Tag: Peacemaker

We need to return to One Nation Under God.

We need to return to One Nation Under God.

What do I think we need to get back on track as a country?

We need to return to One Nation Under God.

In God’s eyes, each soul is equal. How well do we demonstrate that in our daily interactions? 

Having worked as a journalist, I learned a few truths. Media sells more advertising when people are afraid. If it bleeds, it leads. Bad news travels farther and faster than good news. There are economic and personal benefits for twisting news to the negative. 

God is Love.

After reading most news stories, do you feel more love in your heart? Love brings us together.

Or do these stories make you fearful, angry, upset, worried? These emotions drive us apart. The problem here is this mind-state make us suspicious of others. When we don’t trust people, it’s easier for us to support regulations to control them.

Here’s a spiritual truth: If I take away your freedom, I lose mine, too. If you sow oppression and hate, you live it. You may feel like you’re on top today, but the wheel of life turns, and eventually it runs over you. Living from the viewpoint of suspicion and mistrust, nobody is ever a true friend; they’re just biding their time to do unto you as you did unto others: Lonely, fearful times for all.

Back to Love.

Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Why? Because God already loves us. We exist because God loves us. Giving back to God what has already been given us completes a circuit, if I may use that analogy.

Then Jesus said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” How can you know what that means if you don’t love God? Or if you don’t love yourself? Of course, we’re not talking about narcissism, which isn’t self-love but a need to fill an unfillable hole within. When we give love, God pours more love into us, filling us.

The love I talk about here is called Charity in the King James Bible, not the warm love we feel for our family. Feeling that way towards everybody could burn us out. Charity

“is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”

Kindness, contentment, humility are key attributes of one who gives charitable love to others.

Have you watched a person who is giving and caring, and think, “that’s a good person”? Be that person. That’s what makes your life, your family, your community, and America great. WE do that, not elected officials, not government agencies. Attain spiritual freedom for yourself, then work to help others win it, too. 

Let Us Sweep Our Own

Let Us Sweep Our Own

Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

It’s easy to feel discouraged and upset right now.

From Covid-19 to all the various reactions to it, from lost jobs and failed businesses to sick and dying friends, from systemic injustice to bigotry and prejudice, from unfit law enforcement officers (and the people who hire, retain, and fail to train them) to riots and fires in the streets – it seems like the list of ways the world has gone wrong is truly endless. And it feels like it’s getting worse every day.

Did you see the meme going around about how the Yellowstone Caldera is scheduled to erupt in June, a zombie uprising will happen in July, and then underground crab-monsters that eat people would be emerging in August? No…? Well, what about the one with the woman peering out a window, trying to figure out which chapter of Revelation we’ll be doing today?

Funny as such memes might be, in a bitter-laughter sort of way, they do illustrate the underlying reality that people are frightened and unhappy right now. And while we might not all agree on exactly what has gone wrong or how to fix that specific thing, I think we can all agree that it’s a scary and unhappy time.

 

But maybe there’s some cause for hope, too.

 

When the world seems to have gone off its collective rocker, what can good people do? What can we do to get our country back on track?

 

We can choose to “sweep in front of our own doors,” that’s what. We can deal fairly with the people around us. We can choose to speak up about injustices that we see, and we can choose to listen compassionately to others. We can be determined to protect ourselves and the people we care about, and also willing to give a helping hand to people who need it.

 

Want some specific ideas? I can do that – but keep in mind that my worries, my resources, and my priorities might not be the same as your worries, resources, and priorities. That’s one of the reasons specific calls-for-action don’t always get as much traction as we’d like. God gives each of us such different visions because no one of us can possibly ever see everything that needs to be done.

 

For many years, my deep vision was to help vulnerable people learn to protect themselves from violent crime. That remainsvery close to my heart especially as I see the world becoming more unsettled every day. If that’s your call too, I want to challenge you on one important thing: build your own competency first! Don’t become one of the all-too-many well meaning people who endanger others on the range or in the dojo without even realizing it. Do the work to become competent, then turn around and teach others. And if you’re not yet ready to teach, perhaps while you’re learning more you can also help people you care about get their training from qualified others.

 

Maybe you’re concerned about food security. It’s tempting to sit and worry, but maybe it would be better to pick up a packet of seeds and plant a garden, or learn how to can and preserve food. Maybe you’ll even be able to help a neighbor get started with the same skills. Or you might end up at the food bank, helping keep it organized and ready to serve your community.

