Today, I want to talk to you about a matter of the heart. A heart and mind perspective shift that will resolve and redeem the imbalances and misaligned priorities that are destroying our country from the inside out.
My fellow Americans, we are some of the most highly favored and influential people on this planet at this time. Our great country has come far since the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and Dr. King’s address of 1963, but we, the American people, have not come far enough. This country was founded on a dream. It is the ability to dream and choose that liberates us. However, Americans continue to abuse our right to chose. We continue to make the wrong choices. We chose to fight against one another, rather than lift one another up. We chose to step on our neighbor for personal gain, rather than pick them up and take them with us. We have the freedom of choice and the freedom to act on those choices. The issue is that we continue to choose our feelings and selfishness over common sense, decency, and respect for human life and the law put into place in order to afford us the liberties we use and abuse.
Our ancestors fought for a place where you could live – truly live – freely and more vibrantly than they were afforded. Our ancestors fought for us to have opportunities they didn’t. Look at what they did for us! Just take a breath and look around you, where ever you are, what ever you’re doing; because of what they did, because of what they went through, because of the governance in place you can… it was given to you. They fought to protect a set of ideals and values. They gave it all and risked their lives for what you have today, and we are not treating it like the gift and privilege it is. History matters. People matter. The freedom we have to choose matters. Protecting and standing for what we believe matters.
To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.Calvin Coolidge
The facts are that slavery has existed in every race, but there were two races in American history that were oppressed and persecuted more than most, the Native Americans and African Americans. Both have suffered grave tragedies, and are still suffering today. Generations have worked to right the wrongs of our ancestors to afford all American people equal opportunity. While society has progressed, we as a nation have still not healed from the persecution of our brothers and sisters generations before us. Many harbor hate and resentment that has been passed down from generation to generation. Many are ignorant. Many accept their fate and choose to live as if they are already defeated. Many choose to turn a blind eye to the suffering right in front of them. Many, like me, work tirelessly to make certain their children are not influenced by racism, prejudices and unhealthy behavior and thought patterns. I’d like to believe that the cards are no longer stacked against any person, that prejudices no longer exist, that we have evolved past that, but that is not the story the information before us tells. The information before us paints a picture of violence, rage, hate, racism, biased opinions, a corrupt legal system, oppression, fear and tragedy. The ending of the story, given the information at hand, if it stays on its current trajectory is one of division, chaos, darkness and violence. What is true and should be held firmly and tightly to our hearts is that which is widely known as the golden rule, “love your neighbor as yourself.” The Bible also puts this beautifully…
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
The American dream is not one of activism, competition, racism, oppression or fear, in fact, it is the opposite. The American dream is one of opportunity and freedom. Every American should have equal opportunity to embrace and embody what it means to be an American, regardless of gender, color, or any other physical identifier, or when their family came to America. If nothing else, consider your brother.
We are all ONE race – THE HUMAN RACE.
May we stop the division and competition, stop thinking and acting as if freedom was given to us without a price, and behaving as if living freely means doing whatever you feel, when ever you feel like it. I hope we can choose to dream the dream of those that came before us. May we choose to be gracious, humble, respecting, working, innovative dreamers that live in gratitude, kindness, joy and love. Let us not be driven by greed, competition, fear, hate, revenge or jealousy, but, instead by all things good and pure. It is our right to fight for what we value, believe and love. It is our right to choose how we fight. Let’s choose grace for one another, choose to listen, to love, to help and heal. Let us fight our battles first in our prayer rooms, with dignity and honor, think before we speak, and raise the next generation up to value and give thanks for life. May we make better choices. May we not be tyrants or victims, but choose actions of peace and love in all we do. May the American people be known for strength of heart; deeply rooted in compassion, honor, humility and virtue. May God heal our hearts and our land. May His favor be upon us for a thousand generations.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7