Posts Tagged ‘Future

04
Oct
11

Frail Honor, the Most Dangerous Kind

Well THIS is not what I wanted to write about. But there it is, Freshly Pressed, all about the protest on Wall Street and the virtue of the down trodden. Our future is in a lot of trouble. Seeing all these young Americans out in the cold to support their cause reminds me of an accidental moment of clarity I experienced in high school. It was Veteran’s Day, and instead of enjoying our new snow, I was sitting in English Lit. I’m pretty patriotic, so I had the thought that reading Lawrence Furlenghetti may not be the best way to honor our precious vets. I stood up and mentioned to the class how our time spent studying poetry was indeed undermining the sacrifices made by generations of veterans. Within minutes the tempera paint and posterboard were pilfered from the art room and we had some respectable signs. We paraded through the halls and quickly gathered a following that represented the ENTIRE school. Every student left class to support the Veteran’s Day cause. There we were, in the falling snow, on the side of the highway drinking hot chocolate and shouting something about freedom and sacrifice. The media was there within the hour and we clambered for their attention as they expounded on our devout patriotism.

Obviously, we were all lying. But the question is, were we lying to the media and our teachers? Or were we lying to ourselves? In that moment, every one of us was convinced that it was our teenage duty to honor the veterans. I was a little proud of my act of rebellion. As a teen, I was NOT rebellious and this would go a long way toward redeeming my straight-laced reputation. However, the pride was tinged with a nameless fear. I knew very well that the only reason the entire school walked out behind me was because they wanted to. I had successfully appealed to their inner-most wishes for a day off and I made it look honorable. At that moment, human nature stripped a layer and I discovered the simplicity of manipulation. Turn a person’s frailty into that which makes him honorable and he will stand for much less than he could be. It is easy to recline in one’s excuses, but so difficult to live up to an expectation.

Now, I see these protesters on Wall Street and all over the country, youth who were traded honor for mediocrity, and I am sad for our future. I would like a youth that is prepared to rise up and embrace the challenges ahead, enjoy the freedom of our new found globalism, and spread a better way of life to the truly downtrodden masses (not the ones being fed organic veggies and pasta in the street). Unfortunately, what sleeps on Wall Street right now is only bringing this nation further into despair. With it goes the hope that would bring prosperity to those who need it most.

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21
May
11

Time to Unpack

I’ve called it History’s Quandary. The Middle East, where enemies and allies change by the day and the best we can ever hope for is choosing the least unfortunate. Right now, our president is standing in fallout that is too deep to sort through, and for that he deserves our sympathy. Presidents before him have acted on the best knowledge to make the best decisions only to be judged by generations of history.

Right now, though, the President is not only drowning in the fallout from the troubled Middle East, but also at home. His Israeli peace plan has brought nothing but controversy over a steadfast ally. I have a knee-jerk opinion on what he said, but I like to do a little research before I speak out on the Middle East, so I’ve spent two days reading the blog circuit regarding this speech, Hamas, Abbas, Netanyahu, the Muslim Brotherhood…Finally I came to a conclusion.

It’s time to unpack, America, or our baggage is going to drown us.

Every comment stream I read turned into a circular argument of name-calling, blaming, excuses, and hate. Is this what our great nation has become? Golda Maier said that there will be war until Palestinians can learn to love their children as much as they hate the Jews. What about us? After reading all I have, it occurs to me that Americans are so caught up in rhetoric, we cannot reach a viable solution on any issue. In the name of being right, we have forgotten that love fosters growth, but hate destroys everything in its path. The Israeli conflict is an appropriate backdrop for such a realization. Israel, though a small and young nation, has grown more than many of its peers in the area. The nation is democratic, based on a general concept of freedom. It’s peers are bent on destruction. Nothing can destroy and intimidate its way to prosperity – not governments, ideas, egos, or armies.

We Americans inherited a legacy of peace and prosperity that we have squandered. Now that it is threatened, we are up to our ears in blame and hate that jeopardizes our future. We cannot even agree on good an evil. When we reached out to the Katrina victims, there were criticisms. The Gulf oil spill? Not an environmental tragedy, but a political blame-fest. We fight about gunmen in our schools and killings on the border. Obama compared children being blown up on school buses with the humiliation of occupation and NOBODY SAID A THING. Children are being killed, people, and we have turned it into a political debate without spending a moment to grieve for humanity.

