BY C.L. Harmon

I grew up in a world where a tip was earned not expected. I was raised in a world where one helped another just to see them lifted up, not for a ‘you owe me’. I remember a world where working was the natural way and not a time when it’s taught that natural is to expect what is not earned. I experienced a world where God was feared and terrorists were mocked as weak, a time before airports were civil liberties violations with a paycheck. I remember a world when respect was first taught and then earned through morality and courage. It was never given freely as its worth was valued too high for a handout. I witnessed a world where integrity was in a handshake and a word before courtrooms became playgrounds where adults settle disputes like children. I knew a world where men fought over differences and then learned to live together in spite of them; a world where owning a gun meant you knew when not to use it. I once knew a world where people loved more than they hated, a world where common sense came with every lesson be it at school or home.

I remember a world where a happy meal was a family at the dinner table and conversation was the most important ingredient on that table. I knew a world where punishment was important because it built character because we knew a sting lasts less than a prison sentence.

I once knew a world…