Americans have become so accustomed to having government or “society” solve the problems of our lives, that we forget the truest solution to these problems: friendship. America was founded upon friendship, just as it was founded upon God. The first capital of America, Philadelphia, was the “City of Brotherly Love.” It is just this sort of friendship which enable American society to thrive and grow, without government “help” for the first hundred years of the Republic.
Lynn is just such an old-fashioned American, an old-fashioned American in the truest and best sense of the word. Although we have become accustomed to think of New York as somehow the center of sin in our society, there are emphatically two New Yorks. There is the rude, hustling, and hurried City of New York, which is not bad, but is also not the embodiment of the American Dream (although Rudy has done a remarkable job of restoring the City to that status.)
But there is an entirely different New York, a New York of farms and of orchards, a New York of amazing physical beauty and a New York that demands a serious amount of hard work to transform God’s bounty into apples and vegetables and pies and wines. Lynn grew up in this latter New York, rising with her father, doing chores, learning how to carry her weight, seeing how to live a right life.
The lessons never left her. When Lynne entered the corporate world, all the rules of decency, of listening, of working alongside one’s subordinates, of helping – all these and all the other lessons which God and work and parental love can give us, if we let them, stuck. She became mildly successful, which is all she ever intended. Moreover, she became a friend and a model to those she supervised. How many labor unions would we need if people like Lynn could be cloned? Not many, I would think.
Now she is retired – but, actually, hardly retired at all. Lynne is instead a one-woman friendship battalion. She mows her neighbors’ lawns, when needed. She takes her friends all over a large city to doctors’ appointments. She gets up in the middle of the night and takes children of her friends to emergency rooms, when the friends are out of town. She and all the other Americans who have her values and her work ethic would put a dozen social workers out of work, with the difference that the recipients of her friendship would have the dignity of knowing that all that she did was done, not as some bored government employee, but instead as a friend who cared.
We all know Lynns in our lives. They do their work of friendship and help so modestly and so quietly, that we sometimes forget that their lives are conscious decisions. These people are, to a large degree, what makes America a blessed land. If more of us lived like they did, then much of the sadness, much of the coarseness, much of the meanness, much of the crime and other social problems of America today would just vanish. It is a sobering and serious thought: without even political action, we hold the answer to the problems of our society in our hands.
So, to all of the people in our land who, like Lynn, live the life of a country whose capital was the “City of Brotherly Love,” I salute you. God grant that I might be more like you and that all who are not like you would be more like you. We owe you a large measure of the civility, the decency, the “things getting done,” which makes American society (as opposed to American government) work, as it worked so well in the early days of our nation. As we approach Easter, when the best friend all of us had died for us, take time to thank some Lynn.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and Men’s News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.