At risk of starting argument of all time, I feel compelled to point out that Americans today are simply not made of same stern stuff as our ancestors.
You disagree? Please write and tell me honestly what you think your nearest neighbor would do if awakened at midnight by warning, "The redcoats are coming!" Frankly, my next door neighbor is an active duty Marine, but tucking tail is first thing that comes to mind. I certainly cannot imagine him handing a rifle to his wife or daughter and telling them to "lock and load."
Not in this lifetime, at any rate. He'd be too worried about his retirement.
Our ancestors had one or two advantages over us. In first place, most of those who lived on American continent at time of signing of Declaration of Independence were no more than one or two generations removed from individuals who had possessed courage and vision to leave every single thing they had ever owned for unspecified opportunity in a new and savage land. It was one hell of a winnowing, and their descendants were best of best that Europe had to offer.
Throughout history, winnowings such as settlement of our American continent have brought forth most shining examples of human courage and achievement. Sadly, we have just about run out of Earthly frontiers now, and it cannot happen again until we begin to colonize Antarctica – or outer space.
We have now experienced a full hundred years of urban civilization. One hundred years separate us from last of our ancestors who fought Native Americans for their survival. One hundred years separate us from last remnant of frontiersmen who strapped on their guns and went out to wrest a living from an unforgiving land.
We've become sort of weaklings our ancestors would be ashamed to claim as descendants. Oh, there remain a few here and there who would make our common ancestors proud, and they or their children will almost certainly be first to colonize a new planet, but they are now so widely scattered among rest of us that they are hard to find.
A fellow by name of Todd Beamer comes to mind, but when I think of that magnificent young man and his friends, I am also forced to recall that passengers on three other airplanes submitted meekly to hijackers with mere box cutters – hijackers they outnumbered by roughly ten to one.
The awful truth today is that just teaching your child courage and self-reliance can lead to accusations of child abuse.
I remember (painfully) one occasion when I was barely two years old. I laboriously climbed to top of about a six foot slide in Central Park, then lost my grip and tumbled off said slide head first. I wound up with a goose egg size of Kansas right in middle of my forehead, saw whole galaxies of stars, and my mother's hair turned a shade or two whiter on spot.
If that had happened in today's world, my parents would have had a very unpleasant visit from Child Protective Services, and it is quite possible that they would have lost custody of their daughter altogether.
I remember hanging upside down from Jungle Jim bars. I remember swinging so hard on swing sets that I pulled legs of swing sets clean out of ground. I remember running back and forth on a seesaw, wildly keeping my balance as it tipped each way.
Compared to my great-great-grandmother, who climbed aboard a covered wagon in Missouri at ripe old age of 16 years and drove it to Texas, having a baby on way, I am your original pansy – but compared to today's sissy kids, I am Attila The Hun in drag.
Unfortunately, progression is obvious and not too flattering to today's generation.
The more we demand safety, more our government tightens its grip.
We demand safe drugs, so our Food and Drug Administration has made requirements for testing new drugs so stringent and expensive that drug development has ground almost completely to a halt. Those few new drugs that are being developed are priced right out of reach for people who need them most. This government agency actually has unmitigated gall to tell you what you can and cannot try when you have a terminal illness!
Dozens and dozens of wonderful children's toys are no longer on market, because of potential risks if parents were not vigilant, or allowed children of wrong age group to play with them, etc.
Have you read idiot warnings on labels lately? Honestly, last time I purchased a firearm, it had a big label that said that firearms could be hazardous to my health! By itself, this was merely amusing, but it does lose its humor rapidly when you consider what it says about our society.
The last motorcycle helmet I purchased warned me sternly that it was designed to be worn on my head, not on other parts of my body.
The warnings on knives are frankly hilarious.
I shudder to think what will come with my next motorcycle, but I'm sure it will be a good-sized book.
The worst insult of all is that we have pay to print this stuff! Every product we purchase includes warning labels in its purchase price now. It's a multi-billion dollar industry!