"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
You may have recently heard parts of a high school commencement speech from Massachusetts.
David McCullough reminded the graduating seniors that they were "not special." There are thousands, maybe millions, of 18-year-olds just like them.
Furthermore, he said they'd been "pampered, doted upon, fawned over," and basically told that they were terrific simply because they existed.
And it got us to thinking: isn't that our country as a whole these days?
Well, we're now learning some harsh realities.
The world doesn't melt whenever we speak.
We're having to import scientists, mathematicians, and physicists because ours aren't up to the tasks.
We export jobs for the sake of the almighty buck.
Our politicians slam each other, not for the good of the nation, but for the advancement of their own careers.
We're a country saturated with crooked leaders, cheating ball players, deadbeat dads, and general lawbreakers.
We exalt athletes and entertainers, while barely acknowledging the hard work and dedication of our teachers, soldiers, and public safety officials.
We make it tough on the average Jane and Joe, who put in a full and difficult day's work to provide for their families.
I'm painting with a broad brush, but don't you see this more and more in our country?
I don't know about you, but I don't want to witness the decline and fall of the American civilization.
So, what do we do?
Well, on this Independence Day, let's break away from complacency, from total self-interest, from doing the minimum it takes to "get by."
Demonstrate integrity in our lives, show enthusiasm at work, accept responsibility, go "above and beyond" in whatever we take on.
In line with the conclusion of Mr. McCullough's speech, this is the time for today's parents to return America to its "special" status…
if not for ourselves, then for our children and our children's children.
Because WBTV is "On Your Side," we encourage everyone to "Speak Out" – tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.