Once upon a time there was a mighty lion who prowled the jungle without fear. Every animal knew not to challenge his speed, his claws, or his teeth. One day, as he was strolling through his domain, his eye fell upon a huge piece of raw meat hanging from a tree. Without a second’s hesitation, the lion leapt into the air and grabbed it.
There was a loud swish!
Suddenly the lion found himself shrouded in a full body net. His roars shook the trees for miles. He tried to grab the net with his claws or with his teeth, but he couldn’t get enough of a grip to break them. The more he struggled, the more twisted into the cords he became, until finally, exhausted, he hung there in a despondent lump.
Then he heard a tiny voice calling him.
He wiggled around to find its owner. To his surprise, he was looking at a field mouse.
"Your Majesty," the mouse squeaked respectfully. "Would you like some help?"
The lion didn’t see how a tiny mouse could possibly break the net when he had been unable to do so, but he didn’t think that he had anything to lose by accepting the mouse’s offer.
"Yes," he replied, "I would be very grateful for anything you can do."
The mouse bowed and disappeared. A few minutes later, the lion felt little feet swarming all over him. The mouse had returned with his entire family. The mice concentrated on one strand of the net. Their tiny teeth couldn’t bite through the whole strand, but they could…
gnaw away at one fiber of that strand at a time. As each fiber broke, the strand weakened.
The mice kept working, until, one by one, every fiber of that strand was broken. As soon as one strand of the net came apart, the entire net unraveled, and the lion was free once more.
In the struggle for America, perhaps we should begin thinking like the mice in that well-known fable.
America’s families are the lion in our story. And the net is made up of strands of government regulations and programs.
A society with strong and vibrant families doesn’t really need the government to "do stuff" for them. Families know that they do better, both economically and socially, without government interference. Families need, and desire, a government limited to the few tasks that they cannot accomplish themselves.
America had such a system of limited government, and our nation flourished.
But those committed to growing the government have worked diligently to change that situation. They understand that big government needs weak families. That’s why so many government programs have provisions that weaken the bonds between family members. People have to think that they need the government for the government to have a reason to get bigger.
The ugly reality, of course, is that the government doesn’t do stuff FOR us when it invades the traditional domain of the family – the government does stuff TO us while it increases its own power.
So what if each of us concentrated on our own fiber, and worked to strengthen our own family? Whether we strengthen our marriages, or take control of the education of our children, or reduce our personal debt, the fibers in the strands of the government’s net will weaken as each of our families grows stronger.
And, as Aesop’s mice knew, even the strongest net will break if just one strand comes unraveled. How amazing that the best way to help save America is to strengthen our own family. It’s a fiber that each of us can wrap our teeth around.