Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! – Isaiah 5:20-21
Over my lifetime I’ve seen a complete reversal of ethics. I was born in 1950. World War II had only been over a short time and the Korean Conflict was getting underway. Truman was president when I was born and Eisenhower soon after.
Living on a tobacco farm in eastern North Carolina was a simple life. I’ve storied the tales of living with no running water in the house for the first nine years of my life. Just an outhouse out back and a hand pump at the sink inside that had to be primed to get water.
Yet with the supposed inconveniences I never knew we were a poor white farming family. We knew how to grow our own food. We had a cow for milk, pigs for pork and chickens for eggs and an occasional Sunday dinner. We made do with what we had or could make. Hunting season netted deer meat as well and the small country store billed us for whatever else we needed and we’d pay on that when money came along.
Common sense was to live with what you had and we were happy with it. No need to worry about “keeping up with the Jones'” In actuality, the Jones family was poorer than we were.
Common sense gave us the ability to deal with situations in the simplest form. We knew life in its simplest form. Our community was close knit. I did not put it together for years that what my mom told me held so much truth. My mom told me when I graduated from high school I would have to move away to find a wife. I was related to everyone for miles. I married my first wife who lived one hundred twenty miles away and found that 37 years of marriage isn’t always a solid marriage and I ended it in quite a bad way, but none-the-less I did. I met and married a woman from closer to home that was born in Morehead City some sixty or so miles away only to recently find out we’re related. Mind you we are like fourth cousins, but still we are related. Her brother told us in his family searches who branched off to make that happen.
Anyway, I am rambling as I usually do, but to get back on the trail, I must say those days we used common sense in all we did. It seemed to make us determine right and wrong in a correct fashion. That’s not to say “stuff” didn’t happen. It did, but is was corrected or we just lived with the consequences.
What happened over the years till now started in the sixties with the hippy generation. I was in that age category where things started blurring what was right from wrong. Free love was the motto of the day and it was full of problems. Traditional marriage started to suffer. Drugs started to tear at the morals of the common man. The seventies was a time of turmoil. We’d been through Vietnam that ended in or around 1975. I’d served two-year active duty as a draftee and went to inactive reserved for four years gaining my Honorable Discharge in 1976. The political arena suffered from Watergate and the first president to resign from office. The previous decade had seen the assassination of President Kennedy and later his brother Bobby Kennedy while running for president. It seemed with the 80’s we saw a resurgence of morals with President Reagan.
In the 70’s I was in my twenties and freshly married. I started working swing shift in 1974 and lost my equilibrium with the balance of life. By the time I was in my late twenties I was suffering from depression with no direction.
I sought God.
I began writing almost everything I thought in composition notebooks. I wish I still had them. I did not know at the time what depression was and that it was what I was suffering from. I started going back to my spiritual roots to find an anchor. Common sense once again prevailed. At the age of twenty-eight, I rededicated my life to Christ and asked God to direct us to a church. Being raised Baptist was good for me, but I wanted more. Then came the Assembly of God church where God placed us. What a difference that was.
What about the world though? What was it doing? Morals were decaying. The free love era was dying away, but it had left its damage and the rate of divorce was rising evening for well established marriages. Moral corruption throughout humankind was taking place. Archie Bunker was a hit show back then that shook people after having Father Knows Best. My Three Sons, The Leave It To Beaver. Those were not dysfunctional families. Archie Bunker on the other hand was a whole different world.
This train of thought could be a book, but I don’t have time to do it justice. Suffice to say morals today has torn the moral fiber of our nation and even the world to shreds. As the opening verse says, so goes our nation and world.
Evil people go unpunished and only get more brazen in their lies to the point of absurdity. To many people in power are corrupt to their core. It seems their infiltration of seats of power have been turned over to them. I fear for the end of our nation.
Yet, I’ll close with this, I am very well aware of Biblical principles and know that evil will eat is own and destroy itself from within in time. God has already laid that foundation of truth in His creation. I don’t fret that goodwill not overcome, but know that it will indeed overcome. Common sense tells me this. That I still have.
“Common sense is not so common”