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Media Release: The Death of Standards Leads to the Death of A Nation

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America has become "the feel good society". If it feels good, do it and don't worry about how much you may be hurting your family, your community and the nation. Press Release - 04/26/2013 - Columbus, Ohio - I am very concerned over the direction of this nation and its statue in the world. A nation is no greater than the strength of its citizens to the commitment of the values its people hold sacred.

My sisters and I were raised in a home where the standards set were high and developing the skill set of setting healthy boundaries was encouraged. My mother never allowed my siblings and me to make excuses for not completing our chores and we were certainly not allowed to wallow as pigs in the cesspool of our failures. She saw the best in us and her desire was that we do the same every time we looked in the mirror. She believed that if we saw the best in ourselves then we would expect the best for ourselves and from others. Our home was built on devout faith in God and demonstrating his love toward each other.

We were not perfect little angels. I can recount numerous times when my siblings and I did things that I believe would cause any parent to question whether or not he or she had been doing a good job but we were a family. Our disagreements were not greater than our cohesiveness as a community of individuals who loved each other and wanted the best for each other, no matter how the circumstances of the time may have appeared. We faced many of the same difficulties as any family would have but we were expected to hold firm to the standards that made us who we were.

We were not allowed to go to anyone else's home without first getting permission. We were expected to be home at a certain time once school had dismissed. We had responsibilities that needed to be completed prior to engaging in any extra curricula activities with our friends. My siblings and I were expected to be respectful to all adults, not just our parents and immediate family members. If we did not do as we were instructed, there were consequences for our actions and for acting out inappropriately.

My mother was not our best friend and she never attempted to be. She was not mean or angry and far from abusive. But she knew that the example she set for us and the values she had planted and was cultivating in us was key to our ability to lead productive lives. She understood that her responsibility to us was to love us, correct us where necessary and guide us on the path that would lead us to the place where we could be self reliant, responsible and fully capable of making valued contributions to our own families and the greater society we are apart of.

The boundaries that she set were not designed to imprison us and prevent us from thinking freely. She was not in the business of making little clones who saw everything exactly as she did. Boundaries were designed to help prevent us from stepping into a place where danger or destruction was an absolute. She wanted us to be innovative and not limit our range of success to what she had achieved. Why reach for the moon when you can touch the stars? Her experience allowed her to see what we could not see and it would have been criminal for her not to set limits in our lives. In one conversation I recall her saying that the decisions we make are our own but the impact of those decisions will impact the lives of everyone around us, for better or for worst.

Everything she did was not for the benefit of one but to the best interest of the entire family. As you can imagine, we were not driven by political correctness or a desire to massage each other's egos. That would have led to a complete breakdown and anarchy in our home. The same standards and boundaries that were set for me were the same set for my siblings. We were all expected to get 'A's in school. We were all expected to complete our chores. We all had a curfew. No excuses were acceptable in the Woodley household.

The standards and boundaries in our household kept us together. Private disagreements didn't spill out onto the streets. There wasn't a new standard or rule set every week depending on how we felt at the time. I couldn't tell my mom that I wasn't going to wash the dishes because I didn't feel like it and get away with it. Everyone would then feel as if they had the right not to do the dishes and get away with it. And then that mindset would bleed over into other areas of our lives.

This my friends is exactly where the United States of America is today. Everyone wants to do their own thing without regard for the greater good of the society we all share. The common theology of many of our teenagers is, " I should do whatever I feel like doing when I want and without question. Oh and if I get in trouble then mom/dad, you need to bail me out." Some may say that this has always been a thought process among teenagers but may I suggest to you that although many of us may have had those thoughts we certainly did not follow through on them. Those who decided that they were not going to follow the rules met with consequences and many of their lives were ruined. Our parents were not spending their every waking moment trying to figure out ways to be our best friend, or drinking buddies or whatever other activities they felt would keep their children happy all the time. What good is it to have great self- esteem if the behaviors you are exhibiting are destructive to you and causing havoc with the people around you?

Everyone wants to be a special interest group and receive "special rights" which set them apart as an elite class of people among their peers. Each says that it just wants equal rights and protections under the law, but once you dig a little deeper you soon discover otherwise. Everyone is afraid of being accused of being intolerant and out of step with where the polls say the direction of public opinion is moving. So instead of shifting strategies to engage the issues that are relevant to the world we live in today, many have lowered standards and eliminated boundaries to make room for a society that will be "more inclusive." We don't teach our children about the importance of respecting each other and adults. We don't teach them how to honor and respect authority, even when you disagree. Instead of parenting, we want our children to "develop their own way of dealing with situations". As a nation we have chosen to give them equal footing to their parents. We categorize molestation and don't want to label it as wrong anymore, we call it an "alternative lifestyle choice"; after all we are not supposed to judge people.

There are no set of morals and values which hold us together as Americans anymore. Our internal "family" battles were resolved in house, not displayed throughout the world alerting of enemies to our weaknesses. There are no values that we can profess to hold dear that can unify us not just in times of turmoil, but in those moments when we should be advancing our population beyond the stage of mediocrity to greatness. When terrorists attack we barely pause for a moment of silence and quickly return to the radioactive environment of attacking each other; damaging ourselves more than any terrorist could ever hope to do. America has become "the feel good society". If it feels good, do it and don't worry about how much you may be hurting your family, your community and the nation.

Some people blame globalism for the decline of the American society and the ability of the average person to achieve "the American Dream". People draw various conclusions based on what they want to see when they truth is staring them squarely in the face. Our unyielding press toward lowering the standards that made this nation great has resulted in the continued declining of American exceptional-ism. As we lower our standards the people take less responsibility for their personal lives and their country. As we eliminate the boundaries of what is morally and ethically right and wrong, moral- relativism takes hold and what was once right becomes wrong and what was wrong becomes right because truth is no longer relevant to my personal behavior and the decisions I make; truth becomes whatever you choose it to be and if it hurts the people around me, then so be it.

A nation without standards and boundaries has no vision and soon finds itself wandering aimlessly throughout the wilderness of time. If we choose to continue on the path we have chosen this nation will fall. But if we choose to see the light by reclaiming the standards that make us great people the result will be an even greater nation than before. Changing course is not easy and it will be met by resistance; darkness refuses to give up its grasp over the eyes of its victims. But if we fight what what is right and don't give in to what is expedient for expediency's sake or what is popular for popularity's sake, we will live and not die and declare the great works of God on our nation again.

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