In a world of Chicken Little's, constantly telling us our country is about to crumble and that it never was that great, it seems like a good time to remember a few things... and what makes America what it is - its people.
First of all, a quick history lesson.
Who We Were
American Inventions - zippers, hearing aids, defibrillator paddles, radiocarbon dating, traffic lights, microwaves, cars, lasers, GPS systems, chemotherapy, the Space Shuttle, stoves, video games, email, mobile phones, radios, telephones, computers, the pen, jeans, airplanes, guitars, electricity, DNA structure... and many more. Try to picture life without these things.
American Built Structures - https://www.alansfactoryoutlet.com/famous-u.s.-buildings-and-landmarks. Their beauty speaks for itself.
Wars America Participated In - American Revolution (fight for freedom against the greatest military force in the world), Civil War (fight against slavery) World War I (fight against Germany's military aggression) World War II (fight against Germany, Italy and Japan's attempt at global domination), Korean War (fight against the expansion of Communism)... and so on. Notice that America was not involved in any of these conflicts for money, power or personal gain.
American Rights & Laws - Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, free public school education, the right to equal justice, the right to keep and bear arms, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, innocent until proven guilty, freedom to travel, protection against discrimination due to race, gender, disabilities and much more.
And if you think these things aren't important, then take a look at these links and decide if you would rather live there:
Most Dangerous Countries in the World for Women
The Most Dangerous Places for Children
Who We Are:
Our country is at a crossroad. Conservatives vs. Liberals. Republicans vs. Democrats. And now, even self-avowed Socialists - all of whom hold strongly felt beliefs which they think should be respected while being unwilling to listen to differing viewpoints.
Then there are the rebels without a clearly defined cause. The "I'm angry" crowd who want change, but offer no solutions. Who demand justice and fair treatment, then riot, harass and attack those who don't agree with them at their workplaces, their homes and even restaurants and other public venues. They want their issues addressed by bullying and terrorizing others into submission.
Take the NFL debacle. Men who play a dangerous sport and put their bodies on the line every week for our entertainment. Very brave. Therein is the irony of the "take a knee" situation. In truth, kneeling down before a captive audience is taking the easy way out. It doesn't require as much courage to take a knee as it does to talk with people you don't know or agree with.
Instead of kneeling, how about getting off the ground and trying to find solutions? Take your fame and the millions of dollars the country you think is so unfair and prejudiced has afforded you and make a difference.
Sit down and talk with the police and find out who they really are. Don't stereotype them and assume they're all evil and by doing so commit the same "crime" you so easily accuse them of. And while you're healing your aches and injuries on Monday morning, think about what it would be like to walk out the door every day not knowing if you'll come back to your family that night because someone decides to shoot you just because of the uniform you wear.
Meet with legislators. They're the ones with the power to change the system. Find out what they're doing and put pressure on them to fix problems. That's how real change happens.
And if you have the guts to do so, ask to speak with the President. Have the courage to put your emotions aside and work with him. Do you honestly think he wants anyone in America to be mistreated? If so, then you need to stop listening to the media and bomb throwers who have nothing better to do with their time than to promote hatred and violence on TV, the Internet and in the streets.
We're in a terrible place right now. Divided. Angry. Violent. Intolerant. But that isn't the whole story. Let's remember the people who care. Who try. Who sacrifice. Who persevere. Who put others first. Here are a few examples:
Team Rubicon Helps Hurricane Harvey Victims: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5827283079001/?#sp=show-clips
Everyday Heroes: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/07/13/23-real-life-american-heroes-you-should-know/
The bottom line is that we have a choice about how we live our lives. Make a difference or foment chaos. Be the solution or intensify the problem. The time is now for each of us to make a decision. We can do better... much better. And we must. Our children live what they learn and what they are seeing from so-called adults is sad and disgraceful. Worse yet, it is who they will become.
So I will offer an occasional reminder of what we can be. Starting this week I will be adding a section to my blog. Everyday Heroes. I hope they inspire you. And more than anything, I pray Anne Frank was right.
She wrote in her diary before being taken to a concentration camp, "It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."