It seems to be almost universally true that people who cannot comfortably deal with reality run from it, and often at a gallop. This is nothing new; mankind has been doing so likely since the beginning of time. And the methods used to do so now are really nothing new either. ...at least not if we look below the surface.
children often have an aversion to reality. Their ways of running from
it are often amusing: the pretend friend, the one that takes their side
when things are difficult, and the pretend enemy, the one who takes the
blame for their errors and misdeeds.
traditionally have strived to help their children cope with reality
through instruction, emotional support, and abundant love. But today it
is increasingly common for parents instead to protect their children
from reality as to teach them to effectively deal with it. And such
parents typically have come to expect, and receive, support in these
efforts from society's institutions -- especially the public schools.
methods of running from reality are less pretty, and less amusing, than
those used by children. Some, indeed, are terribly self-destructive.
is commonly today called "chemical dependency" is one such method. This
is nothing new -- entire societies have been built around the bottle.
Pubs and taverns have long been the places where working-class men,
especially, have fled to avoid the realities of their lives. The
so-called "upper classes,' while looking down on such common places,
have done likewise -- just with finer sounding names, be they the
"five-martini lunch," the after-office "happy hour" or evenings spend in
finery at a "nightclub."
chemicals other than alcohol are often used to aid in the run from
reality, be they the prescribed "mother's little helper" made famous in a
sixties-era Rolling Stones song, or non-prescribed drugs such as
cannabis and cocaine. What is new is Western society's coming to see
this as "normal" and acceptable adult behavior.
are other means of running from reality that can be equally destructive
-- to the individual and society as a whole. One of these is the misuse
of what should be a positive aid in dealing with reality -- religion.
To look to God for support in facing up to and dealing with life's
challenges lies at the heart of Christian and Jewish religious belief.
But even those faiths, today, have, in the eyes of some believers,
become mere excuses for not facing unpleasant realities. And other
religions, by encouraging total acceptance and acquiescence to whatever
is perceived as "God's will" ("Insha'Allah"), have kept entire peoples
from finding productive ways of improving their situation in life.
Western societies are increasingly secular. That may prevent them from
looking to God for the strength they need to face realities -- be they
personal or societal. But it does not, and has not, prevented them from
falling into the "Insha'Allah" trap of total acceptance to the
equivalent of "God's will" -- of complete acquiescence and abdication of
personal responsibility when facing the realities of life. Their need
to "run" has simply forced them to find new gods for themselves. These
are often in found in the form of political leaders, celebrities, and
the "I'm alright, you're alright" school of self-help teachers and
any of this matter? Yes, a great deal. Said Patrick Henry "No free
government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people
but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality,
and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles." All
of these things -- adherence to justice, moderation, temperance,
frugality, and virtue -- require men and women -- an entire citizenry --
who are willing to face reality, to wrestle with it, to deal with it.
Men and women who are willing and able to take responsibility for their
encourages the very opposite of this. It makes -- indeed requires --
adults to remain or again become dependent children. To look to the
State for even their most basic needs. To that end it invents for them
imaginary friends -- political leaders who supposedly have their
interests at heart. And even more so to invent for them imaginary
enemies -- basically anyone who encourages personal responsibility -- be
it on a personal level (such as parents who wish to teach their
children at home), on a local community level (such as church groups
that do not share and support any and all of the popularly accepted
values, prejudices, and irresponsibilities) and especially on the State
and Federal level (such as the accursed "Tea Party").
is so-called "Progressives" who encourage us to distrust our own values
and experiences -- especially those passed down to us by American and
Judeo-Christian traditions. Instead they encourage us to look to
"experts" to tell us how to act, how to think, and yes, even how to
many ways that this is threatening American society -- indeed the
nation itself -- are almost uncountable. And the momentum towards such
destruction is, if anything, increasing.
personal responsibility fades more and more people start to look to the
state instead of themselves for even their most basic needs. Thus
anything that diminishes people's ability to face and effectively deal
with realities on their own is being encouraged. And thus the push for
the legalization of such things as pot -- for few things are as
effective at making a person ineffective, irresponsible, and childish as
regular cannabis use.
we see the family structure -- once the great bulwark of protection for
society's traditions, and the place where children were taught to face
reality as free, independent, adults -- under attack. To support
"marriage" as it has been customarily understood for all the Christian
era is to be a "hater." For a boy to see himself as just that -- a boy
-- and likewise for a girl -- even this is seen as a threat to those
with a Progressive vision and agenda. Thus the emphasis on the so-called
"transgendered." Thus the elimination of even Boys rooms just for boys
and Girls rooms just for girls even on the grade school level. People
who know and acknowledge who and what they are, are people who can face
reality. They are thus seen as a threat to the Progressive vision -- to
thus not only the breakdown of traditional societal values, but the
elevation of what was once called base, criminal, and sinful is seen as
the new "good."
In Frank Capra's beloved 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life
the central character, George Bailey, comes to see himself as someone
crushed by reality. All through his life he has faced issues outside his
control with strength and unselfish devotion to others. He finds
himself -- as most every human will at one time or another --
discouraged and without the confidence to go on. If there was a devil in
this film it would have been he who encouraged George Bailey to give up
-- to throw himself into the river in despair. But instead an angel
comes to his aid and reminds him how his willingness to face sometimes
unpleasant realities, and to strive with all his great heart to overcome
them for the sake of others, has given him a life of until then
tells us how much our nation has already been corrupted by the agenda
of the Progressives when we look at the world George Bailey sees in the
movie, first with, and then without, his existence. With it, by means of
his personal efforts, responsibility, and sacrifice, there is a world
of goodness and heart. Without those sacrifices -- a world without the
George Bailey the town of Bedford Falls has come to know and love --
there is instead a "Pottersville." A town filled with hatefulness,
selfishness, hopelessness, and vice.
in the 1940s America understood which the better vision for a town was,
and what it took to create such a place: people willing to face
difficult realities. People willing to and able to demonstrate personal
responsibility. People willing to make sacrifices based on the
Judeo-Christian value of unselfish love.
today? What sort of "town" are the so-called "Progressives" striving
for? Towns filled with healthy, happy, hard-working people living lives
of faith and purpose? No -- what Progressives want -- what they are
building in place after place -- are villages of vice. Places with
casinos, porn parlors, pot shops, and needle exchange programs; towns
where young girls laugh at chastity and men scorn such things as family
the tendency to run from reality is real. The temptations to do so can
be found everywhere. Entire societies have been built on the premise
that escapes into the equivalent of youthful fantasies is better than
the taking on of adult responsibility. But such is not what built America. And such childishness will not preserve what traditional Americans have come to value.
Only strength -- full adulthood -- will. It is for that we must strive.
On Running From Reality was originally written for and posted on American Thinker. It is used here with permission.