Against the Grain II

We never realized our parents were rich

Vaughn Wilson

Growing up, while we didn’t live in mansions and drive fancy cars and take lavish vacations, we were indeed rich.  Watching shows like “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and “MTV’s Cribs” we often dreamed of how nice it would be to have the money to buy those material things, as at that time we related it to wealth.

Fortunately we grew up.  While we realized it would be nice to own material things and we don’t have an issue with anyone with material wealth, overwhelmingly people I speak to within my age group realize that monetary or financial excess has its place, but certainly not where it ranked when we were younger.

In my house, somehow, year after year, my father and mother found a way to flood our Christmas tree with every new toy that came out.  From bicycles to race cars to the latest doll to the latest video games, the glorious memory of waking up and seeing the results of “Santa” dropping off a wealth of pleasure resides well inside my soul.

As a child wondering where my parents stood in the scope of wealth, I realize I had it completely wrong.  We didn’t always have the newest or best of everything, but I look back and they found a way for us never to need anything.  We wanted things, but they covered all of our needs.

I realize that the integrity by which they operated, the sacrifices they made for us, the civility they spoke into us and taking us to church to nourish our souls is worth more than anything that could be purchased.  

Decency has no financial value.  Spirituality has no financial value.  Respecting and caring for your fellowman has no financial value.  While financially they have no monetary value these principles are priceless.  In today’s era where these values appear not to be common, encountering those with these values puts them in the highest of esteem.

In a time where the world does not emphasize accountability, where decency is no longer a requirement and where infidelity is as overlooked as a grain of grass, those of us who were taught the riches of decency realize the value of that wealth of knowledge.

Occurrences today that are common have no place in the realm of decency in which we were reared.  From mayors, governors, senators, congressmen and even the President of the United States of America, what is being accepted today as freedom of speech, freedom of expression and actions ushered under individual rights under the U.S. Constitution just do not pass the civility test.

The peak of wealth in the course of civility is your word.  Your word, as we were taught, is your bond.  If you said it with your voice, verily it was expected to be without any conditions, recantation or misconstrued interpretation.  This is not a complex concept, but a mighty simple one.

One of the most glaring times this was displayed was in the selecting and confirmation of Justice Amy Coney to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.  With virtually no recourse, senators and congressmen who blocked former president Barack Obama from nominating a Supreme Court justice with eight months left in his second term, gave a free reign to the court for current President Donald Trump. There was no mixing up of what they said or did to block the former president’s effort to fulfil the vacant seat.  With no shame, they went back on their very words.

The inherent voiding of integrity by the legislative branch of the government is representative to the vast void in integrity that exists today.  This cheap way of living pales in comparison to the rich way we were reared.