last night, little by little, we watched a beautiful lady die. She had served us well and taken care of us for 236 years. She had been in declining health for about four years.
But too many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren didn’t help her in any way, and, in fact, contributed to her death. They refused to grow up or to help themselves even though each had the opportunity for greatness. Many of them even refused to learn to feed themselves and expected her to do it for them.
She gave each of them a beautiful constitution. Each of them! But they didn’t take care of it. They only wanted to tear it apart and play with it and throw the rest of it away. And, they only wanted to trample on the beautiful flag she gave each of them. Each of them! Maybe she gave them too much. Maybe she should have made them work a little for all this.
But she had always provided for them, so why should they work or learn, other than learn how to play and keep her feeding them. After all, work was no fun, and learning took effort. It was more fun to just play. And, would she just change the rules about play? Morals... why worry about morals? She could take care of the aftermath of poor morals. Morals weren’t any fun anyway!
Her immediate family stayed sharply divided regarding her care, and over half of them expected her to feed them because they were too busy running and playing to feed themselves.
Even the older, more sensible ones had turned against her too many times. She had counted on these nine to uphold her rules and help her handle the unruly ones, but they just laughed at her and told her “she was being cruel and mean.” She wasn’t allowed to discipline the unruly ones. Why, that might hurt their pride.
And those step grandchildren, she had to take care of them and she couldn’t force them to work or learn, but she had to feed them. And make sure their nose didn’t run. Feed them and wipe their nose – but she still couldn’t make them mind! That might hurt their pride.
So this beautiful proud lady just gave up. She had spent all her money some time ago and had mortgaged her good name so the kids wouldn’t go without. But they wouldn’t listen, they wouldn’t learn and they wouldn’t work. She just gave up!
What a shame. Most of her family isn’t even aware she’s gone. They won’t notice until they get hungry. And most of her family won’t attend her funeral service, and part of those that do will just be looking for a free lunch.
What a beautiful life she had. She gave us values to live by. She gave us opportunity and allowed us to worship. She allowed, no, she encouraged, us to excel, all we had to do was apply ourselves.
We all should have learned from her example!
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