Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Thinking back to my childhood and early adult life the person who stands out a little larger than life, is my grandfather. He was in many ways the most influential person in my young life and what I remember most about him were his kindness and his honesty. He was honest in the way that when he spoke you were put at ease and you recognized the sincerity, not only in his words but in his very being.
As I grew older I began to realize what incredible strength my grandfather must have possessed. I found that it was not so easy to be both kind and honest. Honesty can be a brutal taskmaster and this is especially true if it is not wielded with a degree of kindness and wisdom. Throughout my life, I have faced obstacle after obstacle, both personal and professional, that challenged my ability to be both kind and honest. I often felt inadequate to the task. I often thought, if I tell the truth this person or that person will be hurt or this awful thing or that awful thing will happen. I was simply not wise enough or strong enough and I all too frequently made the wrong decision and with each wrong decision, there was always a painful price to pay. But, also with each mistake was a tiny grain of light. I found that with each mistake if I reflected carefully, there was something to be learned. I found that with learning came a touch of wisdom and with that wisdom I could temper my honesty with kindness. And I found that with each of those events I felt a little lighter and the world seemed a brighter, kinder place much like that place and time I spent with my grandfather.
Now, here I sit, near the age, my grandfather had when I was first learning about his kindness and honesty. Here I sit peering out on the world where truth is becoming an ever more rare commodity. As I peer out I realize that it is because of that void of honesty and kindness that it is a darker, angrier, more bitter, more heartless, and cold place. It is not the place that I or my grandfather wanted our children and grandchildren to inherit. It is a place where fewer and fewer citizens seem to have the strength, to be honest, and kind. It has become a place where truth is in the eye of the beholder regardless of whether it reflects reality or not. It has become a place where people create their own facts and the minds of the many seem to lack the curiosity to question or go in search of the truth.
Sadly I do not believe that America has ever been a true beacon of truthfulness and kindness, but I do believe that it was once a place where its citizens strove to be and possessed the great capacity to be those things. I do not believe that America ever stood with open arms welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” but I do believe it was a place that the citizens once aspired to do so. The perception has always been different than the reality but the aspirations and capacity of the citizens to achieve these things have always been there.
I believe that Americans still possess the capacity and desire to speak the truth and to exude the kindness that appears to be so lacking in our society today. I believe that the politicians that we have installed in Washington have corrupted our system.
The repetitive failure of our politicians to seek and voice the truth has damaged America, perhaps beyond repair. It would appear that we no longer have leaders that espouse truthfulness or display empathy and true kindness. We have leaders that bend the truth or simply lie to garner the support of the masses for the purpose of gaining and maintaining power and wealth. I believe we have reached a point of critical mass. A point where if, we as citizens do not demand that our politicians speak the truth and hold them accountable it will lead to the total collapse of our republic. It is already leading to the abandonment of the institutions established by our forefathers that have repeatedly demonstrated our countries empathy and compassion for its citizens and those wishing to seek shelter in our land.
I pray each night that we the people shall not “go silently into the night” and will stand and resist and in fact bend those sent by us to Washington to represent us to our will as it is established in our constitution.
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.