Written by Gary Wonning
I grew up in the middle of a corn field in southern Indiana. Like everyone else I knew, we didn’t have much money, living on a small dairy farm, it was often a day to day existence, with no money for extras.
We were poor, but we didn’t know we were poor because everyone else was poor to.
I often felt sorry for my cousins who lived in Indianapolis, they were better off financially then we were, but they didn’t have the freedom I had, I could roam anywhere without the fear of evil coming upon me. Plus I had the farm animals, a creek with all kinds of playthings in it, fish,crawdads, snakes, tadpoles, you name it.
Growing up, and graduating high school in 1962, I couldn’t wait to get a good job and start making money doing something besides baling hay.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we had landed in my opinion, in one of the best times to be alive.
New technology and jobs were everywhere, and life was simple, so we thought.
I had this vision of leading the same life as an adult I had as a child, only with more money.
I just wanted to live the American Dream, two car garage, white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a chicken in every pot.
It started to become a reality, I got a good job, made good money, and began accumulating all the stuff I wanted.
By the age of thirty-eight, everything I had was paid for, house on acre of land, swimming pool, cars, everything.
One day I looked around and said,”That was easy, there must be more to life than this.”
Oops, should never had said that.
Three years, I was divorced, and broke.
I still had my job, but everything else was gone.
How did that happen, and why?
In such circumstances, many turn to their church or pastor, which I did, the standard answer, when no one has an answer, It’s God’s Will, wasn’t cutting it for me.There had to be a reason why myself and others face these trials while many others seems to skate through life virtually untouched.
I wasn’t whining or feeling sorry for myself, I just wanted an answer.
I had joined the masonic lodge a few years previous, and I kept hearing about the secrets of masons in masonry, what was that all about?
Even though my lodge brothers were well versed in masonic ritual, and history, they had no answers either.
So I began my own search, after asking the universe many times what were the hidden mysteries of masonry, I began to get answers.
My search took me to most of the United States, Egypt, Canary Islands. Belize, and Australia.
In the process, I talked with aboriginal leaders in the outback, Mayan Medicine men, visionaries, and many others.
Through it all, I took on a different perspective of life, and how maybe some of life’s problems can be understood and thus made easier to deal with.
But what does this have to do with the state of affairs in the United States and the moral decline that worries each and every one of us?
Let’s go back in time.
I remember standing out in my front yard as a child one evening, I was probably about six years old.
At the time I lived in southern Indiana and looking towards the east, I saw Washington D.C. going up in flames. I hardly knew what Washington D.C. was, I had heard it was our nation’s capitol, but being as young as I was I didn’t realize what the city stood for.
I just knew our government was in trouble and it seemed as if it was a few years after the turn of the 21st century. It seemed to be really troubling times.
This was about 1950, so it seemed really far off, and I pretty much forgot about it.
Several years later, in the late 80s, I had to opportunity to speak with a very knowledgeable and intuitive lady. Someone who should have been famous, but wasn’t.
She gave me the same information about the coming turmoil, repeating what I had heard in my youth.
I listened to what she had said, but it never really registered how bad it could get, we had just survived the protests of the sixties, how much worse could it be?
She said there would be much rioting and discontent, but it would be confined to the major cities and if we stayed out of them we would be fine.
She said the problems would come from the way the majority of our children had been raised after the sixties, the permissiveness and lack of control many parents had over their kids, and the way American society had forgotten what had made us great.
Soon after that, I went to a motivational seminar, where Zig Ziglar was speaking, he said the same things, I still didn’t heed the warnings.
Most of us were raised in a different world, and we raised our kids in that world, but somehow things changed and people forgot, or didn’t think it was important to remember any more.
This is how most cultures decline and finally disappear, being taken over by a more barbaric society, until they no longer exist.
I took it with a grain of salt and went about my way as many others had done who had heard the same warnings, after all, our parents and grandparents had been saying the same thing for years, the world was going to hell in a handbasket.
Soon it was the turn of the century, and suddenly, the things I had seen and was told about began coming true.
It seemed chaos was everywhere, no self control or discipline, no respect for the law, or others, profanity, everything that was right was wrong , and everything that was wrong was right.
Bad behavior became condoned and accepted, anyone who disagreed and remembered the values taught them at a younger age, were condemned and ridiculed.
The world had been turned upside down, and all the problems of the world somehow seemed to be the fault of the United States.
You hear constantly on the media and from some politicians how horrible a place the United States is, how cruel we are to minorities, the disabled, etc.
I found during my travels, this is not the way the average person across the globe feels, that is only media and political rhetoric, designed to sell ads and garner votes by pandering to humanity’s basic trait, fear.
While in the outback of Australia, I got into a conversation with a nineteen year old girl from Switzerland, she couldn’t understand why I would travel somewhere besides America, she made the statement that if she lived in America, she would never leave, in her words,”America has everything a person could ever want or need.”
A few days later, we entered the tiny town of Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. They were celebrating the 4th of July, being appreciative of how the yanks saved them from the Japanese during WW2.
