Updated: Jan 28
When I was sixteen, I had to drive down to the place where all sixteen year old males had to register for the U.S. military draft. They gave me a draft card and told me to always keep it with me. When I was seventeen, a senior in high school, the government held the draft lottery for that year. It was like at a BINGO parlor, with 365 balls – each with a date marked on it. Each were pulled out of the big wire spinner, one at a time, until it was empty. The dates were logged in the order they came out. My birthdate came out 267th out of 365. When I was a senior in high school the country was mired in a terrible war in a place called Vietnam. Kids slightly older than me were coming home mentally and physically scarred from that war. The news showed many others coming home in body bags. There were protests in the streets, calling to “End the war now!” Richard Nixon promised, if reelected, to end that war with dignity and honor, when he ran for reelection, winning in 1972.
You could tell them by the army issue jackets they wore.
Not too long after Nixon was reelected, the war in Vietnam ended. Everything young men gave their lives and mental stability for was lost. The Congress did away with the draft and returned the country to an “all volunteer” military system. There was no longer forced military service. The problems we have today, as I see it, are forty years of sparing the rod to spoil the child.
The Hebrew word for “rod” is “shebet,” which means “shepherd’s implement.”
Today we elect U.S. Presidents who have never served in the military. They become Commander in Chief over a military they have never served. There have been two generations of children born into a missing way of learning discipline, which military service provides to young men (an now women) when they reach that age of needing to be forced to understand the world does not revolve around them. Without that basic element of discipline, we see the results in the news every day. Children have not been taught to respect others. They have learned – through the negligence of their parents and government – the louder they scream and the more violent they act, the more they will get their way. In an old cartoon was written this prophetic line,, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.”
We adults are responsible for the conditions our society has fallen into – disrepair, decadence, revolution without a cause. That is the result of children being allowed to grow into undisciplined adults, with my own children part of that decline. I bear the responsibility of a loss that cannot be regained. No one taught us how to stop the insanity, so we could not pass that along. The idiom that now applies is this: We have made our beds. Now we must lie in them. If that is a collective deathbed, where does that leave the souls?
R. T. Tippett