America has always stood for what is right and good. She has been a bastion of freedom and solace. Right now, though, America doesn’t know what is right and therefore cannot stand. Instead, we have replaced good vs. evil with red vs. blue and are battering both to the ground. I promise that our skirmishes over things like abortion and clean water will look luxurious when we are fighting for existence. If we cannot come together and remember that a dead child is a tragedy no matter who her parents were and that injustice is a scourge, we will fall from within.

Right now, we are carrying our own versions of history in heavy backpacks that weigh us down, hindering our movement and keeping us out of the fight. We have got to unpack those so that we can step up and remember that good is worth fighting for. The enemy is powerful, but he should be easy for us to recognize – he’s the one threatening our future and that of the world. Usually, he has less problem saying he is bent on murder than we have believing him.

27
Jan
09

Waiting for September 12th

My friend hasn’t slept through the night in about two months.  My husband’s ulcer has flared up.  My coworker is completely despondent.  I cannot seem to hold food down.  Nobody is willing to put a guarantee on what may happen tomorrow.  First I thought it was just me.  I usually live in the worst-case scenario.  But it is not just me.  Not at all. 

The bumper stickers are calling us to be our 9/12 self.  The idea is that we live as the best American we can, like we did on that day when we all resolved to live a life of purpose.  That’s exactly how we should be living.  I would guess that if we all lived in that mind set, we would not be in the position we are today.

But here we are.  Entitlement, greed, and quick fixes have brought us to the brink of economic disaster.  It’s so much more than that.  Everything we take for granted – our national security, our safety, innovation, the environmental debate, even the abortion controversy – will lie forgotten if our economy fails.  So we replace our dreams and the hopes we have for our children with Tums and Tylenol PM.  What we did not notice, because it crept in behind the distraction of the holidays, is that we cannot be our 9/12 selves because we are re-living 9/11 in slow motion.  It is as though Good Morning America has been doing a frame-by-frame since the first plane came into sight.  Slowly, with time to contemplate and fear, we are watching our world change forever.  And, once again, we are not in control.  It is being done to us and we are but spectators, anticipating impact, just waiting for the frames to speed up.  On 9/11, it happened fast.  I remember looking around at every intersection on my way to work.  Everyone was stunned; at one light, all six lanes of traffic sat through a green.  Then at work all of us speculated, some cried.  Many checked on loved ones.  Nobody worked.  We all held our breath and listened for news instead.  Then we went home to our families, held them close, thanked God, and planned for a better tomorrow.  That’s when America united. 

I learned the true meaning of Joy on the evening of September 11th.  There were flags everywhere.  Donations were flying in before anyone even knew where to send them and the media had nothing disparaging to say.  In fact, many talking heads were teary.  Joy is not synonymous with happiness.  Joy is the assurance that trials are temporary.  The pain may linger, but with it comes the sweetly honed pleasure of the memories left from the good times and the hope for tomorrow. 

Hope.  Hope is a strong word.  It is what gives Americans their strength.  There is no nation on earth that offers the promise this country does.  Even now that we are bruised, we can still rest in a hope we take for granted.  But right now, right at this moment, we are watching that plane.  We are wondering if we get to hold onto our hope.  What we need to do, to move on and become our 9/12 selves, is re-evaluate hope.  In this time, we cannot count put our hope into anything that we cannot control.  It has to be personal and we have to be strong enough to hold on.

We may be holding on for September 12th, but it is actually here.  We may feel downtrodden and fearful and just barely American.  But we need to remember something.  This weekend, people will be married.  Right now, a baby is crying for the very first time.  There is a teenage girl talking to her best friend about her first kiss.  A boy in second grade is tugging the hair of the girl in front of him.  Next month, we may not be able to buy a Chevrolet and we may even cancel trips to Disney World this summer, but life still carries on.  No matter the nation we leave to our children, the human spirit is the true gift we leave behind.  If we can show them joy in the midst of adversity, they will grow into joyous lives.  Fear and dread are far outweighed by our capacity to love.  Where love lives, so does hope.  Where hope lives, so does greatness.

