**This in no way is intended to call out any 1 person, party, or entity- other than every individual & the United States as a whole.
I’ve always been interested & engaged in the American political system- some days it is fascinating & some days it is disappointing. I don’t know what it is about this election cycle, but my spirit is on fire & my ears are incredibly tuned in to the local, national, & global political, social, & economic events.
Honestly, this is not meant to be a political post. You can support & vote for whoever you want & I can do the same. We can disagree. That is the glory of the freedoms & democratic principles provided for American citizens. This is meant to call out our country, call out every person here to wake up & step into action. This is for us to truly consider the so commonly heard phrase that has been blasting through the viral media- some probably like it, some probably associate it with ridiculousness. That phrase?
“We’re going to make America great again.”
The sad truth is that as a county, this means we were great once but we aren’t anymore. We’re no longer the world’s “greatest” power not because we don’t have a wall at our borders, or we’re too willing to help those “in need” inside & outside of our country, or we apologize too much, or because we’re in massive amounts of debt, or because the “system” is broken (Although some of these things don’t help us much).
The reason we’re no longer great is because as a people, we have truly lost the value of something that is incredibly important. If we truly want to “make America great again” we need to bring back the value of respect in our society.
- Respect & kindness for each other, no matter if we disagree.
- Respect for the value of a good education, & not lowering the expectations we have of our students for whatever the reason.
- Respect for lessons from History, our elders, & positions of authority.
- Respect & value for truth, wisdom, integrity, & honor.
- Respect for hard work & the incredible lessons we learn from pushing through hard work & times.
Right now there is a multitude of ideas floating around out there about politics, immigration, religion, terrorism, racism, crime, corruption, national debt, people’s rights, & more. There is also a multitude of fear, hate, & tension. There are riots, protests, beatings, & the destruction of relationships. It’s one thing to be passionate & firm in something you believe but if you allow those issues to destroy your relationships then something is wrong & you need to check yourself. Communication & discussion with respect is something that has been part of the core that helped make America “great.” Even when we disagree, showing the willingness to truly listen & respond with patience & wisdom instead of responding with all-out brawls or spitting in each others’ faces can make all the difference. That’s why, throughout History, people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi were so effective & are still so respected- their endurance for following after their beliefs but doing it through peace, discussions, & forgiveness rather than hatred got attention & brought them respect.
Also, somewhere along the line in the past 2-3 decades we have traded the value & rare privilege of a good education for easy entertainment. Our school systems have compromised themselves by passing students, curving grades, lowering standards, & sweeping issues under the rug for the sake of federal funding, “increased” (although inflated) graduation rates, & being “data” driven. School systems, teachers, parents, society, and students have lowered the bar with all kinds of excuses- because it’s “too hard,” because we “feel bad” for them & their home life, or because teaching how “you’ve always taught” is easier. Yes, it’s easier to pay teachers crazily low salaries & have crazy expectations of work. Yes, it’s easier to pass a kid along than have to explain to higher ups about the truth. Yes, it’s easier to not discipline students than to deal with confrontation with the student or parent. Yes, it’s easier to give the kid a passing grade than deal with them again in class next year. Yes, it’s easier to not be involved in PTO because you’re “too busy” or blame the teacher rather than discipline your child. Yes, it’s easier to put your homework & studying off (or not do it all). Yes, it’s easier, but it’s wrong. It’s easier, but it’s handicapping our school systems & creating a society of functional idiots who know more about Kim Kardashian than George Washington. It’s creating a society that doesn’t value education when billions around the world would do anything just to have a small portion of it. When we pay more to entertainment services than we do to our own school systems, it shows we don’t value them- so why should anyone else? And when we lower the expectations for students from “bad homes” (or just because it makes our “data” numbers look better) we teaching them we don’t believe they’re capable of doing any better- even though they’re capable of things unimaginable.
