Inside Notes: No Middle Ground
Developing and growing a country is like a marriage – it has to be worked on daily. If not, communication breaks down and the division between parties starts its downward spiral. As in marriage, a country needs a common goal to achieve. One can’t dominate the other and expect to survive; there has to be a middle ground. It’s not easy – as history shows, societies are hard to grow. Just like a farmer grows his crops, it takes a lot of love and hard work. On the other hand, societies are fragile, sometimes hanging on by a thread, and are very easy to destroy. It’s like building a home – it takes lumber, love and hard work to put it all together for a place to live, but it can all be destroyed in a matter of minutes with the single strike of a match.
People are panicky emotional animals, I’m sorry to say, and seem to thrive off drama. Even when there is none, they make their own. Many in our country are living in an alternate reality and not using their common sense. We have become a society of blamers, not wanting to take responsibility for actions taken, but instead pointing fingers at everyone else. We all have to pay for our sins and misdeeds, and sometimes the price is high, with many not being able to write that check. Before you go pointing your finger, go take a hard look in the mirror at yourself first. You might or might not like what you see. As a child one of the first things I learned was Rule #1, the Golden Rule. For those who have forgotten, let me remind you: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” words to live by in a society.
Seems like many Americans want to throw the baby out with the bath water on many issues. One of the topics of the day is to defund or totally abolish our police departments. That’s just ignorant thinking – who would respond to rapes, robberies and murders? I was a cop for almost twenty years as a patrol officer and detective. I’m here to tell you, I’ve seen a lot of bad things in my life that one person can do to another, probably more than a hundred people have seen in a lifetime. You really want to see chaos and the breakdown of civilization overnight (mob rule), just go that direction and see what happens; it would be like the purge. If you are going to point fingers at the cops, then when we need to start pointing fingers at others like the medical profession, the clergy, politicians, and lawyers, to name just a few. The list goes on and on. Where does it stop? There is good and bad in all aspects of humanity. We need more training and understanding for our professionals, not less. Make it okay to weed out the bad apples that spoil the barrel. People don’t need to be afraid to speak up when they see wrong and hold people responsible for their actions. Revert back to Rule #1.
The counter culture of our day is trying to wipe out our past history. Such things as renaming our military bases, tearing down historical statues, banning and removing movies are just a few to name. Just Google 1930s Germany and see the path that leads to. Many civilizations trying to take control or actually taking control, have wiped out the previous history of their adversary. We need our past history to remind us of our achievements and our failures as a society.
Religion has always baffled me. Each one thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong, with no middle ground. Like my father before me, I was taught to study them all to see the different aspects of each. Big Al believed that one of the keys to success was open knowledge. If you put all the religions side by side and compare, most of the time they all basically have the same message of love, knowledge and understanding. It’s just said differently. Yet religion is one of the biggest dividers in history, killing more people than anything else except disease. Each culture has a different history because of its isolation of the past. It’s only in recent time with instant world communication that we have grown on a global basis. Remember, freedom of religion was the first basic rule in the Bill of Rights for the American experiment that was ratified in the 1700s. Respect your neighbor’s religious views; revert back to Rule #1.
Peaceful Protest is a protected right under our first amendment. Done properly the people can state their grievances to the government in a peaceful manner. It’s our right as citizens to hold politicians accountable when they get too power hungry. Mob rule isn’t, because most of the time it turns criminal in nature. Our founders came from many areas of the world that knew mob rule and the devastation that it caused. We have been witnessing the difference between both in recent weeks, again good vs. bad. A republic is a representative government ruled by fundamental rules of law, according to the United States Constitution. A republic recognizes the unalienable truth of Gods laws and the rights of individuals. Democracies on the other hand are only concerned with what the majority wants or needs for the “good of the public,” or in other words “social justice.” A democracy is government ruled by the unbridled vote of the majority.
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49,” said Thomas Jefferson.
Do you think racism and bigotry is something new to our time? It’s as old as civilization, and slavery and bondage still happens in all parts of our world to this day in one form or another. Most people know the plight of the Israelite’s of the Bible. Held in bondage/slavery for many years, Moses lead them to freedom under the direction of Jehovah. Babylonians enslaved thousands of the 12 tribes of the Israelites for 500 years before their release. Lesser known were also the stories of when the Europeans came to Central and South America and the Caribbean area looking for gold and riches, thus enslaving many indigenous Indian cultures. Many people are surprised to learn that Christopher Columbus and his men enslaved native inhabitants of the West Indies, forced them to convert to Christianity, and subdued them with violence in an effort to seek riches. A form of bondage, the Asians and Latinos were put to work, building this country’s railroads and farming industry with no rights whatsoever. The native American Indians were militarily defeated and thus put in bondage, placed by force into reservations. Blacks were enslaved by neighboring tribes at war with each other in Africa, sold to slavers of all types, transported by ships under the most horrible conditions (stacked like cord wood) and sold throughout the Caribbean and America for farming and other jobs. Used as beasts of burden, blacks were sold on the auction block, they had no rights and were banned from being educated. The fight for freedom goes on to this day for all these people. Life is a long, hard road to travel for all of us. Again, revert back again to Rule #1.
“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” – Declaration of Independence.
Unfortunately the wheels of progress and understanding turn slowly in our world. It feels like we are on our hands and knees just trying to make it through the day. Change is one of the hardest things we do, because it’s uncomfortable. American is a great country and it will change; it always has when push comes to shove. We need to learn from our past history to grow and change for a better future for everyone, not tear it down. Wardaddy in the movie ‘Fury’ said it best, “Ideals are peaceful, history is violent.” It always has been since man was put on this earth. That’s our sin. Don’t forget our past history lest we make the same mistakes of our past. The only way to change is communication and always remembering Rule #1, ‘The Golden Rule’!
Keep the Faith!