It has been said that a man’s home is his castle. But what we fill our castle with says a lot about who we are.
Capitalism has won the cold war and who could argue that it is not a good thing? But what does it mean for our culture and our lifestyle? Is the focus of our lives now to be simply the pursuit of pleasure?
Does the abject materialism of the new millennium displace all other values? Does the need to pleasure ourselves, and avoid pain and discomfort, become the 800 pound gorilla whose demands cannot be ignored?
There was a time when such notions were rejected by a people possessed of vigor, strength and courage; a people who valued physical hardihood more than the pursuit of pleasure.
Today, it would seem that we value these qualities only in the professional athletes who we watch on television, while we no longer look for them in ourselves.
It would be a great tragedy, if ours is the last generation to remember what a vigorous life was all about, and the self satisfaction that it gave us.
In an article that was published in the July 16, 1962, issue of Sports Illustrated, then President John F. Kennedy said the following:
"Our own history, perhaps better than the history of any other great country, vividly demonstrates the truth of the belief that physical vigor and health are essential accompaniments to the qualities of intellect and spirit on which a nation is built. It was men who possessed vigor and strength as well as courage and vision who first settled these shores and, over more than three centuries, subdued a continent and wrested a civilization from the wilderness. It was physical hardihood that helped Americans in two great world wars to defeat strong and tenacious foes and make this country history's mightiest defender of freedom."