I love our country. No. Really. I do! I love our country.
Therefore, when I see all the anti-American rhetoric, it can hurt. I know. “That’s strange,” you might say. Well, when you love someone or something and others don’t, that doesn’t bother you? Just a little bit.
“Paul, how come? How come you would love a country with such a ‘checkered’ past?”
Answer: Because, I have a checkered past. I have done things that I regret. I have lied. When I was in high school, I smoked weed. I have cheated. I have failed on relationships with folks. Yet, I still LOVE me! I forgive me. And you know what? So does God and His Son – Jesus Christ. You know who else forgives me? My wife, Diana.
Another part of me that I love is … I get better. I apologize. I ask for forgiveness. I learn from my failures. I listen to my wife, family, friends who let me know when I F#$% up! I trust their vision of wanting me to succeed. Wanting me to be the “Best Paul” I can be.
I feel the same way about our country.
Our country has come a long when in 246 years! We are still a young country. But my goodness … all the mistakes that we have made and then fixed. By the mid 1960’s, please keep in mind that all the negatives that were mostly started by men have been fixed by … men! Men eventually came to their senses and made the nation better! It takes men a while to fix things. We have a system in place to fix things / make the nation better!
- 1865 – Outlawed Slavery
- 1919 – Women have the right to vote
- 1964 – Civil Rights Act
- Public Education
- 1963 – Equal Pay Act
I could go on. And in fact, there are several things you could list that we have fixed that frankly…… challenge me! But our country is pursuing to sincerely be a “nation for all!” We can have differences. We are not bound by a government’s mandate that we must see the world / our country the same.
I “googled” the freedoms we have, and I found an interesting article. Here are some of the freedoms we enjoy and probably take for granted:
- The freedom to drive
- The ability to style your hair how you want
- The freedom not to enlist
- The freedom to own property
- The freedom to get around if you’re disabled
I encourage you to go to the article https://bestlifeonline.com/freedoms-americans-take-for-granted/
So, when I see all the Anti-American rhetoric. How awful this nation is. How terrible George Washington is (well, we are judging him by 2020 standards; hence the present tense “is”). How terrible Thomas Jefferson is. How terrible Theodore Roosevelt is. It damn near pisses me off! Those men … those WHITE men (seems to be an important thing – identify race) … did more for this nation than honestly ……… millions of others! How silly and immature – almost infantile – it is to do judge people of the past to today’s standards / “way of life.” Thank God I am not judged (for now) today by how I was when I was 16 years-old or 24 years-old … I probably would be shunned and shamed forever.
What is a “good” is the ability to recognize what was bad is bad today!! I look at some of the movies of the past and think to myself, “What were they thinking?” Well, I can do that because I have learned. I have learned what was done back then is not good for today and for tomorrow!
As United States’ citizens, we have a lot to be grateful and thankful for.
Instead of looking at the bad … and yes, those men (regardless of skin color) made mistakes, how come you don’t look at all the good they did? Do you do that to yourself? Do you only look at all the bad you have done? Answer: YOU MUST!
I would encourage you to look at all the good you have done and then … DO MORE!
- Lift up yourself.
- Lift up others.
- Forgive yourself.
- Forgive others.
- Love yourself.
- Love others.
As of March 2020, we are at the beginning of what could be an unfortunate part of history. Could be…
If we lose our identity as the nation that has so many freedoms / fixed many problems / allows many opportunities for growth, the world will suffer. If we lose our ability to be a country of law and order and the way things are changed is through “Mob Rule,” this will be a different / unrecognizable United States of America. People are looking at our nation and shaking their head. “If this can happen to America, what is next for the rest of the world?” “Why would we want to be a country that behaves like that?”
As a leader, the followers ask the same question, “If this can happen to our teacher, Mr. Everts, what is next for me?”
We have a wonderful opportunity to show the rest of the world how we will grow to be a better nation and yes, how we can fail. If each one of us accepts the respect, responsibility, and discipline to make our world, the world that is at the end of our arm, better – I know the United States of America will get better.
Since the unfortunate murder / killing of George Floyd, I have made it my personal mission to reach out to people who are different than me and authentically listen to them. Understand their reality of the nation that person and I live in! I ask them to do the same for me. Just because I am a white male, my life has had its ups and downs. And interestingly, especially for the past ten-to-twelve years — I see what it’s like to be negatively treated according to how I physically look and how I spiritually live me life.
The pain we have had can help us. Pain means there is something wrong. Ignore the pain and you ignore the opportunity to get better. There is pain in our nation and we can no longer ignore. We are not distracted. There are no sports. There are no new TV shows. There is no “Broadway.” We have been almost shutdown so we can face the pain.
On this 4th of July, I ask you to consider to look – FOR ONE DAY – at all the good we have accomplished. Take a break from seeing all the bad. Look for the good and then … fine! Get back on your horse push for what you think is going to make our nation better.
Better isn’t perfect. You and I can be better. You and I can not be perfect. You and I know what is good for us and what is good for us isn’t good for all of us. Look for the good. Just this one day: July 4th. Make “looking for the good” be your annual July 4th Celebration!
God Bless the United States of America.