The Need for Role Models

Join the DebateJohn Horvat II, the author of Return to Order, regularly updates this site with insights about the cause and solution for our economic crisis. He invites you to share your insights too. Please join the discussion. Mr. Horvat is committed to make a serious effort to answer posts, schedule permitting.

ISSUE BEING DISCUSSED FOR Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Individualism sets each person up as the center of his own little world. He is “the master of his fate and the captain of his soul.” This limited vision of the world excludes the influence of role models. This vision does not like the idea of dependency on others, which it interprets as a weakness. The question this week is to discuss how this vision distorts the reality of our social nature. In Return to Order, we discuss how we need others. What are the harmful effects of this vision? What can be done to promote the opposite?

 

  • I think that people are reared with the idea of Individualism. Individualism is a very subtle tool because in and of itself we all have individual rights, life among them, and we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Great lies have an essence of truth to them. For instance, one of the main themes of Barney is that “everyone is special”. On the surface that is true because we are all made in the image and likeness of God and no two humans are created equal. However, it gives people the idea of unearned self esteem which, in my opinion, is a version of Individualism. Does that version sound familiar? Most people in the OWS movement had this idea that they deserved credibility and free stuff even though they did nothing to deserve it at all. Each of us is special but what makes us special is God. A person is not special by who they are but by who they emulate and use as role models. I think that the way that we can promote good role models is to use what we have to promote those role models. Use things like movies such as The Passion and For Greater Glory to tell the stories of Our Lord and fantastic role models throughout history.

  • Francis Slobodnik

    The Middle Ages developed a good balance between the individual and society.  Individuals indeed had certain rights as Catholics, as subjects, and as members of society.  They also had obligations to their patriarchal family, to temporal leaders and to their village or city.  Those mutual rights and obligations were not taken lightly. All of these interactions did not weaken the individual, rather they made the individual much stronger with many roots as opposed to just one root.  Today, in our artificial world men believe they really can make it on their own as the “self made man”.  The reality is that man needs others even besides the family for the full and proper development of their self.  One of the harmful effects is living in a fantasy world where one thinks that one has everything that one needs and cannot and should not depend on others.  As a result instead of a vigorous, lively and uplifting social life men live dull and entirely introspective lives, they close in on themselves to the detriment of themselves and of society.  I think we should do what we can to have the courage to engage others in conversation everywhere we go, to host gatherings with family and friends to begin the return to a real social life.  It isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to happen overnight, but it is a beginning.

  • Becuase of the way that God made us, we only grow in mind, body and soul when we open ourselves to the influence and guidance of someone greater than ourselves.

    When you read the life of great people, you feel inspired to try harder and to do better.

    The late and great war hero, Col. John Ripley had this effect on others.

    After his untimely death in 2008,  there was a tremendous outpouring of comments by people whom had been touched on a very profound level by his heroism. 

    One lady wrote: 

    “I never had the honor of meeting Col. John Ripley. In fact, before a dear friend suggested that I look him up, I had never heard his name. But I have sat here and read stories of his life and countless postings by the people that loved him and will miss him dearly. I am a simple American woman enjoying a world that Col. Ripley dedicated his life to protecting. I am humbled by the recounts of his heroism and tireless dedication to his country. I suppose I’d just like to say thank you. Thank you from the core of my being and on behalf of my four children. When the time is right, I will tell each of them of this great man, Col. John Ripley. May God bless your soul.”

    The person who suffers from an addiction to individualism closes himself off to the influence of suprerior men, and are thus diminished. 

  • Kevin Edwards

     

    The poster child individualist proclaims “I’m a self-made man”
    and don’t need grace society or God.   To
    see what “self made” really looks like, take this same man and put him alone in
    the middle of the Amazon jungle.    He
    will survive like the lowest of animals if he’s lucky.   

