There was a time in America when "backbone" was important among the ingredients that parents used in raising their child into a successful adult. Eons ago, when I was an eight year old living with my grandmother, she would say to me when I showed some cowardly trait, "When are you going to stand up on your two hind legs and start showing some backbone?" From what I've seen, it apparently is not an ingredient known by parents in modern times. The effect of the lack of this ingredient in too many in positions of leadership--and in followship--is being felt in every area of society, even church. My insightful friend George Hodges says, "As Christians, have we become so spineless that the world can't tell the difference and seeks answers in all the wrong places?" 

It was backbones unwavering
That stood against a tyrant king
And made this land of which we sing,
From coast to coast with freedom ring.

In spite of doubts, hardships, and fears
Of dangers rife in hostile spheres,
Backbones in form of pioneers
Extended west our land’s frontiers.

And backbones joined in one accord
Stood firm against the Axis horde
Until victory we had scored
And peace unto our land restored.

Down through the years we’ve had unrest,
Divisions, strifes, and times depressed
But through them all our land was blessed
With backbones equal to each test.

But now I wonder in dismay,
When this land of ours I survey,
Where are the backbones of today?
Why are they fading fast away?

One answer comes, and one alone,
For why our land is spineless prone:
True backbones are all homegrown,
And love of home has all but flown;

And in most families of today,
With moms and dads too much away
In quest of wealth for mere display,
Backbones to lesser traits give way.

Home, in truest sense of the word,
Is where noble ways are stirred,
Where steadfastness is seen and heard,
Where right, not riches, is preferred,

And where is taught: though all else fail,
When foes or misfortunes assail,
All who of Heaven’s strength avail
Shall ever in the end prevail.

2003 J. G. Braddock Sr.


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J. G. Braddock Sr.
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