Friday, April 24, 2009

Review: Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope

If you missed last night’s live multi-cast by Dave Ramsey from Oklahoma City, you missed a stirring evening of encouragement and information that was calculated to blunt the nattering naybobs of negativity that seem to have overtaken this country.

Yes, we have problems, but what you’re not hearing enough of is how you and I—We the People—can take matters into our own hands. The Government doesn’t want you to think that way—the Government doesn’t want to empower you, because when you are empowered, the Government loses its relevance—not that it ever had any.

Much of the trouble we’re in is our own fault.
It’s been exacerbated by stupid, so-called “solutions” from the Government. The stupidity and the negativity and the fear can stop with You.

Here are the three steps Ramsey says will turn things around, without Government intervention:

1.) Get off your backside and take action: Don’t just say you’ll pray about it.
You can pray on the job.
Go to work.
Get busy.

In the immortal words of Nike, the winged god of getting things done, “Just Do It.”
In the also immortal words of Yoda the Jedi Master, “there is no try, there is only do or do not."
So do.

Take back control of your money, take back control of your community, and hold those who are making these stupid decisions in Washington accountable for their actions.

2.) Ignore the losers.
Turn off the TV; change the Radio dial, throw away the tabloids, stay away from negative talk.

It’s been proven that your income will fall within a 10% range of those with whom you associate. Look around—if you’re not making as much as you think you should be, maybe you’re hanging with the wrong set of people.

John Burroughs said, “It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.”
Just as you are what you eat, you think as you are programmed—so stay away from the nattering naybobs of negativity.

3.) Instead of being a taker, be a giver. This is as important an element to our nation's future as the previous two points. We are made to be givers…and greedy people can’t spread hope in the world.

If you really want to make a difference, think about these three giving suggestions that Dave mentioned last night in the multicast:

a. Take Care of Your Family First, Then Share With Others
There is a wonderful ceremony in the Jewish tradition called the Havdalah. Did you see that example on the show last night?

You place a cup into a saucer, and you fill the cup until it overflows and fills the saucer. The point is that we must fill the cup to adequately provide for our families, but it doesn’t stop there: We keep filling that cup and the saucer beneath—the saucer is the extra measure from which we can help others.

Think about that for a moment—if each and every family in America practiced that single principle—providing for ourselves and then some—there would be limited need for The Government to tax us to provide for the indigent.

And wouldn’t it be a great day in America when we are able to depend on the government only to protect us from foreign invaders, because the entitlements have disappeared due to lack of need?

b. Give Your Time
“Giving” doesn’t necessarily mean “money.”
The most meaningful gift you can give is the gift of time and attention, and that shouldn’t be just at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Look around your sphere of influence—I’ll bet you can find three ways today in which you can personally spread a little hope and provide a little cheer with your own two hands.

What do you believe would be the result if you did this year-round? How do you imagine your community would be if all of your neighbors followed your example? Can you envision how much better of this country would be if we all adopted this simple idea?

Here's a disturbing story from The Associated Press this morning:
Volunteering has helped define a generation of young Americans who are known for their do-gooder ways. Many high schools require community service before graduation. And these days, donating time to a charitable organization is all but expected on a young person's college or job application.
Even so, an analysis of federal data has found that the percentage of teens who volunteer dipped in recent years, ending an upward trend that began after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"They're still volunteering at higher rates than their parents did," says Peter Levine, director of Tufts University's Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, also known as CIRCLE.
But, he adds, there's been "a loss of momentum," which he hopes recent passage of the federal Serve America Act will help address. Again, the Government stepping in because of a perception that We the People can’t do it ourselves, and that costs you and me.

You can reduce the level of Government by reducing the need for Government to do things you and I can do ourselves.

c. Out-Give the Government
It is possible to change the nation without casting a single vote. Talk about change you can believe in: When everyday American citizens make giving a priority, no one will have to look to Washington for a bail out. Here's how to achieve that:

Support your local businesses.
Give your time and money to your church and local nonprofits. Open your hands and your pocketbook to those in need. Don’t buy in to the notion that the government will supply your every need. Make it your goal to out-give the government.

Some of you may be laughing up your sleeve, and thinking, what’s Clanton doing quoting Dave Ramsey, who is on another Radio station in town.
Stop it.
What’s your problem?

There is entirely too much worry about who gets credit—and who should get the blame—and that has to stop, too. We need to be open and honest enough with ourselves to be able to recognize things that will help turn this country around, regardless of who comes up with the plan.

There are some things about the Obamalites that I have come to appreciate—and I realize that may throw some of you into a tizzy, but be honest with yourself: if nothing else, the President has re-energized Washington. (They need a little more guidance up there from you and me, but there is action being taken.)

So whether a good idea comes from Dave Ramsey or a back-room staffer in the Obamian White House, learn to think and analyze for yourself—look for workable solutions…and remember, they all will begin with you.

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