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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022

No One is Coming to Save You

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The power is within us

I’m not sure who needs to hear this today, but there is greatness inside you. Now, maybe you feel like things are out of your control, like a helpless, hapless bystander. After all, an unbelievable 88% of Americans now believe the U.S. is on the wrong track, and just 10% believe it is on the right track, according to a recent poll from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, marking an all-time low for the question.

But I mean, how is your life right now? Do you feel like your back is against the wall? Are you in debt? Out of shape? Are your relationships with family and friends the way you want them? Are you waiting for someone to come and save you?

And I’m not sure who needs to hear this today either – but no one is coming to save you.

People reading this right now are suffering because they are too afraid to do what is hard. Maybe it’s to stop drinking. Or go back to school. To be a better husband, a better friend. To stop overspending. To get in shape. To end an abusive relationship.

The irony is that many would do the hard work needed if they saw it as the only option. But the idea that someone, or something, is coming to rescue them, or provide a shortcut from point A to point B, holds them back from making that change. And sometimes, this procrastination, or holding back, lasts a lifetime.

We all come by this tendency honestly, though. Whether it’s the idea of the knight in shining armor or superheroes like Superman or Batman, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we don’t have the power within ourselves to solve our most challenging issues.

Politicians certainly have capitalized on this notion.

Need more money? There’s a welfare program for you. Education? Let the school board decide the curriculum for your children; they’re the experts. Health care? The government will make it more affordable for you. Pandemic? The government will save you by telling you where you can go, what you can do and what medicines you must take. Want to save the planet? The government can do this for you also by choosing the kind of car you drive and the fuel you must use.

But the more we place politicians or government on pedestals and believe they can make our lives better, the more we surrender our sense of personal responsibility. I am reminded of the words of Ronald Reagan in 1964:

“This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for selfgovernment or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

“And when you stop procrastinating or waiting on others, stop complaining and stop blaming people or the economy, the government, or looking for sympathy, as if that will change your life, you’ll realize how much you can accomplish when you stop with the excuses, get down to business and realize no one is coming to give you a hug or a pat you on the back.”

In his book “The Six Pillars of Self- Esteem,” Nathaniel Branden writes, “No one is coming to save me; no one is coming to make life right for me; no one is coming to solve my problems. If I don’t do something, nothing is going to get better.”

You see, we have the power with us to make life better. Remember in the movie “The Wizard of Oz”? Dorothy asks Glinda, the Good Witch, to help her once more to get back home to Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. Glinda shares the most valuable advice of all: “You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”

See, she always had the power within herself. Just like the Scarecrow, to whom Oz presented a diploma, who already had just as many brains as those who graduated from the most prestigious universities. Or Tin Man, who was already as sentimental as any man could be. Or Lion, who was already courageous but just didn’t know it yet.

All of us just need to be reminded that we have the power within ourselves because we are created in the image of God.

Whether we ever get a pat on the back or not.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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