The first thing that should be on our country’s bucket list — the list of things to do before we kick the bucket — is resolve to end all wars forever. No one relishes the sight of bodies returning from any war. Not only is there a loss of life, but the money spent on them has nearly bankrupted our country at times. If warfare does become necessary, we should always send the message to any prospective foe that we will come at him with all the force and violence at our disposal from the get-go. No pussy footing around, we will adhere to the Lee Iacocca doctrine of lead, follow or get out of the way. If you’ve got the temerity to cause us to go to war with you, then you better kiss your behind goodbye.
Secondly, we should strive to end poverty in any form in our country. Poverty not only in finances, but poverty in health, education and happiness as well should be eliminated from our shores. We should never see the sight of a sick, hungry or illiterate child here ever again.
Thirdly, we should resolve to fully adhere to the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. Along with that following we should all follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This world would almost be perfect if we would strive to do this every day.
Fourth on our bucket list should be that we will always show our respect for our country. No graffiti, no run-down homes and buildings, no litter, no overgrown lawns and open spaces, etc. Wherever and however, we show respect for our nation and its assets. Conservation of our natural resources should be foremost and we should fully promote the development of our renewable resources, as well.
Our fifth bucket list item should be that we Americans will always try to be self-supporting by providing for our own needs. This means using our abilities as a people and not have to rely on any outside assistance. We will devote ourselves to resolving any shortfall in our country using our own devices. That is not to say that we should become isolationist, just that we can do it ourselves. We, as a nation, should have enough national pride and gumption to correct any problems we encounter on our own.
Lastly, we should see to the development and betterment of the rest of the world once we have gotten our own world back on the right track.
This is not all that should be on our country’s bucket list, but these will give us a few places where we can begin to correct our country’s shortcomings.
We need to realize that America is the best country in the world. That is not a self-centered idea. We are the best and we should be proud of that fact, but we need to have the humility to share that specialness with all the countries of the world by being their partners, not their adversaries or competitors.
We all don’t need to sign a blood oath to collectively strive to fulfill our country’s bucket list, but we should all internalize our efforts toward completing these goals in such a way as to show added respect to those fallen soldiers who, for whatever reason, gave of themselves for the ideal of bettering our world with their time and with their sacrifice. Those soldiers died in combat striving for those ideals, so it’s the least we can do.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.