Putting things into perspective
Putting aside any opinions on American leadership; putting aside my feelings towards the wrongdoings in this country as of late, I have to recognize that I am still an American. I was born in America, grew up in America, and have been blessed by the freedoms this country has given me and those around me. Has it been hard? Yes. I have lived days where I wondered where rent was coming from or wondered about the next paycheck. I still fight to figure out how to pay back the money I have borrowed. I have lived days where I feared the immediate future because I was overseas in service to America. I have seen the imperfections of this country first hand as it continues to be run by imperfect people, like myself…
Standing Alongside our Foundation
But I still stand by our freedom, our purpose, and our Constitution.
Yes, we have different opinions as tohow even the first 52 words are defined in this historic document. I would expect that even my next door neighbor and I would define these words differently, much less my City Commissioners, my State Representatives, or those at the head of my Federal Government, but I do believe that everyone is trying, to the best of their ability, to follow and adhere to these words. That doesn’t mean I can explain their actions or motives, or agree with every decision they make, but it does mean that I am willing to regularly take pause and listen, so I can, hopefully, better understand their perspective, even if I still disagree.
And so, with that, and with an attempt at creating unity instead of diversity on today of all days, I give you the preamble of our Constitution:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
What got us to today?
Think about all that has happened in our country over the last 241 years. Think about the GOOD progress we have made as a nation… and think about how much time it has taken. Generations continually seeking after a “more perfect union,” and tripping and stumbling along the way as a nation of imperfect people as we strive forward. Think of the hate that has been poured out and the love that has counteracted and overpowered this hate time and time again.
We are a country that wants to love, but even now you and I that proclaim love can’t help but want to react hatefully towards those with which we disagree… because we are imperfect. But we can’t give up. That “more perfect Union” is out there, and while I don’t believe we will ever reach perfection, we can fight to get closer every day by humbling ourselves, stopping our own hate even towards those we think are being hateful and examining the hypocrisies that might reside in our own hearts as we see ourselves as better than those around us.
Are we really seeking these things? Or do we see ourselves as better than the rest?
We need to understand that being a Liberal doesn’t make you better than a Conservative. A Christian isn’t better than an Atheist. A Pro-lifer isn’t better than a Pro-Choicer. A homosexual isn’t better than a heterosexual. We are all broken people, and we should all be willing to take the weight of each other’s burdens and progress forward together instead of beating each other up whenever we make mistakes or offer a perspective counter to our own. We should be helping each other in our problems, offering new perspectives to each other through the lives we have lived, and pouring out the love we could have for each other back into this nation and eventually into the nations around us. Not so we can control them, but so we can show them what a nation built on the cause of fighting together for a “more perfect Union” can really look like.
A Final Prayer
So, with this, today I pray that God bless us. Bless those around us that You have placed in our lives for this purpose. Not to spread hate towards those that are different than us, but to spread Your love, your peace, your perfect Union, your tranquility. Bless our broken hearts, as we try to love and fail, over and over.
God Bless America, as broken as it ever has been and will forever be.
Also published on Medium.