Over the past 12 years, I have worked as a part-time associate for Walmart and Sam’s Club. During my employment for “America’s largest retail chain,” I have had the fortunate experience to witness and interact with a diverse demographic of people including various religions, ethnicities, political beliefs, races.
I have been fortunate to meet many strangers in the beginning of our encounter, and part ways as friends during the conclusion of our meeting.
Being fortunate to work in a public setting of such magnitude has allowed me to witness and experience the common American resolve that can only be envied by other nations.
This past September, Hurricane Isaac damaged much of the Gulf Coast, leaving thousands flooded and without power. While working a thousand miles away from the storm-damaged area, I observed a couple purchasing items for the hurricane victims of the Gulf Coast region. Stationed just outside the Sam’s Club building in Lynchburg, Gleaning for the World, a non-profit relief organization, parked its box-truck in anticipation of donations for states impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
Serving as one of many examples, Gleaning for the World is a true testament to the American spirit to uplift one another in times of distress. As the couple that gave to Gleaning to the World on that day, so many other men and women feel an independent obligation to extend themselves to others in time of disaster.
Liberal ideology often invokes the belief that the American spirit lacks the compassion to assist others in time of need; furthermore, the liberal ideology endorses the government as the best avenue for uplift in times of despair.
Although government entitlement is seen by some within the ideology of liberalism as the tool for self sufficiency and uplift; fortunately, groups such as Gleaning for the World refute the notion that the American people are incapable of helping each other in times of need.
My position is not one to dissolve the role of government assistance, after all it does serve a purpose for extreme cases; instead, my position believes that the American spirit services the people far better than any proposed entitlement belief system.
In short, believing in the American spirit as the first line of defense produces far better results for the individual than teaching the promotion of government dependence.
Another experience of the American spirit occurred this past July throughout the Central and Northern Virginia area. Leaving thousands without power during record heat-temperatures, a rare, but very effective, derecho left thousands of people displaced over a span of two weeks.
As thousands of pounds of food had to be discarded due to food-spoilage, thousands of people were forced to seek air-conditioned shelter, away from the extreme heat. Personally, I witnessed people stand in lines at Sam’s Club, awaiting supplies of ice and generators, only for both to be out of stock shortly after arrival to the club and any other surrounding stores.
As expected, the frustrations of the disaster overwhelmed a few; however the spirit of resolve to help one another flourished during the weeks of the derecho.
Sam’s Club, recognizing several of its associates were without power, supplied meals each day for the associates during the power outage. Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church both opened their doors to the community as cooling shelters and supplied discounted meals for families eating in LU’s dining facility.
Numerous people purchased items (battery-powered fans, etc.), and offered their homes to those who were without power.
No one disputes the role of government, especially during times of emergency; however, as we have seen with the FEMA response to Virginia in 2011, the government cannot always be counted on during natural disasters.
As with every great civilization, despite the extreme-Libertarian argument for indirect anarchy, government is a necessity. The problem with the belief that government can solve all social problems is that it contradicts the very American spirit that our nation was founded upon; which is unity and independence.
In my opinion, any ideology that believes the government is more necessary in uplift than the American spirit has little understanding or faith of what it means to be American.
In conclusion, the American spirit is something that most Americans have either experienced or have witnessed at some point in time.
America is without question, the most charitable nation in the world today thanks to the heart of the American people; not the enforcement of the American government.
Our spirit to help each other endures because of conviction and a willingness to show genuine compassion for the fellow man. No entitlement can ever replace capabilities of the American spirit and the resolve in which it shows during times of need.