Senate Review

 

November 8, 2018



After months of political campaigns, the November 6, 2018 election has finally arrived. And, for most Oklahomans, this election didn’t come soon enough!

Despite its many flaws, our constitutional republic is the best that has ever been created. The standard of living that we enjoy has never been matched in world history.

If you think a different time in history had it better than today, study the domestic and international issues of that time and imagine the period’s health and living conditions. You’d probably reconsider wanting to go back to that time.

Having been a history buff for 38 years teaching American, Economic, and World History, I’m convinced this is the best time in history to have lived.

Reciting an old parable: “the past is history, the present is now, the future is unknown. The only life we can control is one we live today”.

To a pessimistic observer, the problems in our state, nation and around world seem insurmountable. When watching 24/7 television news coverage, bad news is good news, and good news is no news. It’s understandable to form this opinion.

To those absent of the spiritual comfort of our Heavenly Father, it’d be easy to conclude that all the human knowledge accumulated throughout history might not be able to resolve the problems of our day.

However, each day we read in the newspapers how rapidly new modern technology is making our lives easier. New medicines are curing what was thought just a few years ago were incurable diseases. And, the American economy is considered by economists the best in the world.


The story is told in college philosophy classes that a Chinese emperor in the B.C. period was so perplexed by the problems of his day, he requested his wise advisors, under the threat of death, to come up with comforting words to ease his troubles. The emperor’s counsel thought for days under the sentence of death to find the right words, and finally they offered these words of wisdom to the Emperor, “and this too shall pass”.

To those who still don’t believe that we’re living in the best of times, just think once upon a time, polio, influenza, typhoid, etc. were killers to nearly anyone who was infected. By the time they were in their fifties, both of my great grandparents (Sharp) had died of complications from polio. The Choctaws hadn’t been exposed to the deadly disease of polio and its effect was either death, or continued life with paralytic seizures.


Fortunately, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in 1955. The vaccine has since saved millions from this torment.

During my first years as a teacher, measles, mumps and chickenpox outbreaks wiped out an entire class for weeks. The scars of the measles and chickenpox remained on their faces for life. Fortunately, vaccinations to prevent early childhood diseases have allowed for long and scar-less lives.

My mother’s family were sharecroppers on their Uncle Bill Trousdale’s farm in Burnett, Oklahoma (near Macomb). My mother was born in Burnet, but attended school at the local Council Creek’s one- room subscription school. She said her uncle Bill paid her fee to the school. My mother then attended a couple of years at Tribbey High School. As the second oldest of eleven children, she was required to stay home and help her mother with the home chores. An education came second to survival.

Neither my great grandparents, nor grandparents, on either side of my mother’s family could read or write. Apparently, according to my mother, they switched from Indian names to whatever anglicized name could get them credit at the Burnett store. My mother’s great grandparents were buried without headstones at the Trousdale farm they had been sharecropping. My mother’s stories of her early life weren’t easy to listen to as a child. Only poverty existed in her life.

When you consider just how difficult life was years ago, it’s clear that we don’t want to go back. It puts our lives today into perspective.

We’re blessed to have the right to vote and decide on the direction of our country. We’re a great nation and we will overcome any obstacles that come our way.

To contact me at the Capitol, please write to Senator Ron Sharp, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 429, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, email me at sharp@oksenate.gov, or call (405) 521-5539.

 

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