No. 716


There are those times in each of our lives, and sometimes in the life of our nation, when we have to go for broke and throw caution to the wind. A good analogy would be the football team, late in the fourth quarter, trailing by three touchdowns. At this point it is not time for the late Woody Hayes style of “Three yards and a cloud of dust.”
While this is not a doomsday statement, far from it, and only God knows for sure, the United States of America may be late in the fourth quarter. We hear all kind of talk these days about a trillion dollar deficit and the massive debt we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. If you have read my column for very long, you know that I have been talking about this very thing for the past 10 years.
To be sure, money is one thing that gets everyone’s attention, especially those of us who don’t have much, or none in many cases. Even more critical is the complete meltdown of moral and ethical character of our nation’s leaders. Over the past couple of years we have seen more scandals, resignations, indictments, bloodshed, mass carnage and fraud than in the past three decades combined. Really you can’t separate the two: Our money problems come from a breakdown of our moral and ethical character. My question to every person who will read this column is simply this: When will we say: “Enough is enough.”
I have a proposal to make today that would make a world of difference, and some people will disagree and say that it’s religious, but I don’t mean it that way at all. There is a book in the Bible called the Book of Proverbs that lists many of the 3,000 proverbs written by King Solomon, King of Israel. King Solomon is reported to be the wisest man who ever lived, so why shouldn’t we take some of his wisdom and use it to further our own goals and objectives. If you have never read the Book of Proverbs, I would encourage you to do so and I believe you will conclude that what I am saying is true.
For the sake of our nation and future generations, I am going to recommend that a course teaching the truths and concepts found in Proverbs be taught in every high school, college and university in America. I don’t mean a cursory reading but an in-depth study of these lifetime principles for successful living. I can promise you one thing, if everyone who has suffered the consequences of wrong actions and criminal and immoral behavior could have been taught these proverbs earlier in life, most would be far better off today, and not be disgraced, rotting in a prison cell or dead. Now that’s something to think about. Do you have a loved one in this predicament? If so, get involved in getting this course started in your community.
The last time I read the Book of Proverbs I marked a few select verses, and I would like to share a sampling in the event you are not familiar with these: 21:6 “Making a fortune through a lying tongue is a vanishing mist, a pursuit of death.” 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.” 13:1 “A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a mocker doesn’t listen to rebuke.” 2:16 “It will rescue you from a forbidden woman, from a stranger with her flattering talk.” 4:11 “I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths.”
As a philosophy of life, I have always believed that “it is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” To stay in the battle, there is one thing we must have and that is hope. I have hope for today and tomorrow. I hope you do, too.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)