In his best selling 1954 book entitled, Way to Happiness, Bishop Sheen made these two astute observations.
First: The over-emphasis on politics today is an indication that people are governed, rather than governing. The complexities of our civilization force us to organize into larger and larger units; we have become so intent on governing what is outside of us that we neglect to govern our own selves. Yet the key to social betterment is always to be found in personal betterment. Remake man and you remake his world. We gravely need to restore to man his self-respect and to give him his appropriate honor: this will keep him from bowing cravenly before those who threaten to enslave him, and it will give him the courage to defend the right, alone if need be, when the world is wrong,
Second: As society is made by man, so man, in his turn, is made by his thoughts, his decisions and his choices. Nothing ever happens to the world which did not first happen inside the mind of some man: the material of the skyscraper merely completes the architect's dream. Even the material of our physical selves is the servant of our thoughts: psychologists recognize the fact that our bodies may become tired only because of tiredness in the mind.
The 1950s was a hotbed of politics especially during the age of McCarthy and his hearings. Today we forget a great deal of that because we remember things like I Like Ike and simple peaceful times of Happy Days. Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired from January 15, 1974 to September 24, 1984 on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s United States. One of the most famous quotes of the series came in the second season when Richie was talking to Potsie.
Richie: I'm gonna interview Howdy Doody.
Potsie: How are you gonna do that?
Richie: I'm gonna pull a few strings
Potsie (Anson Williams), Happy Days, Season 2: The Howdy Doody Show
Today we are going to pull a few strings of our own and talk about the mix up in our current system where we now think that the people who we hired to represent us in Congress now think that they control us and are superior as we as being our boss. Nothing further could be the truth. The over-emphasis on politics today is an indication that people are governed, rather than governing. This could be so true in the respect for the current atmosphere in Washington D.C. Who would want to run for the office of President of the United States and if they were willing to run, would that simply disqualify them from serving in that office? All people who run have large egos but in the real scheme of things- who is the boss in a Republic- the people or the President? For us Catholics this a hard question. Many of us have wonderful priests who are marvelous people. However, some are not, in fact, they are fully human. They make mistakes. Remember Priests are people too. They represent us on the altar just like the President represents us in the government. When we allow or let the President or Priest to become too powerful in the country or the Church, we lose sight in what is truly important - our individual salvation, and this can only be worked out by us through the help of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can not let the Priest have our faith or the President have our faith. Our faith is our faith and no one else can have it. When it comes to us and our families, we are in charge. We must empower our self to realize that this simple fact is true in both politics and the Church. We can get physically challenged and get tired, but pray to our Father in Heaven that we do not mentally or spiritually get tired and give up our religious freedom the mere sake of some security because what you will find is that a person who gives up liberty for security will have neither.
There is truly nothing new under the sun. Every thought that has been thought has in some way has been thought of before. A wonderful example is found in the words of Bishop Sheen written sixty-five years ago. It is very safe to say that Bishop Sheen did not know that I would be writing about this on Catholic365.com this week. In fact he probably did not even see the fact that we would all have personal computers or smartphones. But what he did see is that he understood human nature, and human nature has not changed and will not change as long as humans are here on the earth. What he saw was amazing. What he saw was the more people change, the more they remain the same.
Praise be to God always.