Parents are failing to teach their children American values of hard work, sacrifice, and personal responsibility, creating a generation with a false sense of entitlement and a penchant for complaining, author Chris Salamone tells Newsmax.TV.
But that can all change, Salamone said in the exclusive interview.
In “Rescue America: Our Best America Is Only One Generation Away,”
Salamone and co-author Gilbert N. Morris argue that young people just need to learn some of the “the very same leadership principles that created the greatest nation, the most prosperous and the most generous nation in the history of mankind.”
Story continues below video.
“The true cause of our decline in America is the fact we are no longer creating what I would call Americans. We are no longer passing on from one generation to the next the very principles and values” that made the country great, he said.
All Americans — whether born in the United States or naturalized citizens — owe a debt of gratitude to past generations, Salamone said.
“The fact that we get to have all of the benefits and the privileges of the sacrifices that have been made for 235 years means we have a debt on our shoulders,” he said. “We have a debt that requires us to now take personal responsibility for our own lives and to engage in advanced citizenship.”
Salamone cites the example of his great-grandparents, who came to the United States from Sicily in 1903.
“They risked their lives, they faced infirmity and types of challenges on this long journey. They left everything that was familiar to them.
“There was no job waiting for them at Google, there was no 401(k), there was no promise of anything except a specific set of values that they found so attractive that they were willing to leave everything they knew to come here to this unknown place.”
According to family lore, when the family arrived at Ellis Island in New York, his great-grandfather knelt and kissed the ground, Salamone said. “His first instinct was a sense of gratitude.”
But during the past 60 years, the gratitude and determination that shaped the early immigrants and the generations that survived the Great Depression and fought World War II have dissipated, Salamone said.
“We have shifted from that to a culture that now embodies an attitude of entitlement and complaint,” he told Newsmax.TV.
It is understandable that parents would want their children not to have to struggle as they did, but the end result has been to create a generation that expects to be handed things without working for them, Salamone said.
“We’ve created this culture that I like to call an adversity to adversity. We have this culture thing now where we don’t want anybody to fail.”
But “what made American great,” Salamone said, “was failure after failure after failure — and then we had success.”
He believes the best way parents can teach their children values is to spend more time with them. Between work, school, and countless after-school activities, families often are too busy to have dinner together.
He suggests setting up “Family Gratitude Nights,” where parents and children can sit down and talk — and count their blessings.
Seemingly small efforts like this can change things in a big way, Salamone said.
“I do believe that our best days can be ahead of us,” he said. “America is in decline. The question is, are we going to continue that decline or are we going to do something dramatic in order to turn it around?”
Editor’s Note: Get Chris Salamone’s new book, “Rescue America: Our Best America Is Only One Generation Away."
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.