 

How does your social media feed look right now? Angry, obnoxious, hopeless? Mine did, too. One day, I got truly fed up with the negative energy the computer was feeding me every day, and I decided to do something about it. I did not go on a rampage and cull everyone who disagreed with me. That might have felt temporarily satisfying (at the expense of cutting me off from people I care about and whose viewpoints I need to hear). Instead I did something that turned out much more useful in the long run: I made a quiet little commitment to myself that I would post something positive – something true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, something excellent or worth praising – every time I felt even the slightest irritation with anyone else online.

 

By the way, here’s a lovely thing I came across online one day. My friend Terry Trahan wrote,

“If you disagree with me, don’t like what I post, see the world different than I do… Do not unfriend me. We need to keep talking and communicating. We are the ones that need to Do the Work. You need to learn how my side sees, and I need to learn from you.”

 

Isn’t that beautiful? We need more of that. We’re all so worried about giving the people around us a good talking-to, but I think what most people really need more than anything else is a good listening-to.

 

If it’s your passion to help others, there’s always somewhere to pitch in. Maybe it will be the humane society or a soup kitchen, at your church or a community garden, in a senior center or at a youth sports activity or self defense classes. Maybe you’ll just be there to help a friend clean up a mess. Almost certainly,you’ll find some idea I haven’t even thought of because the limits of my vision do not define the limits of the world. Start with what you see and go from there.

 

None of this will change the entire world by itself. But when each of us do the things we know to be right – when each of us pick up a broom and help clean up the mess, rather than crying and moaning for someone else to do the work – the world does become a better place. One person, one household, one neighborhood at a time.

 

Stay safe. Help the people you love stay safe. Reach out to people you care about and help take care of your neighbors.

 

We’ll get through this.
Read History

Read History

If I held the power to save one young protestor by getting them to listen to reason, what would I say?

Read history. 

The end.

I tried to think of a means to convince someone, but I am embarrassed to say I cannot think of a single way to reason with a rioter. We are not talking about protestors. I attended, as a protestor, events on the National Mall. Not one time did we threaten the police or the vacationers going about their business. No one got arrested, we left the area cleaner than we arrived, and the mainstream media lied about the protest and us. 

Now, we view riots, and the media lie, “mostly” peaceful, which means violent and criminal. In a non-violent demonstration, no one cleans up after you. No one gets detained, and no property or people are damaged or hurt. I encourage the right to peacefully assemble and petition our government and proud to do so when I thought our president and Congress jumped the rails and welcomed all to participate. 

Before the pandemic, when our Second Amendment rights came under scrutiny by the governor and legislature in Richmond, I did not attend the protest. There were no reported assaults, no vandalism, no arrests, and not too surprising, no counter-protest either. Why, because those who want to limit our rights resort to violence, and doing so against armed citizens did not make a healthy choice and only further demonstrated the purpose of the Second Amendment. I supported them.

Why should I try to persuade someone not to question our government publicly? Or request people not to gather and ask for redress of perceived grievances. I support doing such things despite differing opinions because public decent is their legal right. 

The USA is a nation of laws. At the beginning of this article, I suggested people read history. Assuming you understand the concepts of the founding of this country and how unique the idea was in comparison to all other countries and people, rioting would be shocking to you. Our United States created the concept of individual sovereignty. Each person represents a nation in themselves with rights no one could take away. Individuals free to form groups, develop boundaries, and local, state, federal governments. Entities that did not exist to rule the population but to serve the citizens by keeping order, resolving disputes, protecting the country from invasion. Our representative on the world stage. 

To stand against legal authority is a personal choice. You identify with an issue. You speak up, defend your opinion, and address those issues to the people who represent you in the seat of power. Compare ligament public assembly to the rioter. Anonymous because his or her acts are criminal, and they do not wish to be responsible for the theft, arson, assault, murder, or terroristic actions of their own or their fellow rioters. 

We often read about the oppressed. Gandhi led them, so did Martin Luther King. Who leads the crowd in Minnesota? Should you happen to be so naive as to believe what the news reports, no one, is the answer. The busses, bricks, water, and face masks were provided as well as out of town, out of state, paid agitators. Someone is leading. Who and to what purpose? 

Read history.

A subject no longer thought necessary in schools and relegated to unimportant. Why, because if you understand what happened in the past, what you are giving up.  What you represent is someone who can use your actions for their means, to strip you of your freedom.

Read history, Lenin coined the phrase, and Hitler plagiarized the idea of, “Useful idiots” getting the mob to take risks, commit the crimes, and run the riots from a safe distance and from behind the curtain, claiming the desire for justice, for the people. Mao thought using mass hordes an excellent concept also, and in less than a century between Germany, the USSR, and Red China, they murdered around 100,000,000 citizens after they gave away their rights to safeguard themselves from the mobs. (Read history, Hitler, Lenin, and Mao all turned on the useful gang of thugs.)

