Call me crazy, but in the midst of our welfare-warfare state (with no let-up in sight and both presidential candidates all but promising more of each), I find many reasons for optimism.
One is the continuing influence of Ron Paul among the small-government, pro-liberty crowd. It is very promising to have a long-term movement started. Let’s hope it has some staying power, for these principles are enduring and timeless, not to mention critical.
Another is the recent court ruling opposing the unconstitutional show trials put on in Guantanamo Bay. Thank goodness for this decision! Hello habeaus corpus! This is a big win for civil liberties, and another indictment of the “War on Terror;” if not the “war” itself, at least its execution.
Another relates to the giddy feeling I see when a prominent news story appears that decries huge government problems. For instance, last night I saw a blurb on CNN about $85 million disappearing related to FEMA Katrina aid. Seeing government failures is sobering, but it is also necessary medicine for us to understand that government is inherently inefficient and ineffective. The more these stories get out, the more we start to get it!
One I would like to focus on is the promise of the Lord to the faithful of His Church (D&C 59:16): “The fulness of the earth is yours.” The Lord goes on to tell us in D&C section 59 that “It pleaseth God that he hath given all these things for man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”
And then the warning: “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things, and obey not His commandments.”
Are we grateful for the gifts and blessings we have been given? Do we express sincere gratitude to Heavenly Father? Do we live a grateful life? I know I need to be more grateful.
Whenever I walk into a grocery store, I marvel at the selection of food and the convenience and ease with which we collect various foods from all over the world. The shelves are almost always stocked! There are many varieties of many things to choose from! I remember reading a book where a Soviet fighter pilot defected to the U.S. in the 1970s. He was stunned and shocked at the level of quality and selection available at your run-of-the-mill grocery store. He (and we may say many still) had never seen anything like it!
Up until a few decades ago, food storage for anyone, at anytime, used to consist largely of growing excesses of wheat, of corn, vegetables, etc., and animals, too, keeping them on hand for when they were needed, and being very meager in consumption, so as to not make one’s reserve run out. But now, food storage is so easy: we go to a nearby store and can purchase all manner of frozen, canned, and dried goods. It is amazing!
We have been blessed as a nation and as a people. In this stressful economic time of high prices and global instability, and present and future global conflict, we have many reasons for pessimism. But we can also have reasons for hope, reasons for optimism in a better world.