“I would cry and get goosebumps whenever I would see the American flag waving. I would have a feeling of great pride and admiration. Not anymore. Not anymore.”
Those are the words of a great friend. Words that are sobering. Words that hold so much power on this day, January 7, 2021. When we were young, we’d often hear: “The truth hurts.” And, that’s exactly what those words are. Those words are the truth, and it hurts like hell.
As tough as it is to look at America the way it is right now, it can be restored to the country we love, admire, and are proud of. And, the responsibility is on us – the people. Everywhere in our great foundation is the word “people.” In Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address he spoke of a country and government of the people, by the people, for the people. Not of the politicians, by the politicians, and for the politicians. Look at the first three words of The Constitution – We the people. That is not be coincidence. It is because we are the ones who make this country amazing. We are the ones who make it strong. We are the ones who can return it to the United States of America we know, love, and admire.
Doing this begins with restoring the fundamental friendliness and respect for one another.
We all grew up under the rules of “Love thy neighbor,” and “Do unto others.” But, hell, let’s just start with common decency. There is no room for hate. There is no room for racism. There is no room for abuse of power. There is no room for destruction of businesses and public places. There is no room for disrespect. There is no room for violence against each other. There is no room for destroying our places of worship or learning. There is no room for assaults on the sanctuaries and symbols of our freedom.
We are better than this.
One of the greatest parts of America is we are all different and we all bring something to the table. Lessons from people who are unlike us, more often than not become the lessons that stay with us. The opinions and knowledge of others, is what helps us learn to correct errors and become better people. But, if we refuse to listen, those lessons go unlearned. Growth is stifled. And, progress hits a dead end.
We must open our ears, hearts, and minds. We must have the difficult conversations and go out of our comfort zones. We cannot get sucked into the blatant bias and editorials of today’s media, or the bots and algorithms of social media. We must stop being lazy, accept change, and take the lead.
The restoration of American pride is not to be left in the hands of politicians. They don’t have our best interests in mind. All they care about is money and power. And, it is how we go into this place we are in now.
It is time we spread kindness. It is time find empathy. It is time we show respect to one another. It is time we create opportunity. It is time we reinstate faith, pride and admiration. If not us, then who. This is our country. One that we should be proud of. One that should be admired by all. One that should give everyone goosebumps when they see that flag waving.
This will take time. Greatness doesn’t appear overnight. And, it will take work. But damnit, are in this together. And, we the people are the only ones who can complete this together.