Over time, the value of learning & loving truth & lessons from History has disappeared. People started focusing on the “who’s, what’s, & when’s” (yes, these are important) more than focusing on the values & lessons we can learn from the mistakes, courage, failures, & fears of those who came before. Now, to most people, “history” brings to mind images of naps, monotonous teachers, & old dead people that did stuff. Speaking of the elderly, we’ve thrown away respect for them, too. A lot of people in our society see them as burdens rather than national treasures. Some of them survived things like WWI or the Jim Crow System. Some witnessed the excitement of the Roaring Twenties & the development of crazy new inventions while others survived the despair & fear of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Some witnessed & even felt the honor of defending the innocent & allies against a red, black, & white flagged, broken-crossed evil. Some witnessed the development of brand new countries & brand new weapons of war that puts fear in all of us. Some of our elderly witnessed the first expeditions into the “final frontier” & the first steps on the moon. Some witnessed & took part in the blessing of tearing down walls of racism & integrating our schools for the first time. The stories could go on & on- because that’s what History is- the stories of our elders & the adventures they lived through. We should be gleaning wisdom from these people, not abandoning or disrespecting them. There are many countries in the world where it is a miracle if you even make it to 45 because the conditions are so harsh- shouldn’t we treat these people with more respect? In our loss of respect of elders, we’ve also abandoned respect for positions of authority. From below, people disrespect those in authority over them. Children disrespect their parents. Employees lie, cheat, & steal from their employers. We riot & point fingers at innocent cops because a few “bad apples” exist & we disregard the valor of the majority of them. From above, those IN the position of authority don’t respect their jobs- parents don’t discipline their own children but rather try to be their friends then end up fearing the person they created. Some cops are corrupt & abuse their position of authority. Politicians point fingers, call names, attack families, lie, steal their way to the top, & are swayed more by what’s currently trending than by what is right, true, & good.
And one of the best qualities of the long-forgotten “great” America was our general will to endure through devastating times & work hard at everything we do, to be creative, and self-dependent rather than technologically dependent. When I say this, I don’t mean the country as a whole, but at the individual level. Really, if you calculate the average debt people have accrued versus what they have in their bank accounts, we’re one of the poorest countries on Earth. It’s easier to swipe a card to buy it now than to save up, tell ourselves “no” for now, set a budget, or get another job. For some, it’s easier to cross a border illegally & live on benefits paid for by others than to be patient, follow the law, & come here the proper way (not that I don’t understand why some do- but it doesn’t make it right). It’s easier to copy someone else’s homework than do it ourselves. It’s easier to complain & whine on your most recent social media update than to get out and actually do something to make a difference. We stop showing up at the polls, we don’t write letters to voice our opinions to those who represent us, and by doing so we give up our freedoms.
“Liberty once lost is lost forever.” – John Adams
We’ve given up & we’ve given in on our morals, work ethic, & ability to learn incredible lessons & grow because of hard circumstances we go through. What’s the phrase? The same water that hardens an egg also softens a potato. Which are you- the one that crumbles under pressure and hard times or the one that stays strong, holds on to your beliefs, & actually becomes stronger through hardships? Really, this isn’t anything new. Even the first humans created on Earth chose the “easier” path to what they thought was the same end but really just led them (& everyone else after them) to destruction. Adam & Eve were given the simple instruction NOT to eat from a particular tree. Had they followed this, they could have walked & talked with God face-to-face EVERY.DAY! When you spend that much time with someone, you end up becoming a lot like them. Instead, they listened to a talking snake & decided breaking the rule to become like God sounded a lot easier & faster. So lack of respect for doing what’s right even though it’s hard isn’t new- every single one of us does it. But really, if we want our country to return to the way it was, there’s a lot of undoing that needs to be done & a lot of people would have to learn they can’t take the easy way out, they can’t depend on the government for everything but have to learn to be dependent on themselves. Just like you wouldn’t want your children to be permanently dependent on you, our citizens shouldn’t be permanently dependent on the government to be the answer to everything.
But really, it comes down to this, none of this is possible in a world where truth is “relative” & there is “no right or wrong” according to the world’s standards. If there’s no right or wrong, if everything’s relative to what’s convenient to each of us, then who needs respect? Why would rules be important if there’s no right or wrong? We would all just take the easy way, whatever is most convenient every time- even if it was wrong. A country that is made up of citizens that are not willing to rebuild themselves, first, by doing what’s right & true, even if it’s hard CANNOT survive & CANNOT rebuild itself. If you REALLY want to make America great again, we’ve got to turn our nation back to TRUTH, through prayer, through reading the Bible, & turning back to the One that created the rules & right & wrong in the first place. We cannot depend on others or the government to make everything better. We can’t even depend on ourselves- but we MUST depend on Jesus Christ, Yahweh, the One who created us- He is the only One that can change the world.
I’ll leave you with a few quotes:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral & religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams.
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.” -Asian Proverb
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14