They gave us the opportunity to prosper and thrive without all of the entanglements that are choking the life out of the world right now. They allowed people to reap the harvests of hard work and enterprising ideas. They could better their lives through hard work and sheer tenacity. The ingenuity of people striving to improve their way of life and better their surroundings was unmatched. We as a people were always looking to figure out a, "better way of doing things." It hasn't been until fairly recently that, in my opinion, because of the beauracracy of government restrictions and excess of regulations and taxes, that the influx of unique products, ideas, and processes have begun to dry up. I don't think that is because the ideas are not there--rather that the incentive to engineer, produce and market those ideas is not worth the cost of fighting the restrictions and regulations.
So! You ask, "what does that have to do with China?" The proof of what I'm talking about was all over the place in China. Yes, it was fairly clean, but it was also frankly, pretty ugly. No one took the time or effort to beautify or improve their space. Plus,the only space they had to call their own was a teeny tiny apt in a highrise building. You could almost hear them saying in their heads, "why bother?" The general mindset was, go to work, do your job, collect your paycheck and that's it. There is no reason to do anything more than the bare minimum. You can't really "move up the ladder." You can't just work hard and figure out a better way to do something because frankly--they don't care! They don't want the people to be anything more than just workers. We did not see one single "power tool" while we were there--except for a few cranes at some of the big building sites. If a ditch needed to be dug--there were 7 or 8 guys with shovels digging the trench. If the streets needed to be swept--there were 2 men sweeping it (with brooms), 1 guy walking the bicycle with the box on the back for the debris and 1 guy walking along watering the trees along the side of the road. In the grocery store there was 2 to 4 employees on almost every single aisle. Everything was manual labor.
I include these thoughts in this particular segment because as I was walking around Tien'an Men Square I couldn't help but think about things like this. My mind was drawn to the horror of just a few years ago when the Chinese government ran over its own citizens with tanks right here in this square simply because they wanted to voice a different opinion than the one held by the government leaders. It saddens me to no end to realize that our own amazing government, instead of embracing the ideals and principles that have brought us to our current wonderful way of life, has opted to, through years of manipulation and machinations, completely shun the founding principles upon which the whole of American life is built. The socialization of this country has been occuring for quite sometime and the vast majority of our current problems, both economic and otherwise is in DIRECT result of that socialization. It scares me how far afield we have been led. Just the other day, Janet Napolitano our Homeland Security Secretary came out with the profile of a terrorist. According to her, we should consider as a terrorist all "rightwing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms." ---Basically anyone who loves the Constitution (which she swore to uphold). I don't know if that scares anyone else but it scares the crap out of me. She is labeling ME an extremist who would kill, bomb and terrorize other people. Again, How far we have come. It doesn't seem so unlikely anymore that something akin to the Tien'an Men square massacre might happen here in the US when your own Homeland Security Sec. is more worried about law-abiding, America-loving, life-affirming citizens than the real terrorist threats to this country. Thank Goodness for the Gospel. It keeps one focused on always doing what is right--no matter where you are--no matter who is in charge--and no matter what circumstances you might find yourselves in.
Now, with those thoughts in mind--I hope you enjoy these pictures of Tian'an Men Square. For me, as I was there I was a little in awe at the thought that I was really there, but I had a hard time seeing any beauty in monuments dedicated to a man who slaughtered literally millions of his own countrymen and doomed them to lives of drudgery and slavery.
So, the moral to the story is: Don't take for granted the freedoms that you have been given. Don't allow the leaders of today to throw away the principles that have guided and led us to an overwhelmingly wonderful way of life. I have seen the results of going the opposite direction and I promise you, you won't like it.
Just a little note: I do not typically dwell on the negative and although this post is not particularly filled with "happy thoughts" I have felt a real need to share some of these feelings and ideas with "whoever might read this". For me this aspect of our trip was one of the most important parts. It has literally kept me awake at night numerous times since coming home, wondering how to share some of these thoughts with you in the best way. I do hope that you read and think about some of these things and I also promise that tomorrow's post will finish up our trip on a much happier note.