Useful Members of Society -Letter From an Ancestor

Useful members of society - a letter from an ancestor

I’ve been hard at work at making connections and digging into the past.  Along my search, I came across a man by the name of Allen Martin (1801-1872). His father, John Martin Jr. was born in Ireland and came over and fought alongside the Americans in the American Revolution. Even when this wasn’t his native home, he and his sons  still fought for it and were useful members of society.

It would be pretty neat if we could trace my mom’s biological family to the American  Revolution.  We have 2, possibly more, DNA matches with John Martin listed in their tree. So it could be a fluke- or there could be some relation there.

Why am I writing on him  if I’m not sure if he is a direct ancestor? Well, a letter that Allen Martin wrote to his cousin really got to me. You can read the letter on Find A Grave.  Go ahead and read the letter – the first paragraph is what I’m talking about here…

He wanted his children to have the moral and literary training to be useful members of society.

“Those qualities in man which make him of most use to his fellow man and the promotion of best good of society are most to be appreciated.” – Allen Martin

Are we still teaching our kids to be useful members of society?

Whatever happened to this idea? I know many, including my family, want the best for their kids and want their children to have a good education, be moral people and have a successful career but I never really think about the good to society my son will someday offer.

In a society where almost half the population is on some type of welfare, we need to step back and realize what we are teaching our children. Is it really ok to take something just because it’s offered?

I know this is off topic from genealogy and DNA but I think over the last few generations, our society has lost something very important to it’s growth.

I’m obviously not a proponent of welfare – I think it strips a person of his pride. His kids see they can get without working they begin to think that’s just what you do.  You don’t think so?  You think it’s just a temporary situation and they will work to get out of it?  Would you voluntarily give up $100 that was being given to you every month for “free”?  Probably not – and that’s the problem.

Let me tell you something… When a friend of mine turned 18, another person asked her when she would be applying for food stamps… what!?  He explained that now that she is 18, she could get her own share of food stamps.  It’s real folks.  There is a generation out there and it’s growing – that are being taught to take from society rather than being useful members of society.

This Allen Martin understood that his children were the next generation and in order for that generation to be great, his kids had to work hard and be useful members of society.

I love reading old records 🙂

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