Sunday, April 15, 2012

Don't "take back our country?"

Those who want to "take back the country," be they Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal are perpetuating a dangerous schism that will never be resolved. You can't take back what you never had in the first place. There have always been opposing opinions. Only when people reach out to each other and resolve to move the country forward in cooperation, will the split among Americans healed.

This battle cry "take back our country" is just that, a battle cry. In the culture wars in the U.S. we hear it often. Those who want to go back to the values that they hold dear and that they thought once guided us and were practiced in the U.S., use it to rally support.

But it will never work. You can't go backward. You an only go forward. There are always people on both sides of an issues. You can't take back what you never had. But, you can bring your values to the discussion table. For example, attitudes about abortion have changed drastically since the 1970's. At first the pro-abortion upswell was obvious. But then as the years went by and people began to realize that they were actually ending the lives of their children, the pro-abortion opinion went down. Not, many people would say that they pro-abortion, but rather pro-choice. And for two decades, the rate of abortion has dropped. The activism has worked. But villainizing the opposition doesn't. Only when we respect each other and debate civilly are minds changed for the long-term. Sure, show the horror of the issues, but don't be judge and jury over the other's thoughts and opinions. Convince them with reason, not condemnation.

The same goes for homosexual marriage, fiscal responsibility, religious freedom. All these must be debated freely and civilly in the spiritual of cooperation and respect. Only when people are presented with good reasons, will they change their minds.

So, let's not take back the country. Let's build the country's future, together, hand in hand!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Wolves Within

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."