YORO: You're Only in Russia Once.
That is the motto of a group of Americans I met here in Russia. And it is a perfect example of all that I abhor.
Mind you, I love these guys. They are some of the only friends I have here and are great to hang out with and talk to. They come from a wide variety of places and backgrounds and are all too happy to let you into their group. I cannot thank them enough for the camaraderie.
But there is another side to the story. They go out every night (yes, EVERY NIGHT) and party. They get drunk. They smoke cigarettes (never having done so before) and hookahs. They get wasted and stumble home at ungodly hours. And they justify it by shrugging and saying "YORO".
Some of you will be asking, what's wrong with that? Others will be thinking "And CowboyPhilosopher is surprised by this?" Actually, I'm not surprised, just disappointed.
Yes, I'll admit upfront that I am a serious guy. Yes, I like to laugh and I love to hear jokes of both the clean and baudy type. I love to be happy. I love...well, Love. Is that not what Christ asked us to do? But on the whole, I'm a pretty serious guy. People have told me either that I'm a 40 year old in a 20 year old body, or that I was born in the wrong era. Perhaps, but I think not.
For those of you that don't know or haven't figured it out yet, yes, I am conservative. Very much so. I'm a Republican, I support the troops, I want smaller government, I love guns, I love God, and I love the free market, for all its flaws. I love the Flag, the Plege, the Declaration, and the Constitution. I also love the Cross (more than all before, for there was my Freedom sealed in Holy Blood). But I also love ideals. I love the American Ideals, the Christian Ideals, the Noble and Chivalric Ideals and also the Ideals of Liberty and Freedom. I despise excess, I despise dishonor, I abhor decadence, I recoil from abject sin (in as much as I can, since I too am a sinner). I dislike drastic change (one of my own quotes-of which I am quite fond of-is "Change for the sake of change is folly"). And what I have seen here and elsewhere has convinced me that modern American and Europe have totally forgotten the ideals of those who made them great.
We are immersed in a world of decadence, excess, sexuality, and dishonor, and what virtue remains is really only a shadow of what was once recognized as the standard against which men were judged. What, I ask, are our standards now? Lady Gaga (wretching noises)? Justin Bieber (don't care if I misspell his name)? Though I like some of his music, is Lil Wayne a standard against which we judge the quality of a man? What happened to nobility and virtue of men? Men used to be judged against men such as Winston Churchill, Edmund Burke, George Washington, George Patton, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and the Apostles. We used to hold loyalty, honor, piety, humility, voluntary service, duty, love, and intelligence as the great virtues of Man made in the Image of God. What happened? Where is our virtue now?
The truth is, we have none. In much the same idea as Friedrich Nietzsche said "God is dead"-and by that he meant that we, the modern society, the modern man-killed Him by destroying our ability to seek Him and understand Him and obey His laws-we have destroyed the Divine Spark within us by seeking pleasure over piety, excess and depravity over virtue and nobility. We have, in my opinion, become less homo sapiens and more homo cavae, or "hollow man". We have nothing in us, and so we seek something, anything, to fill our empty selves. This is the Modern Malaise. And we fill ourselves up with what Satan is all too happy to provide: hollow drink and food and pleasure that are just enough to satisfy for the moment but leave us begging for more. Thus we become slaves to our lusts, and, ultimately, slaves to the Darkness.