Posts Tagged “pioneer spirit”

The Benefits of Having That Pioneer Spirit and Self Reliance

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By Larry Oscar

Well, here we are well into another year. We have a lot more people now that have moved to our lake in Northeastern Oklahoma, and they have come from all parts of the nation and all walks of life. They have brought with them their customs and the local culture from whence they came.

Some of them have found it hard to adjust to our frontier way of life. Oklahoma is just a bit over 100 years old . We have our own way of doing things and our own outlook on life. For the most part we are individual self-reliant people who want to be left alone. The pioneer spirit and that culture of freedom rings true for all Native American people. And in Oklahoma that is our native culture.

That is one reason we see things so different than many of the other more populous states. One thing we are not very good at is following the crowd. We are independent thinkers. Which is one reason we are slower to adopt change. It is also why we don’t suffer the problems that other states get themselves into.

The common sense of the people in Oklahoma is without question. “Look before you leap “ has been a very common practice among our people. It is for that reason we are not in the financial trouble many states are in. We are leaders in many other ways. While we are a heavy oil and gas producing state we are also the third leading producer of wind powered energy.

Our state also has an abundance of lakes and water resources. That is often a shock to those who live in coastal states. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “Where do you sail in Oklahoma?” In fact, the Catalina Nationals will be held this summer on Lake Fort Gibson for the second time. I travelled in 48 of our 50 states in my travels. During all of those travels I found no other state that had a better quality of life than we do here in Oklahoma.

One thing that has made Oklahoma a great place to live is our work ethic. We have always been a people that has a “can do” attitude. A strong work ethic and family oriented value system has been a hallmark of the Oklahoma people. My grandfather, Earnest A. Hetherington, owned a farm just west of Cushing, Oklahoma. He fathered and raised 8 children in the middle of the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

Yet he never took a single dime of government handout money. It was a matter of pride with him. Compare that with today’s new millennial generation of over emotional whiners and complainers. There is a stark contrast to be made here. It is my belief that the move to a dependant society in our country is due in large part to single parent families.

It was my father that told me to “suck it up, nobody owes you a thing.” If I had been raised only by my mother I would have grown up thinking that we were all just going to dance in the daises and sing kumbaya. The ethics parents pass on to their children does matter. In a world that is growing more emotional and intolerant of others beliefs you can expect change agents to cause a higher degree of social upheaval. Our close link to the values of our forefathers has kept the people of Oklahoma more grounded in reality than other states.

Regardless of the situation you can count on Oklahomans to survive. We have survived floods, tornados, droughts, fires, and even a losing season at OU in our past, and we are still standing tall. So bring on 2019, hoist a few beers, grit your teeth, and hang on.

(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)

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Has America Lost its Self Relient, Pioneering Spirit?

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IMG_6364Sometimes you just can’t help but marvel at the complete lack of common sense in our society. For many years it was believed by many that during the cold war the former Soviet Union had developed a new type of virus that would spread undetectable throughout a population. And the only effect it would have  would be to progressively make the society dumber and dumber. I used to call it the “Russian Dumb-Ass Disease”. It just seems that we have more and more stupid people in our country that just can’t connect the dots.

If you want to enjoy your life and be happy it takes some extra thought. Life cannot be put into sound bites. You must be able to have some level of deductive reasoning in your thought process. My observation is that we have more and people who rely on their emotional feelings to make decisions in their life, and less and less people who set their emotions aside and actually think about rational solutions to their life’s problems. Maybe it’s a reflection of a society that lets the elected leaders do their thinking for them, or maybe it’s because they just don’t want to take the time to sit down and contemplate their problems. Perhaps it’s because it is easier to let the government feed you, cloth you, and tell you what to think.

After all, it’s much easier to be lazy than to be responsible. But for whatever reason, it’s taking a toll on our country and ultimately on the entire world. Your problems in life are mainly caused by you and not by others. When we allow our leaders and educators to teach our children to blame others for their problems, we are turning on a ticking time bomb in our society that may someday go off with tragic results. Our school shootings are carried out by students who are taught to blame their parents, teachers, and other students for their problems. And not themselves.

Failure of leadership in any society will result in untold human misery for that society. The list of the failed empires throughout history is very long indeed. And all have a large amount of death and destruction in the wake of their demise. The chapter of world history that includes the United States has yet to be completed, but I fear the final chapters are beginning to be written.

Our country was founded by people who had a pioneering spirit of self reliance and steadfast resolve to be responsible for themselves and their families. This country has definitely drifted away from that pioneer spirit. Today’s leaders tell us that “You didn’t do that, someone else made that happen.” After all, it’s not your fault you dropped out of school, got involved with gangs, drugs, and ran afoul of the law. It’s someone else’s fault. Sadly, there will never be any hope for those who believe this tripe. The reason is you cannot change other people’s behavior, only yours.

Hope and change cannot happen in your life until you understand that YOU are the only one who can make it happen. That’s right. Not big government, elected leaders, teachers, parents, or anybody else can change your life as easily as you can change it yourself. I overheard a conversation between two ladies recently and couldn’t help but make a note. One lady was telling the other that “Nobody likes me”. She never stopped to think about what she just said. Obviously the other lady liked her, or she would not be sitting there listening to this B.S. If you want people to like you the solution is simple. Be more likable.

People like likable people. Approach life with a smile, and others will smile back. Lets’ do a quick thought experiment. Say you are walking down the street and a dog crosses your path. If the dog is wagging it’s tail and happy to see you, you respond positively. On the other hand, if the dog is growling, not wagging it’s tail, and has hair raised on it’s back, you respond negatively. You respond to people the same way. It’s not the responsibility of others to like you. It’s your responsibility to be likeable. It’s not the color of your skin, the money in your pocket, the cloths you wear, or the car you drive that makes you “likable”. It’s your attitude about life and the smile you bring to others lives.

If people feel better when they are around you, then you will be liked by almost everybody. There will always be those who are jealous and envious, so choose your friends wisely.

And above all don’t take life too serious. The only real serious thing in life would be running out of beer or scotch. Now that would be serious! (I could be wrong about the money though….it always seems to attract women!)

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The Consequences of Big Government, and Blaming Others – Part I

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IMG_6364Never let it be said that America has not changed over the past several decades.  If Harry Truman were alive today he would find a very different country than the one he led at the close of WWII.

Harry was a no nonsense person and is famous for the sign on his desk that read, “The Buck Stops Here.”  Our political leadership today embraces a far different attitude. With the election of Barack Obama, often spelled “Oblama,” our nation is being lead down the road of the blame game. “It’s not my fault” is now on the desk of the commander-in-clown in the White House.  Leading our nation is not a job that is to be taken lightly. The President is supposed to represent ALL Americans and not just the poor or middle class.  He is the president of the rich too.

One thing about Harry Truman,  he was not afraid to make the tough decisions. He was thrown into office during one of the most difficult times in world history and under very trying circumstances with the death of FDR.  Harry didn’t blame everybody for the circumstances under which he found himself. He set his emotions and politics aside to be able to make hard decisions based on rational thinking.

And Harry did not allow the American people to blame others for the circumstances in which they found themselves.  He lead this nation down a path of personal responsibility and accountability.  As a result, the period in American history following the war was one of increasing prosperity.

Harry displayed a personal belief that we as individuals could pursue and accomplish our individual dreams and ambitions without big government handouts.

In contrast, our leadership today says that “you can’t do it by yourself.”

Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.

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