There is no case to persuade the criminal to be reasonable. Afterward is too late he or she committed the crime and cannot undo their deeds. As a citizen, I lack a compelling reason to convince the legal protestor using and acting within the laws our founders set up to protect society from the government. 

Read history.

The Declaration of Independence makes a bold statement and in doing so said the signers of the document were willing to take on the strongest military in the world to end injustice and obtain self-rule. “. . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . .”

Peaceful protests failed to provide for equal treatment under the existing law, and the people chose to go to war for their rights. The leaders signed their work and delivered their resolution to the King of England and Parliament. Our founding fathers threatened with hanging did not hide in an anonymous crowd. Instead, they organized a military and prepared for armed conflict. 

Read history.

Understand what was at risk. In Boston, the city got seized by British forces; anything the military did was deemed legal to cause compliance with English rule and used no existing law to quell the illegal use of force. In a short time, historically speaking, four score and seven years after forming our government, half of the states took up the words of the Declaration and went to battle again. The costliest fight in our history and the Civil War ended the most egregious wrong, conceptionally counter to the Declaration’s statement,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Compare to a single rogue officer or four officers who abused their authority, under investigation, arrested, and sent to trial with the same protections from prosecution as anyone else accused of a heinous crime imaginable. 

What started in Minnesota as a righteous, indignation in the community, quickly and expertly escalated into riots influenced by outside forces herding “useful idiots.”

Myself, I find no way to reason with terrorists or a mob. I can encourage lawful protest, and enough education, legal protestors can deduce for themselves not to become a member of the mob. 

A quote by Teddy Roosevelt sums up the reality of much of what is wrong and how we are easily transformed into a pawn in politics without realizing it.

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble,you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

Read history.

A New Hope

A New Hope

When Kenn Blanchard asked me to write briefly about what this country needs to get back on track, I said sure.  No problem.  And I started thinking about reopening and business stimulus plans that don’t further inflate our national debt.  Simple enough.  But then riots started in all the major cities.  Businesses large and small, owned by people of every race… indiscriminately ransacked and put to the torch so completely it would be shocking to even 10th century Vikings.  

All the sudden my contribution agreement became really complicated.

Or so I thought at first.  Because when I looked into myself, deep down to how I truly felt about our nation and the answer rang out to me like a clear bell.   What this nation needs is love.  We need, as a nation is an outpouring of love and understanding.  We need to look past all the boundary lines that society and the media have put down on us to keep us divided.  We have Racial lines.  We have Class lines.  We have these arbitrary socio-economic lines.  And we have lines that mark different geo-political boundaries that we have allowed to define us as who we are individually and as a people.   You have been categorized and filed and regardless of your opinions or feelings, that’s the identity card you have been dealt.

It’s easy to just pick up a flag and give it a few waves and exclaim that we are all “Americans”.  Unless you are not and are thus not a part of this particular group, and thus are not in this box.  No… That doesn’t work here.  We need to look past that too.   We need to look at each other simply as fellow humans.  As people.  As brothers and sisters.   

While we may have different opinions on things, we need to look at them first and accept that that person has a different point of view and that opinion is to them just as valid as yours is to you.  Every coin has two sides and just declaring that one side is right and the other wrong is accepting a division line that caused so much grief in our world.  What about the road that person has traveled and all his or her experience that brought them to that opinion?  Look of the phrase about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.   If you do that, you might come to understand how that person sees their situation and can then appreciate why they feel the way they feel.  This is the start of a civil and reasonable conversation.  

Once we see those others as people too, we can then understand their needs.  We can respect them as a person instead of the other side.  And then a remarkable thing can happen.  You can work together.  This sounds like a lot of fluff considering what’s happening out there.  A lot of hippie peace and beads waving.  But look at what’s happening again.  I am seeing a whole lot of people who feel so disenfranchised with things that their only recourse is to protest.  To lash out.

This is how far we have slipped.  To have allowed ourselves to become so segmented and divided that we are physically attacking each other.  And the results of this are heart wrenching to the point that it makes me feel sick to my stomach.  

We need to come together as a people.  United not for any cause… not for the sake of any division line.  But for our own sakes.  We need a national outpouring of love and charity for each other.  

Once we have that… Everything else will fall into place and we can rebuild our nation under the ideals that founded it.  Life and Liberty.

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