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Opinion: Path to peace, prosperity requires responsibility
Minnesota protests
A protester runs past burning cars and buildings on Chicago Avenue, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) - photo by Associated Press

Anarchists, gangsters and malcontents were on despicable display after the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Peaceful protesters were hijacked by evil thugs who destroyed property, looted businesses and committed acts of violence against innocent people across America. 

This needless insurrection is a stark reminder of the breakdown in family values and civic responsibility over several decades. Too many deadbeat fathers have abandoned their families. Too many single-parent mothers have worked long hours at multiple jobs. Too many children have not been taught the value of character and civility, a situation that often leads to unwise choices, unacceptable conduct and unhappy consequences.  

This counterproductive cycle must end if our nation is to remain prosperous and peaceful. We need parents, educators, business leaders, professional advisers and mentors to step up and train future generations to seek a nobler lifestyle. Instead of tolerating immorality, ignorance, unemployment, poverty and unhappiness, it’s time to embrace the following truths: 

Ethics 

Character is developed in homes, communities and places of worship. Caring fathers and mothers should be exemplary role models. Children should know the difference between right and wrong, then choose right. Kids should participate in sports, scouts, hobbies and homework, not self-destruction and societal upheaval. Above all, faith in God should be the bedrock of every family. 

Education 

Next to morality and faith, nothing is more critical than education. Without the basic building blocks of knowledge, life is more difficult and dangerous. Education opens doors of opportunity, but illiteracy and indifference lead to discouragement, depression and dire destinies. Martin Luther King Jr. declared: “Intelligence plus character —that is the goal of true education.” 

Employment 

Work is good for us mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. When we love what we do, careers enable us to experience more fulfilled lives through a deeper sense of purpose. Yes, making money is important, but making a difference is more impactful. Work hard and always strive for excellence. Be accountable for your actions, stay humble and have a positive influence on your co-workers. 

Earnings 

Financial rule of thumb: give 10% to worthwhile causes, save at least 10% and live on the rest. Avoid debt or pay it off as soon as possible. Stick to a strict budget and shun spontaneous spending. Economic security affords countless options and priceless peace of mind. Dave Ramsey proclaimed: “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” 

Enjoyment 

When we’re painstakingly intentional about ethical behavior, educational advancement, employment satisfaction and earnings discipline, we can enjoy a more prosperous, peaceful way of life. In the process, we leave legitimate legacies for our successors to emulate. Moreover, America endures as a beacon of hope and a bastion for the “pursuit of happiness.”  

America is a land of abundant freedoms and unlimited opportunities, but you are responsible for the outcomes. If changes are required concerning these five fundamentals, stop making excuses and start executing. Then, help others follow this purposeful path towards prosperity and peace. 

Dick Biggs 

Gainesville 

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