When it comes to running a country, it’s not much different than running a home, or at least it shouldn’t be. Granted, there are 321 million more people in the country than there are in your home, but that doesn’t change any of the dynamics that a country and a home have in common. Although one is much larger than the other, the same principles will lead to success in both.
Let’s take a look at some principles that help us to manage a home and see how they could help us to solve the biggest challenges we face as a country.
The most obvious, most important concern in a home is whether or not it’s safe and secure. Everyone in your home may be healthy, wealthy and prosperous. But all of that could suddenly change in a moment if the wrong people managed to get inside. Making sure this never happens is your utmost responsibility. Therefore, lock the windows and the doors. Maintain a simple, reliable system that immediately alerts you when people are trying to sneak in.
At the end of the day, make sure all the visitors who came in have been escorted out…that is, unless they have special permission to stay longer. Also, don’t just hand out this permission willy-nilly to anyone and everyone who requests it. The truth is, everyone would move to your awesome house and live there if they had the chance. But that’s just not realistic or possible.
At all times and in every decision, you must do what’s in the best interest of your family members in the home…those who unquestionably deserve to be there. The needs of outsiders shall never take precedent over the needs of your family. Don’t ever put your family at risk to accommodate strangers…even if they have a sad story. There are several ways you can help strangers. But don’t ever put them in a room next to your sleeping children. Be smart about who you let in.
I don’t want to talk about disgusting creatures any more than you do, but they’re an unfortunate reality that you have to deal with as a homeowner. If you don’t, they’ll eventually come into your home and wreak havoc on everything that matters to you. Therefore, the key to victory here is to make sure these awful creatures are kept as far from the home as possible.
In a field, on the other side of the street, there may be a den of venomous snakes and a mound of disgusting bugs that are killing each other and even killing themselves. I certainly wish this wasn’t happening anywhere in the neighborhood, but this is the neighborhood we live in.
For as long as this hostility is not affecting you, your family or your home, just leave it alone and don’t go anywhere near it. Just take an occasional glance across the street and make sure they’re not terrorizing your friends and neighbors who live over there.
And if those godforsaken creatures ever do cause problems for your neighbors, do your best to support their efforts to solve their problems. Don’t automatically feel like you have to solve every problem in the neighborhood. And whatever you do, don’t send your precious sons and daughters across the street to clean up that field. It’s absolutely not worth it.
In the horrible event that you must intervene and deal with the inevitable cockroaches of the world, listen to what I’m about to tell you; do it quick, do it hard and do it decisively. Use the most deadly poisons you’ve got. Leave them utterly decimated. If you don’t destroy them all, they’ll just regroup, get strong and you’ll have to do this all over again.
Don’t talk to the bugs. Don’t try to rehabilitate them. Don’t try to understand why they don’t like you. Get in, get the job done and get out.
To the extent that you can afford them, it’s fun to have some children in the house. They’re often funny, creative and entertaining. Yes, they’re messy and whiny and they don’t contribute much to the household. But your hope is that one day they’ll grow up and become productive members of society. But until then, it’s your responsibility to keep them under control and help them to grow up.
Kids are awesome, except when they’re not.
You definitely cannot allow kids to run your household. And let me just say…this is what they’re constantly trying to do. They’ll take advantage of any opportunity to be the ones who are calling the shots. Of course, you can never let this happen. Every neat and orderly thing in your home will be in disarray if the kids are in control.
They’ll waste all your hard-earned money and will have nothing to show for it. They’ll sign up for credit cards in your name and rack up ungodly amounts of debt. They’ll leave all the doors and windows open at night, which allows bugs to sneak in unnoticed. They’ll invite all their friends over and those friends will never leave.
The usual problem with kids is that they have too much free time…and this always leads to trouble. While you’re busting your butt at work all day to provide for everyone, they’re out playing with the kids of other families who teach them all the wrong things. Next thing you know, your kids are in your face, saying your rules are stupid and that they wish you ran your house like the family down the street.
Kids sit on the couch watching TV for hours. They begin to admire celebrities and to adopt their philosophies, most of which are contradictory to the traditions of your home. At school, they’re surrounded by more kids and teachers who also undermine the values you’re trying to teach them.
If this goes on for too long, the attitude on these kids will just get bigger and bigger. They begin to say:
“Why do I have to get a job?”
“Why don’t you just give me the stuff I need?”
“Give me some of (sibling)’s allowance. He already has too much.”
“Everything would be so much better if we ran our house like (some other family).”
Kids will mock you, embarrass you and even insult you to your face. But just remember, it’s your responsibility here to be the adult. Their outrage and angry protests will amount to nothing. They’ll threaten to run away to another home but they will never actually leave. In the end, they need you a lot more than you need them. So, just do what you gotta do. Put them in their place. Do your best to love and teach them the right way, but never allow them to dictate the way you run your house.
Let’s not complicate things, folks. A household has to bring in more money than it spends. It’s as simple as that. The surest way to ruin the peace and confidence in a home is to incur debt. You can’t just borrow money forever. It will all have to be paid back some day. And for goodness sake, don’t borrow money from hostile families who don’t like you. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Get used to saying no and keep on making grown-up decisions.
These are simple, obvious principles and I know you already know them. It’s just that…there will always be some members of the family who want to spend more money than you make…especially the children. Don’t give in to their demands. They’ll make you feel guilty for not contributing to this group or that cause. They’ll shame you for not wanting to help people who are struggling. If you don’t stand your ground in these battles, they’ll roll right over you and spend you into oblivion.
Problem is…if you give in to their demands once, they’ll come back next week with more demands. They can never be appeased. And you can’t reason with them. Every time you show them a budget and explain that your income is limited, they’ll tell you to get rid of the expensive security system which keeps your home safe. Get used to saying no and keep on making grown-up decisions.
The bottom line is this; if you’ve proven your ability to manage a home, raise good kids and save a little money, then you’ve already demonstrated the wisdom to govern a nation. If the above principles sound like common sense to you, I’d say you’re already qualified for public office.
There have been many times in the last 30 years when I wished that a humble, unknown leader like you were in charge instead of our career politicians. I don’t know why they lose their minds and good judgment when they move to D.C, but the corrupting power of that town is undeniable.
However, there is always hope. For as long as we have elections, we’ll have the opportunity to elect regular Americans into office; those who know right from wrong, those who won’t be corrupted and those who understand that the best way to govern a nation is to treat it like a home.