….Is love sweet love. This is the title of a popular song written in 1965. I don’t listen much to current
music, I’m more of a classic/yacht rock kind of girl. I’d rather have music playing in the background
while I go about my day than have the TV blaring. I even like oldies from the ’60s. My husband teases
me about those, but I like them because to me they represent a simpler time of my childhood.
Recently in one of my 60’s playlists, the song What the World Needs Now came on and it made me think
“YES” this is exactly what the world needs now! I can hardly listen to or read the news these days
because it’s almost always bad and depressing. You have to really look for the good stuff and it’s hard to
find. I think that is why so many young people are so anxious and full of despair these days; they are
bombarded by negativity constantly. I even find myself succumbing to it more often than I’d like to. I
can only take so much of it before I have to shut it off. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand either
but my gosh if we are to believe the news with its constant reminders of the pandemic, China, inflation,
Russia, sexism, corruption, violence, fraud, racism, bigotry, Communism, Socialism, homophobia,
transgenderism, and on and on one would think nothing good ever happens in this country. I’m not
naïve or going to make excuses for the errors of our past but this country has done so much good,
coming to the aid of many worldwide.

Sure, we’ve made mistakes, but we are the freest country in the world which is evidenced by the multitudes trying to get into it from other places versus those leaving it. If we are so bad why are folks still trying to come here? The answer is we are still the best hope for those wanting the freedom and values this country was founded on.

I am willing to bet a lot of those trying to get here know more about our founding documents; The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights than many of our own kids do these days. When I was a kid, we stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance every day and we sang patriotic songs like My Country Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, and God Bless America, in school and up until at least 2005 when my kids were still in school there were school assemblies that included classic religious Christmas carols and celebrations of our traditional religious holidays. We took pride in our country and its traditions, we went to parades honoring our heroes and supported our local schools and organizations, we cheered them on and acknowledged their dedication and good works. We had block parties where neighbors got together for BBQs and games, and everyone knew each other’s kids.

We spent long summer days at the beach or lake, read books, played games with our friends and families,
dug worms to fish, climbed trees and made forts, and went sledding on no-school days. There were only
a few TV stations back then so there was very little to watch so you had to find other things to do. We
had chores and respect for our parents, and teachers. These days you hardly ever see kids playing
outside or riding bikes or any evidence that children live there. It seems so rare that John and I are quick
to point it out when we do see children playing outside. So much of their time is structured and in front of some screen or another. Sometimes kids have to experience boredom to inspire their own creativity
and to daydream. We have retreated from experiencing God’s real world of beauty and wonder that
surrounds us. So many of us prefer to watch TV or play on our phones participating in a fake digital
world rather than developing relationships in person. We don’t seem to appreciate how blessed we
truly are to live in this American the Beautiful.

This is not a “bad” country it was divinely inspired by
flawed men with inspiration from their knowledge of the Bible and a belief in God. They used that
knowledge when forging the principles of our founding documents. “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is one of our founding
principles. It’s a noble standard cemented right at the beginning of our Declaration of Independence.
So, to get back to my original statement, yes, I think what the world needs now is love sweet love – no
not just for some but for everyone as the song goes. However, I think we also need more kindness,
thoughtfulness, a sense of gratitude, respect, a return to our churches and knowledge of the Bible, and
the traditions of this country that set us apart. We need to show appreciation for the blessings God
gives us to enjoy; our families, friends, the beauty of nature, our children’s smiles, the sacrifices of our
military and first responders, the dedication and patience of our teachers, the farmers who sustain us,
the preachers who inspire us, the rooves over our heads, and the moms and dads who do the hard but
responsible thing and go to work every day to support their families.
We have so much to thank God for let us not be afraid to show it by honoring those that are trying every
day to live up to his teachings despite all the negativity that surrounds us. Let us be proud of our
country while being informed by the mistakes of the past to make better decisions going forward but
let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Our rights consigned to us by God and reiterated in
our founding documents by our forefathers need to be protected, revered, understood, and taught to
our children. We must teach our kids to be THANKFUL! We live in the richest country in the world in
relative safety, comfort, and security we should take pride in those facts and appreciate all we have
improving where it’s needed while clinging to what is good and just and right.

Galatians 5:12

For you have been called to live in freedom-not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but
freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “love
your neighbor as yourself”.

Lisa Podrecca
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