The Man, The Horse, The Wolf

“A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man’s disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him. The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him.

“The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: ‘Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.’ “Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, ‘Never!’ and applied the spurs with a will.” Isaac Asimov~

A slow process takes us from freedom to tyranny. Identifying the influence of multiple elements helps us track the descent.

In our culture that once encouraged self-control, personal morality used to be just that, personal. No more.

Behavior shifted from publicly accepted mores to license, and on to the despotism of an imposed moral code. The culture that asked restraint of young and old became one that embraced “free” sex among the unmarried, including unlimited abortion, and no-fault divorce among the previously committed. From there emerged LGB, then T, and now to an assortment of alphabetical self-identities limited only by one’s imagination.

The new moral code arising from the “freedom” era requires us to embrace and approve of any sexual choice, and apparently now the push is on for any choice at any age.

Not until Bud Light and Target aimed at the young did a significant reaction occur–as if the frog in the slowly heating pot had suddenly awakened. The end result of that reaction remains to be seen.

Do not be mistaken: the young are the goal and have always been.

Eleven states require a positive classroom presentation of “LGBTQ+ history.” Only four of those allow students to opt out. Five others prohibit such teaching, but Florida for example, limits the prohibition to the early grades.

Some call for a return to basics in the public classroom. Gillian Richards says those making such assertions miss the mark.

“For years, some conservatives have responded to morally toxic content in schools by implying that proper education should be morally neutral. The left has a campaign to “teach the whole child.” These critics counter by saying, ‘No, teach just a part.'”

Richards goes on to quote C.S. Lewis: “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Lewis would be shocked to find his geldings metaphor to have become so literal today.

Rochards continues, “It is a bitter irony that some Americans on the right now invoke the very thing Lewis critiqued as the cure to the ideologies that have replaced progressivism—critical theory, gender ideology, and the like.” 

An education without moral formation is, it seems, no education at all.

Richards looks back for the answer. “The Founders and early Americans saw a core part of education as cultivating virtues, morality, and religion—all of which sustain a free and prosperous society.”

Where do we find such virtues?

Primarily in history and books.

As a college instructor, I was astonished at what my students did not know. Too many didn’t know a simple timeline of America’s “big wars,” the War for Independence, the Civil War, World Wars I and II. They seemed unaware of which century, not to mention which decade important events occurred.

Here’s part of why that’s the case.

Last fall, I attended a teachers’ conference. I participated in this conference for English teachers twice before but had been absent for more than a decade. The transformation was astonishing.

I’ll paraphrase my main takeaway. “The world has changed. We can no longer teach old books.”

The world has changed indeed. But students in too many schools (not all) today are sentenced to a life of ignorance about its various transformations, both from a technological and a literary perspective.

They read books about the world today. Books focused on the issues they see, their depression, their sexual confusion, their lack of understanding mirrored back to them in a resolution of false wisdom.

We have a long way to go to get back to the basics. The journey to wisdom and virtue is further yet.

In order for our society to teach virtue, we must first embrace it ourselves. Selfishness was the seed that produced the fruit we live in today.

Asimov: The fall of Empire . . . is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.”

In order to rescue our nation, we must become the horse that can throw off its own bridle.

Difficult, yes.

Impossible?

Asimov thought so, but he did not know that only One who could stop the decline into desolation.

With God, all things are possible. Let’s look to Him.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduIce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

12 Replies to “The Man, The Horse, The Wolf”

  1. In order to teach virtue we must embrace it. Well said, Nancy. You’ve presented many issues facing society, but as we know, there’s only one solution–God. Much prayer needed. Thank you.

  2. That has become part of my daily prayer for our nation, that God show us how to restore these Godly virtues to our nation. I also pray He shows me how I can make a difference.

  3. An excellent post, Nancy. I love how you’re wading into the places where our society is crumbling. In the 1980s there was a similar surge of sex change surgery, etc. People eventually came to the place where they wished they had just left their bodies alone. Some things, however, once cut off, cannot be restored. It’s a horrible situation.

    1. These ideas and actions come in waves and cycles. This time is different because of the attempt to enforce belief in us and in children. Thanks for reading and commenting, Melinda. God bless!

  4. Convicting! It can be a very slippery slope going from polite “tolerance” to full-blown moral shift.

  5. Nancy, I love that you discussed getting back to the basics and returning to virtue. I pray as God’s people, we evaluate if we have veered too far off the path of these foundations to our faith. And if so, the Lord helps us find our way to lead others to the narrow way.

    1. Thank you, Karen. We need to stay true to the Gospel, reach out to non-believers,and start teaching and practicing manners again. Simple things make big differences. God bless!

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