     

    What worse than a man living alone like an animal in the
    jungle is a man living alone in society despising his fellow man and God.   Was the horrific monster of Newtown, Conn
    perpetrator of the massacre of innocent grade-school children this kind of
    person?   You decide…

     

     

  • Kevin Edwards

     

    The
    individualist poster child proclaims “I’m a self-made man” and don’t need
    society, grace or God.   To see what
    “self made” really looks like, take this same man and put him alone in the
    middle of the Amazon jungle.    He will
    survive like the lowest of animals if he’s lucky.  

     

    What’s
    worse than a man living alone like an animal in the jungle is a man living
    alone (or on video games) in society despising his fellow man and God.   Was the horrific monster of Newtown, CT,
    perpetrator of the massacre of innocent grade-school children this kind of
    person?   You decide…

     

  • wcam

    It is interesting to note that it is considered American to be independent. This came about as a result of our American Revolution.
     Dr. Richard Price, a close friend of Benjamin Franklin, wrote, “America’s struggle for independence will begin a new era in the annals of mankind, and produce a revolution more important, perhaps, than any that has happened in human affairs.”
    Dr. Price probably didn’t realize how this new era would not only revolutionize the political situation in America but it would also damage the role of the American male.
    The American revolution, in addition to political freedom, also gave birth to a spirit that would destroy the American male: the spirit of independence.
    Dr. Price description of America as, “a rising empire, extended over an immense continent, without bishops, without nobles, and without king,” was quite a liberating phenomena in his day. There had always been bishops and kings and accountability.
    The new idea that patriarchy was evil clashed with Christian heritage. People up until that time always honored earthly kings because they represented the king of kings.
    Weldon Hardenbrook, in his book, Missing from Action, wrote “After the American Revolution the independent (individualistic) spirit in America was all but enshrined as a national virtue. As it spilled over into the economic, religious, and domestic relationships, it began to profoundly alter our concept of manhood. The same bell that rang out for political liberty in the colonies rang out a death knell for American fatherhood.”
    He continues, “Aided by the Industrial Revolution and the second awakening, thousands of years of responsible manhood crumbled into a pile of ruble-all in less than a century.”
    The Industrial Revolution disconnected men from God and the home life. The patriarchal function of the family slowly disappeared and it didn’t take long for men to find another alternative to prove their masculinity.
    Sociologist Peter Stearns affirms that, after the Industrial Revolution “three popular rites of passage soon dominated the national scene: getting into fistfights, drinking booze, and having ,sex outside a marital relationship.”
    This was the birth of the macho individualism that continues until today. It is considered unmanly and weak to have to depend on someone else.
    This mentality gained a lot of momentum in the cinema with actors like John Wayne, and in the sixties with the hippie revolution, and on and on until today. 
    To promote the opposite of this mentality it is imperative that we reach as many people as we can about the importance of the principles expounded in the book, “Return To Order’.
    This book, written by John Horvat II, is an indispensable tool and outline for mankind today to follow, in order to reverse the tragic path we are on.  

     

  • Chas L

    Individualism is a proud, distorted view of oneself, attributing to oneself qualities that were given by God in this soul.  Individualism is contrary to the instinct of sociability that man has.  Man has the need for companionship, hence Adam and Eve.  When a man looks after his family and his extended family, he is developing the basis for an organic society.  Individualism leaves no room for God to give the grace to fulfill both the social aspect of man and the building of civilization. 
    To promote the opposite is to give back to God the things that are God’s.  Grace is how all good things are created and grow.  We need, then, to return to the faith and teach our children and grandchildren the Catholic values and not the humanistic values that drive this world today.   From the Our Father, “On earth as it is in Heaven”, should be the goal of every Catholic. Restore Christian civilization and we will restore peace and order.  We can see the obverse currently in vogue.

  • cruzado03

    In his homily, Benedict cited the Gospel account of Mary and Joseph
    finding no room at an inn and ending up in a stable which sheltered the
    baby Jesus. He urged people to reflect upon what they find time for in
    their busy, technology-driven lives.

    “The great moral question of our attitude toward the homeless,
    toward refugees and migrants takes on a deeper dimension: Do we really
    have room for God when he seeks to enter under our roof? Do we have time
    and space for him?” the pope said.

