Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


By Marilyn M. Barnewall
May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day defines the word “change.”

Once a young woman has a baby, everything changes… from her most basic bodily functions to her life priorities. Mothers learn that the child, not themselves, is the center of the universe. Mothers change their priorities with an eye to making the world a better place. As mothers, women grow and mature… usually.

Motherhood is a reflection of God’s universal laws. One of the most basic is: All things live to maturity, level off and die unless injected with new life and new blood. The world and society are no exception. Universal law applies to everything and everyone.

And that’s the topic for this special day: living, maturing, and injecting the world with new life and new blood.

Do you ever stop and think about who’s running the country these days? I don’t refer here to specific people – like Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Valerie Jarrett. I refer here to a group.

Think back… go back to the 1960s. The Hippies carried, sang or preached a message. Do you remember what it was? They wanted to burn down the rotten establishment. They sang “Come Together.” And then the joke of life occurred (age) and they became the establishment they wanted to tear down. The very thought of all those little grubs turning into establishment hacks makes me laugh! But it’s not funny. Not really.

They weren’t all wrong, you know. They saw early on the rot that had already begun to permeate our government, corporations and institutions of “higher learning.” I use quotes because I know too many young people who graduate from high school and university today who are more indoctrinated than educated.

Some, like Bill Ayers and his fellow former Weather Underground terrorist wife, Bernardine Dohrn, told the world to "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at." There are a lot of ways to kill rich people… including taxing them to death. The Ayers of the world figured out the best way to destroy this Great Nation: Instead of blowing up government buildings from the outside, they figured out how to do it from the inside.

They created progressive liberalism so closely affiliated with socialism.

Reality is a dangerous place to live your life if you’re a person who really can’t do much of anything. With reality comes risk. Why? Because to change anything means risking what you have today for something better… the only way to change things.

Some people’s fight or flight buttons got permanently turned to “flight” at a very young age. When risk presents itself, they view it as something that must be “taken” – like a nasty dose of medicine. They do not understand that most people are comfortable viewing risk as something to manage. It usually requires hard work, but the learning experience is very fulfilling.

When the concept of risk intimidates you, the natural result is to avoid doing things. It’s the only way to avoid risk. So the sign carriers from the 1960s became the “I never really learned to do anything, but I’m very smart and can advise anyone about how to do just about everything” people.

And that’s the group of people now running our government and our economy. Think about it. What does a “community organizer” do? He organizes things. How do things get organized? The organizer tells other people what to do. Has he ever done the things he’s recommending? Oh, good heavens no! He has, however, been taught by a very intelligent socialist professor – like Professor Bill Ayers – how to solve problems.

One of the reasons we live in an age of administrators, one of the reasons President Obama can’t seem to make a decision without a committee of educated people who really have never done anything in life like run a business and thus can’t “do things,” is because the era of the 1960s is upon us. The anti-establishment people who never really learned to do things – especially they never learned to manage risk – now hold the reins of power. If anyone questions the truth of that statement, I urge them to look at the business experience of the Obama Cabinet and other advisers. Totally inexperienced – except they learned to be administrators and organizers. They learned from a text book, you see, to tell others what to do and how to do it. It matters not that they don’t know what they’re talking about and have never done anything but advise others.

And that’s why this administration is so far out of touch with the American people. In no place on earth are there citizens that provide so much “know how.” In Obama’s world, people provide “know who” and “know what.” They really do not understand the concept of “know how.” They’ve never done much other than tell others what to do. That’s their line of work. No wonder the President doesn’t understand how to create jobs in the private sector! No wonder Dr. Ben Bernanke understands economics but not the importance of day-to-day commercial banking!

I figured out a long time ago that my purpose in life was to find my purpose in life. It was to determine what I was capable of and to set out to achieve it. I took risks and I thrived on it… most people do. Were there failures along the way? You bet there were! There were also some pretty significant victories. Both stimulated personal growth. I learned. I matured. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that failure taught me nothing about how to succeed. Doing something wrong often teaches us little or nothing about how to do it right.

And that’s what worries me most this Mother’s Day about the political and economic situation that faces this country I so love.

Most people think the greatest loss that comes from communism is the loss of property and freedom. Both are great losses. But the greatest loss is what happens to the creative drive when it is overly protected from the reality of “doing things.” The imagination becomes lazy because under socialism, no imagination is required. Imagination is required to “do things” or to invent or change today’s horror into an American Dream. That’s why for so many years we led the world in innovative thought and discoveries.

When government takes over the responsibility for cradle to grave care, telling you where you can live, what your career will be, when you can have medical care and who will give it to you – even when you will die – you have no need to find solutions. Your creative drive dries up. Your imagination is stifled and suddenly it’s difficult to perform creative acts. It becomes impossible to conceive of a loving God because before faith imagination must do its job… and before imagination must come the freedom to imagine.

That is a significant thought to keep in mind as the importance of Mothers is honored today. Government is not a worthy mother and it never will be a good replacement.

When people talk about freedom, they frequently don’t think of what the word really means. They think of it in terms of freedom of religion or freedom to live where they want or to be rewarded for the 80-hour weeks they worked to build their own business. But before faith can be generated within us, we must first be able to imagine the concept of God… of a Creator. That’s why God can only be worshipped as a matter of choice in a free nation. Our forefathers and mothers were willing to lay down their lives so we could have freedom. We may have to make similar decisions. One thing motherhood teaches us is that the only real security lies inside of each of us, not in government.

That is what makes the battle for freedom worthwhile. No matter what else you do, do not let the administrator and organizer do-nothings change you to their form. Do not think for one moment things will remain relatively the same under a socialist form of government because they will not. The greatest change will be in the character of the people living in this country. We’ve already lost a lot of that battle and our young people suffer the lack of character that results.

It’s true that the rate of productivity in America has increased, but that’s because of technology, not creative energy. As the former has gone up, the latter has gone down. Productivity is dependent upon our ability to do things, not tell others how to do something we’ve never done.

Productivity is dependent upon business owners having confidence that the freedom to be creative will be here not just next year, but ten years after that. If not, a lack of confidence will prevent the risk of investment dollars in business and job growth.

And that is why this Administration cannot stimulate business and job growth.

It’s like having a child. You are no longer the center of the universe – which implies a certain growth that motivates humility. We certainly have not seen this kind of maturity – the kind that results in humility and realizing one’s smallness in this vase universe – in the White House for some time.

In the end analysis, the greatest gift government can give to honor Mothers this day is an environment free of government administrators and organizers who have never really achieved anything in their lives and whose bothersome presence prevents free enterprise from making the world a better place to be.

All things live to maturity, level off and die. Motherhood usually helps achieve maturity. So, too, does the Presidency. Nothing, however, is certain in life.

© 2011 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.

Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.