It happens without fail. The minute my wife sees an older man who is a veteran, she wells up with tears. And while it can be humorous at times because of its uncontrollable nature, I sometimes wish that more people had the same reaction.
In the days after this election season, I’ve seen many people with red eyes, but it is for a different reason. Sadly, I’ve also seen more hateful rhetoric online in the past few days than I had seen before the election. And it gives me pause. As I posted recently, the days of agreeing to disagree are long gone. 50% of the country believes that the other 50% wants our country to be destroyed.
We are a nation divided and we only have ourselves to blame.
“The Greatest Generation” is slowly dying off and being replaced by the “I’M THE GREATEST” generation. The people who gladly fought for the freedoms we now enjoy are being marginalized and called “outdated” in their views by people who gladly exercise their freedoms without ever lifting a finger off of their smartphones.
On the other hand, people who speak up and protest injustice are being told to leave the country for exercising the very freedoms that many people have fought for and died to protect.
Our world has become superficial and self-centered.
We all have opinions, but very few are willing to do much more than just rant online (like I’m doing). What would it take for the people of America to actually DO SOMETHING?! I’m not talking about protesting, which accomplishes nothing other than putting yourself in the limelight.
The refrain you hear every election season is GO VOTE! But what you rarely hear during a non-election year is GO READ! Shut off the TV and read about the history of each political party. Read about economics and government spending. Read about the history of war. Why is that?
Because we have become a country of people who are much more comfortable speaking up than taking action. We are blissfully ignorant when it comes to politics, choosing to put our faith in government and corrupt politicians rather than actually engage in helping those around us. Politicians fear educated voters. And I’m not talking about college-educated voters. I’m talking about people who actually do their homework in terms of the issues and the history of each candidate’s positions. Instead most people are passionate about issues when they are en vogue, but once it’s not a hot button topic, it falls completely off our radar and is glossed over by the latest Kardashian news item.
The result is people exercising their right to vote who are not equipped with the capacity to understand the consequences of their decision.
This is why people who depend on the government typically vote for one party and why people who don’t like government typically vote for the other. Because we believe that each issue has only two sides of the argument. We believe a no to one argument is automatically a yes to the opposing side. That oversimplification is what has stifled the progress of our country.
If you are unhappy with the election results, then instead of groaning and lamenting on social media, maybe you should really spend the next four years preparing yourself to actively participate in the political arena so that you can make a real difference.
If you are elated with the election results, then instead of gloating, maybe you should spend the next four years engaging with those in opposition toward your political affiliation in a loving way in order to demonstrate that you actually care about your fellow man.
This Veterans Day, I’m aggravated by all of the talk. This is a day to honor those who took action. Those who changed the trajectory of their life to fight for something that they believed in. I’m convicted and challenged to do the same. Veterans are men and women, irrespective of political party, who willingly put their own lives on hold to fight for you and I to have a better life. Unfortunately, I think we are focusing too much on what makes our life better and not enough on what makes other people’s lives better.
These men and women deserve our gratitude and respect. And I believe that the best way to reflect the true American spirit, is to come together today and honor each other and live sacrificially. Engage those who disagree with you. Don’t oppose them or write them off.
Stop believing that social media is an effective platform and actually give of yourselves to better the life of someone else. That is the human spirit that we honor today. The motivation of a Veteran.