I’ve been on an Italian cruise ship with about 4000 passengers and only about 20% Americans, they sang our national anthem and everyone stood up placed their hands over their heart and sang, giving us a two minute standing ovation when the song was completed.
Most thinking people appreciate and respect what America has done over the last 200 hundred plus years.
America has endured a lot, and I believe it has a manifest destiny. We would have never become a nation, or survived without what George Washington would call, Divine Providence and Divine Intervention.
Fighting against impossible odds, he often gave credit to Divine Intervention for his successes.
Adhering to the basic tenets of our country, the constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the ten commandments we have weathered the many storms that have befallen us.
Now we face a new challenge, maybe the most critical challenge in our history.
Before, the threat to our country has come from without, now it comes from within.
Many have forgotten what made us great as a country, or no longer seem to think it is important.
They seem to believe they can do and think as they please, without regard to anyone or anything else.
We have lost our way.
As I soon discovered in my travels, everyone worships God in their own way , that is what our founders wanted, we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
We have the God given right to express our religious beliefs in public or any where we chose, not to force them on anyone, but to express them as we see fit, as long as it doesn’t harm someone else, and we respect what others feel, and not infringe on their space.
The Maya, Egyptians, and Aborigines of Australia were more in tune with their creator than we are today.
Many of the aborigines still are, even though some of them have become radicalized and developed an entitlement attitude because of what the Australian government has done to try and help them.
All three cultures have regressed, the Egyptians went from calling their leaders, Gods, To Pharaohs, then kings, and now presidents.
The Maya have all but disappeared as a culture, and the aborigines are slowly dying off and trying to adapt, in the process turning to drugs and alcohol.
I see the same thing in the United States, many here are also turning to drugs and alcohol because they no longer have a spiritual foundation to rely on.
We have a drug epidemic stretching from Times Square to the cornfields of Indiana.
In an area where the Friday night entertainment was a basketball game, now several people wind up in the hospital from a drug overdose. It happens weekly.
It doesn’t even make the news anymore, it’s not uncommon for the emts to run out of narcan.
Earlier this year,the morgue in Dayton Ohio ran out of room, an airline pilot for a major airline overdosed with his wife while their young child watched.
The list goes on and on,there seems to be no end to it.
We shove Ritalin down their throats at three, instead of allowing them to express themselves and then wonder why they shoot people at nineteen.
The bad behavior, lack of respect, a sense of entitlement, profanity, and people sit at home watching mindless TV while ignoring their churches, social,fraternal and civic organizations.
In spite of it all, I still believe there are many good people out there, I think the majority of Americans still have their heads on straight, their voices get silenced and their cause doesn’t get good TV ratings or sell ads in your local paper.
Many are worried , they see what is going on and feel helpless.
Over the last several years, America has been fundamentally changed, because of negative influences from many politicians and the media, we have forgotten where we came from and what America once stood for.
But we really can’t blame anyone but ourselves, we could not have been fundamentally transformed if we hadn’t let it happen.
We stood by silently as our country was changed from within, no one, or not many even said a word, and few noticed.
Some thought it was wonderful, thinking the world has changed and we need to just go along with the flow.
Many no longer adhere to the Wisdom of Our Ancestors, that knowledge that was once passed down from generation to generation, from time immemorial.
The very things we got so tired of hearing and we swore to never repeat to our descendents, we never wanted to sound like our parents, how wrong we were.
This is how great cultures rise and fall, they become great through their deeds and beliefs, they then reach a pinnacle and bergin enjoying the fruits of their labor, allowing decadence to overcome their common sense, becoming a victim of and falling to their own success.
They forget about God and become focused on their own self importance, until they once again fall into subjugation and poverty, completing the cycle, waiting for someone to save them, while forgetting no one will save them if they don’t save themselves.
They forget the spirit of self sufficiency and self reliance that enabled them to become successful.
We have reached a turning point in our evolution. Many of the old ways are once again being thrown out, and new ways of doing things are coming into fruition.
This always occurs in society as we continuously evolve into a new way of thinking.
So where do we go from here?
What is the next step?
Many of the old ways of doing things do need to be discarded, they have long ago outlived their usefulness and no longer are acceptable in society.
This is all well and good, but we need to remember not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
As we are cleaning house, many want to discard everything, and make changes just for the sake of change, without any regard to to the value of what they are discarding and not considering the unintended consequences of their actions.
Many of our institutions have failed us, and many times we have failed our institutions.
People no longer value what our civic, fraternal and church organizations have to offer, and only look at the negative press some of them receive.
Church attendance is down, I believe that issue might be resolved if the churches started teaching about the God within, instead of the God without.
We need to move past the idea we need to have a savior.
The Maya and Aztecs were looking for a savior, look what that got them.
Jesus was a great man, a great teacher, his message rings true even today, But, it is for us to save ourselves, no one can do it for us.
We need to learn to discover the God within, that Christ consciousness, our higher self that connects us to the God without, the God who we are a part of.
Until we return to our spiritual and patriotic roots, and remember the values that made our country what it is today, we will continue to be going down the wrong path.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of
Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.
While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.
For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
Your comments are welcome