08
Oct
08

Do You Love It?

I have been considering why this election means so much.  I watch the debates with my stomach in knots, just wanting to jump in and help as though McCain is my child competing.  Soccer moms surely recognize this feeling.  My goal is to send out something documented, factual, and honest (read indisputable) every day.  There is a lot of information; I will not be short on material, but right now this is emotional and I can’t focus on that. 

My country is in danger.  There is no question about it, regardless of party.  The fix is in the fight.  Right now, we have to fight against greed.  We have to fight against terror.  We have to fight against apathy.  We have to fight against a media that is working for ratings, not for public protection.  It’s exhausting to carry this, especially when I feel powerless to fix it.  

 
Consider the Obama presidency.  I have been reading about post-Revolutionary Russia, Lenin in charge.  Now, I am not an alarmist expecting us to descent into abject and wide-spread poverty and starvation, BUT the similarities are impossible to ignore.  The United States is ripe for change, change is necessary right now.  We are on the brink of class warfare, racial warfare, and, if Iran has its way, nuclear warfare.  We know nothing for certain except that any day we could wake to a completely different life.  People are afraid…People are angry.  The right leader is crucial at a time like this, the wrong leader could be revolutionary.  
 
Here’s the crux:  Obama has worked very subtly to ensure that anyone who speaks out against him is deemed racist.  He is igniting racial tension.  He is running on a platform that is devisive by definition as he extols unity.  Obama’s foreign policy undermines US sovereignty at every turn.  That is where the problem comes in.  There is a possibility that Obama is on to something in the interest of world peace.  It’s difficult to know, but what if we did consider the UN’s input on our economic policy?  What if we refused to protect our interests without international approval?  What if we began to negotiate with the rogue nations and a little bit of our out-dated values erodes?  Would it be so terrible to compromise a little bit in the name of world peace?  It’s time to really consider this.  We have no choice.
 
Compromising, regardless of the motivation, is a detriment to our great nation.  It may be fine for a while and people will laugh that I ever considered this, but later there will be mourning for all that was lost.  This is all we will mourn:
 
Forums like this, speaking out against proposed change. We will still have free speech in the Constitution, but this speaks to religion, which will be restricted
Economic freedom 
Competition – eroding quality in education, healthcare, and roads
Variety in production
Religious freedom – we will loose the freedom to worship as religion and world peace are completely incompatible
Private ownership of companies and real estate
 
Our government will become so large and cumbersome, any freedoms not inherently restricted will still be challenging as there will be no flexibility.  Further, poverty will be a major problem as taxation skyrockets.  Because of this taxation, the well-being of the State will be a higher priority than that of the individual.
 
This nation grew by the grace of God.  The United States of America is a gift God gave to the world, specifically to Israel, to ensure goodness prevails.  This was not a gift of compromise; we are to liberate the compromised throughout history.  Right now, we are hovering on the verge of being the compromised.  If we do not save ourselves, there is no one to come to the rescue of the American people.  We owe is to ourselves.  We owe it to the world.  We owe it to God.  We have got to elect a leader who strives for the individual.  He must love this country.  A willingness to compromise everything this country has built, to ignore the warnings and recede into history with the rest of the world, is not love of country.  It isn’t even an appreciation for all we have.  As difficult as times have become, we still have a life to be greatful here.  Simply look down the street – it is clean.  There is clea r, fresh air to breathe.  We have tap water on demand that is reliably potable.  New cars are abundant and plentiful.  Homes are plenty large.  Our children are educated.  Yes, we have to work for all of these, but true dignity comes from earning one’s way.  The more socialized a society becomes, the more disincentivized is work, again causing social decline.
 
It’s worth the fight and the knotted stomachs.  We have got to vote against Obama for president.  This man is dangerous.  He has been lying to the American public and we are so complacent nobody minds.  Lying is expected.  The man consorts consistently with individuals and organizations that are anti-American.  Even in the face of economic failure, he offers a plan that will cause further decline in our financial system.  He has no quarrel with the death of an infant at the hands of a doctor.  Regardless, his intent does not seem to be malicious.  His intent is not the problem.  The problem is that he does not LOVE this nation.  Therefore, his priorities will never be our well-being.  



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