I lived life and all I got was this lousy T Shirt! Or, Failure Is an Option

If no one is responsible for the consequences of their mistakes or can claim victory for their successes, what’s the point of living? We may as well be drones, our lives flown pilotless as we live off the labors of others.

We no longer have high expectations. We give medals for participation. Eighty percent of the work is still done by twenty percent of the workforce. There are industries that penalize workers who complete tasks too efficiently. More people go on disability than payroll. We are told that debt will strangle us into servitude yet students are allowed to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars of academic debt, and our country keeps printing money it can’t afford to spend.

Whether you agree with it or not, the man who does what needs to be done without being told draws the most wages, unless he’s on the government dole where his pay is guaranteed. Now, however, we are having a national discussion about whether or not the man who draws the most wages needs to give those wages back to those who haven’t earned them.

We are failing to continuously inspire the work ethic that instills greatness in others. Initiative has become a dirty word. Life should be lived tremendously as one triumphant pageant after another, not as a spectator sport. Yet everything now being taught seems to focus on patting oneself on the back for just existing while waiting for your next check to come.

As the Good Book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  You can’t be a leader if you don’t have vision. The very price of leadership is vision, which is simply seeing what needs to be done and doing it, without having to be told and without the expectation of reward or accolade. Just doing what needs to be done, period.

Over two hundred years ago, Alexander Fraser Tytler is said to have described the cycle of democracy which typically spanned 200 years: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again to bondage.”

So where are we? When the dependents outnumber the independents, dictatorship is not far behind.


7 Responses to “I lived life and all I got was this lousy T Shirt! Or, Failure Is an Option”

  1. August 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Awesome article Tracey – I think it is spot on – sad to say – we need to humble ourselves and pray for a miracle to get out of the mess that this country is in. Our forefather’s are probably crying, after all these did to make this a free country and we are putting ourselves (our gov is actually the most responsible.) in danger of loosing it all. Appreciate your thoughts. Rosemary Evans

    • August 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Thank you so much Rosemary for taking the time to read and for your insighful comments. Yes, humility and prayer are most definitely needed to get this country back on the track to what made us great! I hope you have a tremendous weekend:-)

  2. August 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Powerful and sobering, Tracey. Our willingness, as Americans, to keep passing ever more staggering amounts of debt on to future generations, says a lot about just how ingrained our national selfishness has become. The ol’ get-it-while-you-can. And politicians, wanting our votes, promise us we can indeed have it all.

    I’d never heard of the Tytler Cycle. Makes a lot of intuitive sense. However, just FYI, its origins seem to be disputed: http://bit.ly/12EwKw

    Great post– as usual! : )

    • August 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Mark, you hit the nail on the head! I love how you put it “get it while you can”. In talking with some folks, that is exactly what they said:-( And I know the Tytler has been attributed to several sources, that’s why I worded it that way. But the cycle speaks volumes and is a clear reflection of human nature. Have a tremendous weekend Mark and thanks again for reading and commenting:-)

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Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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August 2012
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