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Poverty Is No Excuse For Bad behavior
Steven Lemon
3 May, 2017

For MY part, I know that for every child of any race, color or creed who cannot abide the rules of society and good character, for every person who decides that rules of conduct and law does not apply to them for whatever their reasoning, there are ten thousand others who, under almost identical circumstances, find a way to advance themselves beyond the position that they are owed something a share of someone else's earnings.

While I have great concern and sympathy for those who through no fault of their own, find themselves placed in a position where they choose the wrong path, but I have no empathy for them. It remains factual that they have great control over their own actions and must be responsible therefor. It costs nothing to be a good citizen. Contrary to the popular myths, there is NOTHING, least of all POVERTY that FORCES a person to commit crime or engage in self destructive behavior. If poverty and hard times always resulted in criminal behavior, Appalachia would look like Baltimore. There are people of all ages, races, creeds and colors out there who on a daily basis rise above horrific personal circumstances including disabilities, poverty, and discrimination to become who they want to be.

I don't PREFER to focus my support and efforts on the ones who try to do the right thing, but I am FORCED to do so based on the knowledge that the ones making the BAD news represent a tiny fraction of the total population, and that every one of us has the free will to choose good or evil. I focus on supporting those who go about their lives doing the best they can to be good citizens of the best country in the world, WORKING to make a positive difference in their own lives rather than incessantly whining, complaining and demanding that someone step back before they can step forward..

I would love it if everyone would take the right paths, make the right choices, and I do try to help those who do, but it makes no sense for ME to lose ONE good one while trying to save ten who are bent on destructive behavior. This country is indeed blessed with people who have concern for and spend so much effort of saving those who would be lost. I have as much admiration and respect for them as I do for the military, police and first responders, without whom none of us would have a chance at a very pleasant life. May God bless those who do this tough work because not all of us can.

Our choices in today are no different than what they have been for generations. We need to look at ourselves as the controllers of our existence rather than looking outside our own hearts and homes. Nobody is born being owed anything, and if we are owed anything later, it is only what we have EARNED through our own labors, not those of someone dead for 100 years.

We are the masters of our own destiny and where that leads is up to us and no one but us unless we choose to allow others to make the choices for us, in which case we are required to dance to someone else's music. If we wait until all of us rise together none of us is going anywhere but down and out.

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