Who Changed The Rules?

00 NothumsMy dad was an immigrant. He came to the United States in January 1930. Yes, just as the Great Depression was going on, and my dad’s family saw this country as the land of opportunity even during this time.

These boys grew up and started their own businesses. The ones that did not start their own businesses were somehow involved in business with their brothers. Here is the list of their entrepreneurial endeavors from this group of brothers: building contractors, land developer, inventor of the machine that makes seamless gutters, owner of HVAC company, owner and manufacturer of food processing systems, owner of of a gutter and siding installation business, and the list goes on and on.

None of this came easy for them. They worked hard to support their families and to build their businesses. The boys served the United States in the military. They appreciated what this country had done for them, and they honorably served to protect our freedoms.

00 little meWhen I was a little girl, I learned the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the “The Star Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, along with “America the Beautiful,” in school. It was part of our daily school life.  We learned about pride of our country and those who served our country.  I am very proud to be an American.

On September 11, 2001, many of our citizens of the U.S. and others around the world died from a senseless act of terrorism in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.  I remember people displaying their American flags. We began singing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch of the baseball games. There was great pride in the symbol of freedom, of our country, and the courage we had to stand in the midst of our suffering.

Since these days, something has turned upside down. Our American flag was the symbol of our freedom—all the freedoms that are in the constitution, and a symbol of the American dream. It was a symbol that our veterans fought and gave their lives so we could enjoy the free speech and the right of assembly. Work hard, be honest, treat others with respect, and succeed. It never represented a president, or an administration, or a particular issue in our history. It represented the freedom for ALL in the United States of America.

I have voted in every presidential election since I became voting age. That is a lot of presidents. I didn’t vote for all winners or all losers. I have never voted one party over the other. My political leanings covered all parties. Some of our leaders I was satisfied with, but on the most part, I learned that they are all flawed. None of them will be the perfect leader. Regardless, we are required to honor whoever is in charge. We don’t have to like them, and there were plenty of presidents I did not like. My faith says that I should respect them. God has allowed these leaders in place for whatever His purpose may be. As a Christ follower, I must respect that.

I think that is the operative word — respect. People seem to have lost respect lately. Children are raised without rules. Parents want to be their buddies rather than their parents, instead of guiding them and setting boundaries for their children’s protection and to teaching them how to behave in the world.  Part of parenting is setting rules (boundaries) and if not followed, consequences ensue. This will teach children how they must get along in a world where their actions, good or bad, will always have good or bad consequences.

Social media and entertainment has made fun of authority. It is no longer an honorable thing to be one in authority, it is mocked, and the children pick up this from the adults and media. They don’t have to follow any rules, there are no consequences for breaking any rules.

00 kneelingI quit watching sporting events and a lot of television, because I am tired of the mean-spirited action of others. I didn’t stop in this presidential administration. I did it earlier. I got tired of “satire” in which we make fun of human beings who were created in the image of God. I refuse to watch professional football because it breaks my heart that players dishonor the country that gives them the freedom to play sports and chose whatever career they want. I know we have have some deep issues that need resolving, but refusing to show respect when the national anthem is played at a sporting venue is the ultimate of disrespect to me. It hurts me deeply.

Kneeling doesn’t solve the problem that makes them angry. If you don’t like what is going on around you, run for office, volunteer to serve in your community. Remember the old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” You may get my attention by kneeling during the National Anthem, but you won’t win me over with that. Love, yes, love is what is needed. I will listen when someone reaches out in love. Show me you mean these things by the actions in your life. Don’t make the divide bigger, use love to close the gap. I will listen to you when you quit telling people they are wrong—and that is for everyone on all side of an issue.

Its time for adults to be adults. Entertainment to be entertainment. There is a time and a place for everything.

DadsflagI love the country in which I live. It is far from perfect. It has real problems. But it is no different than the people who inhabit this country. We all have problems. We all see the world from the perspective in which we were raised, educated, and continue to be educated. It is what we call diversity. If we educate out of anger, all we teach is anger.

Right now, I am embarrassed by what I see going on in this country I love. I would just like to hide away from it all. Someone give me a call when this is over and we are all friends again. That’s what I would like to do, but that is not reality.

I am not sure how to reach out. I have struggled with this. I have come to the realization that for me it is to love whomever I come in contact. A few years ago, I wrote an ignition statement (the thing that catches me on fire), and a vision statement for my life. It states:

I want to enjoy each day to the fullest, show love to others, be a light to those who want direction, accepting others where they are, being their cheerleader, showing passion, forgiveness, love and connection. My Life Vision is: To let others know they are not alone in their challenges, they have value and worth and a voice. I want to be surrounded by those I love and enjoy the grace of their love to reach out and share it with others.

I am not perfect with either of those, but on occasion I pull these statements up and read them and remind myself what I think my mission is here on earth.

Everyone, take a deep breath. When is the last time you prayed for our country? Prayed for those in leadership? Prayed for your neighbor? When is the last time you reached out to someone in need, no matter how large or small that need may be. When we are self focused, we lose sight of the big picture. When we no longer put ourselves in the selfish middle, and look to see who is standing next to us, we can begin to work together.

All people has value and worth. Everyone has a voice. I want to use our voices harmoniously. I can shout and scream, or talk over someone. Or, I can harmonize with others, singing different notes, but blending the sweet music of our thoughts and lives together. What beautiful music we can make, if we just try.  Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39).  It’s all about love.

00 Verse

Please understand and respect that these are my thoughts and feelings. I welcome comments, but do not welcome name calling by any side. Discussion, in my opinion, should always start from a position of love. We don’t have to agree with each other. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate. If  you want to make a comment that agrees or disagrees with my thoughts and feelings, you may do so if done in a respectful way.  Thank you.

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