    “The faster we can move, the more efficient our time-saving
    appliances become, the less time we have. And God? The question of God
    never seems urgent,” Benedict lamented.

    The pope worried that “we are so ‘full’ of ourselves that there is
    no room left for God.” He added, “that means there is no room for others
    either — for children, for the poor, for the stranger.”
    ************************************************************************************************
    Took the above story from a Filipino newspaper. 

    Individualism in America is seen under different aspects. Sometimes it is “American exceptionalism.”  Other times, it is presented to confront Communism under the idea of Americanism vs. Communism presented to us in our public schools during the Cold War era. 

    The Catholic approach is a balanced view.  We are individuals belonging to a community.  We confess our sins to a priest individually and face a particular judgment when we die, yet we are called to live in solidarity with our neighbor and to be instruments of his salvation.  We are not an exceptional country, but we have our special gifts and virtues.  Each country is called to its own greatness, if it conforms to Christ as its King and lives according to His will. We are called to freely share our wealth, but without being compelled to in any way.  If we fail to do so voluntarily for the love of God, then we will suffer the consequences.  What can I say?  Maybe I can put it this way concretely:  When the wealthy and powerful of yesteryear did not to strive to be as perfect as St. Elizabeth of Hungary in her love of the poor, the consequences were the French Revolution.  This does not justify the French Revolution–it was not just.  However, man’s sinful nature guides history from one extreme to the other.  So in America for many years we lived the me-generation self-seeking extreme, so the pendulum will swing the other way to the other extreme of being robbed by the powers that be and not being able to defend ourselves against it, except with guns, er…but that’s another issue.

    Those of us who have great wealth, and I don’t mean just those who are considered rich, should seriously take the example of St. Elizabeth and other saints, or eventually we will have to face the great moral question presented this Christmas Eve by the Holy Father.

    I come from Cuba.  My elders experienced the “robolucion” of Fidel.  Play on words–he stole everything they worked for through state terrorism and then drove them away through fear.  We can stand our ground, but if we do not do so as authentic Catholics, it will slip away from us like “Sandy” and “Sandy Hook.”

    May God bless America and may America bless God.

    Merry Christmas!

    PS: Sorry if I did not say anything about the organic society.  Suffice it to say that St. Elizabeth and Prince Ludwig her husband promoted just this–the rulers in harmony with the ruled; the poor in harmony with the rich.  We can see how fast this all fell apart after prince Ludwig died.

     

  • THE MONEY CHANGERS ARE SINKING AMERICA.

    The cause of the National Debt CRISIS is the present, fraudulent and unconstitutional Federal Reserve Banksters’ system of money creation and manipulation. In 1936, the great Father Charles E. Coughlin, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Detroit and founder of “The National Union for Social Justice” (NUSJ), wrote an eye opening book entitled -Money! Questions and Answers-. This book should be read by every American, especially those seeking to be well-informed about money matters.

    In the foreword, Fr. Coughlin writes: “Because money is the most vital and fundamental problem to be solved before social justice can be re-established, this is the first of a series of books which will deal with the entire program of social justice.”

    In “Money! Questions and Answers,” Fr. Coughlin writes:

    “Without economic freedom, both physical and political liberty are meaningless. Their existence depends almost totally upon financial freedom. It is essential that we Americans recapture our sovereign right of coining and regulating our money and of foreign coin. It is essential that we cease paying tribute to the Federal Reserve Banks who create our money out of nothing and lend it into use with an invisible tax appended to it. It is either your money or your life.

    You must act like apostles who have learned the truth. You must spread the gospel of financial freedom even at the cost of life itself… Form your battalions, independent of the leadership of the press, the politician and the poltroon! Cast aside your lethargy!

    In the name of Christianity, I implore you to participate in duplicating the miracle of the Master Who fed the hungry multitudes. This can be accomplished by insisting, by demanding the institution of an honest money system… The money changers must be driven from the temple of America. If we of this generation, numbed with the opiate of indifference and cowered by the appeals to selfishness, fail to dislodge the radical rule of the money changers, may we go to our graves unwept, unhonored and unsung!”