Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Thursday, October 10, 2013

We Need A Moody America


We live in an age of entitlement and over reliance on government services. It was not always this way. During the 1910´s and 1920´s, the Federal government was much less intrusive in the lives of American citizens. And yet, with ingenuity and hard work, people were able to get by and even prosper. Yes, there was no national safety net, but there were also fewer limits on personal liberty.

Liberty or security? What do you value more?

Security requires taking money from others to inefficiently support people so they don´t have to do it themselves. This allows people to make bad choices (dropping out of school, out-of-wedlock babies, drug and alcohol addictions) because there will be welfare and other well meaning programs to help them out.

With liberty comes freedom, but also the need to be responsible and contribute to your own well being.

Ralph Moody (1898-1982) found himself in a bad way when his father died when Ralph was just a boy. He later found himself dealing with major health issues. There was no Social Security or Medicaid back then and his mom refused to take charity.  His family did not look to others for handouts, they only looked for opportunities to work hard.

Moody tells the story of his boyhood through early adulthood in a wonderful series of books that were published in the 1950´s and 1960´s.


These are great read aloud books for you to share with your children, especially boys. Below is a short synopsis of each book.
  • Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers - City boy Ralph, who is eight years old, and his family move from Massachusetts to Colorado because it will be better for the health of his father´s TB. They struggle to make a go at farming. Ralph is given many responsibilities far beyond what a modern boy would be expected to do.
  • Man of the Family - With his father dead, eleven year old Ralph is thrust into the role of helping to support his mom and younger siblings.  With an entrepreneurial spirit, the family is able to make ends meet. Kids will be amazed at what these young children are able to do.
  • The Home Ranch - During the summer of his twelfth year, Ralph gets a job on a ranch where he finds he is a natural with horses. What twelve year old won´t love a story about a real boy cowboy?
  • Mary Emma & Company - Ralph´s family moves back to Boston so his mother can be closer to family. Because he is such a hard worker he is able to find steady work, but he is also a budding entrepreneur. When a local bridge burns down and falls into the river he organizes other young boys to collect the wooden beams from the water and turn it into firewood for sale.  Once again we see young boys taking on tasks that would baffle many adults today.
  • The Fields of Home - This is my favorite book in the series. Teenage Ralph goes to Maine to help his stubborn grandfather improve his rundown farm.  Over time, Ralph´s penchant for innovation is able to get his grandfather to change his ways and make his farm profitable.
  • Shaking the Nickel Bush - At age 19, Ralph is diagnosed with diabetes and told to go west for his health. He works as a movie stuntman because of his skill with horses and then starts a business going from town to town making busts for the leading citizens in small Arizona towns.
  • Dry Divide - Broke at age 20 (after accidentally losing all his savings), Ralph gets a job as a foreman on a Nebraska farm and helps a young widow bring in the harvest while starting a new business that once again makes him a financial success.
  • Horse of a Different Color - The final book in the series finds Ralph in Kansas working in the cattle and meat business. He meets his future wife.
CNN Money reported that 43% of American Households paid no Federal Income Tax in 2013, but these same 70 million households benefit from the trillions spent on government services. They don´t care about the cost of paying taxes because they don´t pay any.

I think America would be a better country if we had a lot more people like Ralph Moody who showed you can start with nothing and make a great contribution to society by hard work, tenacity, and innovation.

What direction do you think the country should go in? A Moody America or an Entitlement America?

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