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Maybe It’s Time We Got Back To the Basics of Life

December 18, 2012

My boys and I are studying Texas history this year, and we are now entering into the most exciting time, the most renowned and spectacular of times in our state’s history.  Yes, we are getting ever closer to the fateful battle at the Alamo, and the march to Texas’ Independence from Spain and Mexico.  Mama’s excited!!

In the book, Lone Star, by T. R. Fehrenbach, the author states that Stephen F. Austin was able to do in ten years of colonization, what the Spanish conquistadors, padres and missions failed miserably at in 300 years.  Truly an amazing feat in such a treacherous land, occupied by many different Indian Nations, rugged, undeveloped terrain and limited resources.

Of course, I must say, as one of Native blood, it saddens me when I read of the treatment of some of the tribes, but on the same token, their raids cause a sense of pride to raise up within me.  But I’m side-stepping the point I’d like to make today, so let me get back to the colonization process and the grandfather of Texas, Stephen F. Austin.

Stephen F. Austin

Stephen F. Austin

He sold land grants for an unbelievably low price, and the parceled leagues were unbelievably massive.  I imagine Stephen to be incredibly intelligent, and equally charming, as he managed to make friends with the Mexican officials, as well as American citizens and the Spaniards, to boot.  He was able to accomplish what so many before him failed to, and his successes continued to build upon one another.  Granting leagues of 177 acres to farmer families and 4,428 acres to ranchers, at pennies an acre!  (12.5 cents/acre), in the hopes that these settlements would prosper and remain.

His offer did not come without stipulations though, and this is the meat we are going to chew on today.  He had a few requirements of the new Texas settlers.  They were to clear out and cultivate their land within the first year (remember, there were no tractors or trucks, everything was cleared out with handsaws, mules and plows), and there were a few more characteristics these new land owners had to comply with.  The settlers had to sign an oath that they were going to honor the King of Spain, (an oath they made with their hand on the Catholic cross of Spain) that they were to follow and obey all Spanish law, that they were to report of any traitors, and that they were not to use foul language.

Back then, there was no unemployment offices or benefits.   It doesn’t seem likely that many even knew what the word lazy meant, as living in the wilderness was not for the weak.  When I look at America as a whole today, and realize all the work it took to get to the posh reality that we laze around in today, I wonder how many of us,  in our present conditions, would’ve survived back then.  Some would starve to death, that’s assured in the fact that there were no grocery stores nor were their food stamps, back in 1820’s Texas.

Men and women alike, knew how to plow the fields, wield a gun, and fire when necessary.  They didn’t depend on the government to help them, as the government was not fully established, nor equipped to handle the needs of beggars (in Texas), at that point.  Lewd and lascivious behavior was frowned upon, not only from a moral standpoint, but such behaviors invited danger.  These people, whom we come from, albeit seven generations back (in my case), were courageous and tough,  strong of faith, and they were full of hope.  Yes, some had slaves, and that is another part of our history that saddens me, but men, women, and children alike worked together, through  blood, sweat, tears, sickness and loss, to make Texas a reality.

Early Settlers of Burnet County

Early Settlers of Burnet County

Those humble beginnings are where we come from.  They built their houses from the ground up, with trees from their land.  They raised cattle and grew crops to provide food and clothing for themselves.  They sewed their own clothes, wove their own cotton, smelted their own iron.  We take these things for granted now, but it was a harsh reality then, and only the strong survived.

If things get as bad as they do in my head, we may be forced back into a time of cooperation and hard work.  The difference is, we are a lazy, fattened, lackadaisical generation, and many, though certainly not all, are always looking for a handout, or charity of one type or another, completely dependent on a system that wasn’t even a thought, 200 years ago.  Now, I’m certainly not pointing fingers at say, the disabled, or single mothers (or fathers) WITH jobs.  No, I speak of the sloths, who feed off of the system.  Those who could work, but refuse to, those that apply for disability because they are bi-polar, or milk an injury for all it’s worth AND MORE (being bi-polar is a sorry excuse for not getting a job.  I’m an un-medicated bi-polar personality and have no problem keeping jobs and pleasing my employers).

These people will gladly be escorted to a nice little “re-education camp”, if and when the inevitable poo hits the fan.

American Dependents

American Dependents

Then we have the issue of declining morals as well as diminishing faith.  Without faith in God Almighty, I doubt many of these families would’ve ever left the countries they came from.  Without morals, Texas would’ve never hit the ground running, so to speak.  I think Stephen F. Austin would have a difficult time being around people of the 21st century.  Truly!

We have got to get a grip, not just for ourselves, but for future generations.  We have got to get back to the basics of life (as Willie and Waylon and the boys, put it).

Would you join me in praying for the spiritual condition of our country?  Would you make a point to pray for all the generations that occupy America, and ask God to help us help Him restore the morality and pride that has become so endangered in the present age of “enlightenment”?   Prayer changes things…I saw that simple fact on one of those facebook picture posts, once…and I liked it!

We need to come together and change our nation back to a place where the American Dream can flourish, a place where our great-grandchildren can boldly sing, “I’m proud to be an American,” and mean it.

Until Next Time,

Vaya con Dios


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