Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Materialistic and selfish Americans

Memorial Day weekend is a time to reach out to the past and perhaps decipher messages left by previous generations. The messages come from those whom we have loved and those whose love has shaped us. Often, such messages are cryptic and not easy to interpret.

I remember a story my 90-year-old mother told me about her mother in the days of the Great Depression. It takes place in the Midwest but could have happened anywhere. Everyone was poor. No one in my mom’s family ever ate meat. But my grandmother, who had made her living as a cook in a prison, baked her own bread every day.

She and my grandfather, a custodian in a school, lived by the railroad tracks. Stories had spread that if you beat a path to my grandmother’s door, there would always be a bread and butter sandwich awaiting you. And they came in droves. Remembering this story from the past makes me think how far we have traveled from that desperate time in America. And maybe not so very far.

I see ads, sales and promotions for self indulgence eating us alive. Whatever happened to that sense of American self and selflessness?

Why in 2014 are we incapable of moments of reflection about the very values that once made us the greatest nation on earth and how selfishly materialistic we have become?

Once upon a time in America, although there was war, strife, greed and financial collapse, there was also charity and a sense of the common good.

I challenge Sun readers to remember a moment, past or present, when their family or friends served the “common good” and “supported the general welfare.”

Too many of our leaders, both national and local, seem unaware of these beautiful concepts.

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