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Chatterbox: Pursue, attain, maintain

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Most of us are blessed to have become accustomed, in this country, to doing certain things and getting certain things back.

For example, most of us pay our taxes and abide by our laws. In exchange, we believe we will get the protections our nation’s laws provide to us.

For international guests and anyone seeking asylum or pursuing citizenship, rules and odds today wobble more than they used to, but most Americans proceed through the day fairly confident that being part of a democratic and, supposedly, magnanimous nation, offers certain guarantees. If we’re arrested, for example, we expect to hear our Miranda rights, get our phone call, not be beaten or held without cause, and other things we’ve learned from Columbo and Perry Mason.

Across the board, however, some Americans never did and/or still don’t get the full protection of our democracy. Others get much more of that promise than they should. In both situations, the system fails the majority of us.

Also, many of us may or may not confess that we don’t traverse foreign soil feeling as safe as we once did. The reflexive confidence carried with us around the world has diminished. Most Americans once felt there was some inherent armor in just being American … a protection of sorts. We were confident our embassy was at hand and our government would have our back. Granted, much has changed around the world toward America and Americans; that’s definitely part of it, but many of us aren’t as confident as we once were in our nation’s regard, willingness, or even its ability to defend us as citizens, should we need it, in a foreign land. So, life for Americans is shifting both at home and abroad.

The predominant, cohesive people of our nation, paying taxes in return for certain perks, have been and are still called upon for certain duties above and beyond the daily norms. We respond to everything from jury duty to defending our nation, or even its allies, and the policies they implement or try to implement. Various causes drew us or our family members to serve in the military at home and abroad. Since the revolution, we’ve mustered our strength to comply, working or risking our welfare for what became today’s America. Despite that fact, most often, we weren’t always at the table when policy choices were made.

Hopefully, our governing body made the right choices for us, for all the right reasons. Sometimes, the impetus and intentions are of the purest kind. Other times, they aren’t or aren’t represented fully or truthfully. Still, in good faith, and the dark, we trust our leadership and believe our service is the price we pay for the protections we assume are ours.

Today, we are facing a national fracas orchestrated in a way we’ve never quite seen before. So, in a way, we’re being called upon, here at home, again, to do more than just pay our taxes and obey the laws.

We’re called upon to not just be mimics but, rather, to respond as individuals and to examine all evidence and examine our hearts. We should be objective, past party and past what is good for us personally. America at large trusts that we’ll all make the greater effort and sacrifice to the greater good, get and remain intellectually involved, do our own responsible research, watch, listen, seek actual and factual evidence, remain objective, and make a genuine effort to clearly see what our evidence shows us. Then, put our personal energy and power toward doing whatever we think will truly ensure the survival of the real people of America who have been struggling, sacrificing and committing themselves to her.

Our country has been purposefully split, but we can still affect policy. No matter how ludicrous things get, we – the people – can still openly say the words and demand that which will not only improve our lives but, more importantly, create positive change in our impact on the world, which is our legacy.

This, in and of itself, is testimony to the resilience and greatness of our people. This, itself, reminds us that we are still one nation. This, itself, must remind us of all we were, lost, are, and have always been.

We could just parrot the slogans and edited news-bites, which sever us into factions and maintain the chasms which compromise our strength as one people, but we’ve taken on tough challenges before. Let’s not be blind, and – whatever we do – let’s never be blindsided.


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