Saturday, January 29, 2011

The true state of the union

Union means we are united against the greater causes. We are a melting pot and all in it together. It does not, however, mean that we all have to agree. It also does not mean we all have to get along.

The truth is, there was as much partisan divide way back when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were hashing it out for the office of the President of the United States as there is today. So I don't agree there is more "partisanship" today than ever before. People who say that haven't read their history books, or have read history books that are slanted.

There are, however, problems in this nation, and that is the reason for the partisan divide. You have one half of politicians who believe the solution is more government and more government, and you have the other half who wants to return to the solutions the founding fathers used in creating this great nation.

One of the greatest problems in this country is not whether or not Joe Smith or Bob Apple get health care or are allowed to retire at 62. That might be a fight, yet it's not the most important. A greater issue is the one you see when you watch a fight between two ladies in a subway cab and there are little kids standing by and no one gets up to help.

A greater issue is when a customer gets into a fist fight with a worker at a Wendys and people stand by and watch. People think to tape this stuff, yet won't set the camera down and help. They place it on You Tube as though they are proud of it. Yet they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing something. It's a priority issue is what it is. People who tape this stuff with pride is the problem. People who watch it are the problem too.

This, I think, is a greater issue with this country. This is a "symptom" of a greater apathy in the nation. It's a sign that we have lost interest in other people. We make fun of them instead of help them. And that, I think, is a problem.

I watched an episode of a popular children's show recently with my children -- a show my children watch every day just about -- and on this episode is a boy who is on regularly who sneezes and sniffles his way through life. Instead of having empathy the children in the show make fun of him. They hate this boy. They don't want him in their lives. This lack of values is part of the problem

When I read the history of the Frea family I read about how great grandma and grandpa and some of their relatives came to the Shoreline area on horse and buggy in the fall hoping to get to the homestead where a little cabin was being built by an uncle. Yet 10 miles from the cabin a major winter storm hits, and they stop at some random cabin. The people living there welcomed my grandparents with open arms. They even let them stay the entire winter.

That's the kind of hospitality that is missing in today's society. An agreement was made on a handshake. My great grandma and grandpa helped around the farm, and in the spring all the men got together and finished working on the Frea family homestead. If that had not happened, perhaps your humble writer here wouldn't exist.

This was a kind of union, a small one, but a union. A greater union was signed between the colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. We work together for a common goal. We don't all agree, yet we work together to try to work out our differences because the Nation is more important than our own problems.

We are a union. It doesn't matter if you are black or white, straight or gay, male or female, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, a small business person or a CEO at a large corporation, the top 1 percent in income or the bottom 1 percent, a restaurant owner who wants to make everyone fat or the owner of a health club. We are not enemies.

Yet there are those among us who want to make us enemies. There are those who try to pit the rich against the poor, or the common man against the restaurant owners and entrepreneurs. There are those who want to pit blacks against whites and Christians against non-Christians, the fit against the unfit.

They tell the rich that the poor are lazy and the rich are greedy, even while this may not be true in most cases. It is time we stop injecting poison into ourselves. We must instead start injecting the spirit of America and the unity that created this nation, including the Frea family.

You watch these fights at Wendys and in the Subway, you see that the rate that police have been killed in this nation has increased 40% just in the past month, and you can't help but think if this is a reflection on the true state of the union.

You can watch it on You Tube, and there are some who will say we should shut down You Tube. But You Tube is not the problem. We need more You Tubes not less. You Tube is a reflection of YOU, hence the name: YOU tube. It's a reflection of what YOU are.

You can hear about it by listening to people like Rush Limbaugh or Kieth Oberman. There are those who say we should shut them up for throwing so much vitriol. Yet we should not shut them up. We need more of these folks. It's free thinkers like this who came up with the ideas to create this great union.

There are some who say the problem is the partisan divide. Yet as I wrote above, a partisan divide is nothing new. There are some who say we need to unite and stop tossing vitriol. Yet vitriol tossing is not the problem. We need more vitriol tossing. We need partisan divide. It's what made this nation and what will keep us united, believe it or not.

The problem can be watched on a TV show, yet TV is not the problem. WE are the problem. It's us. It's not TV, it's not computers, it's not the subway, it's not the partisan divide, it's not vitriol, it's not TV or radio commentators. It's you. It's me.

Some say the music industry is the problem. Some say the Internet is the problem, and that it needs to be regulated. Yet the Internet is not the problem. The problem is you and me. The problem is what we put on the Internet. The problem is what we use the Internet for.

You could use the Internet for something useful. I'll let you define what is useful, but I will say that sitting around being entertained by someone getting the crap being beaten out him is not useful. It's up to you to find good. Don't blame the technology.

The problem is that we keep trying to solve the problem by getting rid of the things that are not the problem. What we fail to do, what our leaders fail at, is looking at themselves; is looking at YOU.

Here is the true problem: it's priorities. We, you, me... we have lost track of our priorities. We have placed stuff and materialism where we should place God, family and country. You know from my post on priorities that when you get your priorities mixed up everything is mixed up and works wrong.

When you put stuff before your family your family won't work right. When you put your self before your family your family won't work. When you put yourself before your family, you are wrecking the union that is your family. When you put yourself and your stuff before the country, you are wrecking the union that is the nation.

Do you see what I'm saying here. Your car is not the problem. Your house is not the problem. Your STUFF is not the problem. The problem is that more and more of you are putting your STUFF before your God and your family and your country.

Washington is a representative of us, and it resembles us. Washington is part of the problem. Washington has promised us a retirement and pensions and free health care and and all this STUFF, and we have let this happened. In fact, we have yearned for it. Many of us salivate over this stuff.

And when we are asked to make sacrifices, to give back some of our stuff, we get upset. Yet if you are faced with a decision that you have to either give up your pension, your retirement, your gold plated male box or your country, what will you decide? Will you riot if your STUFF is taken away. Or will you unite.

The problem is that too many of us have our priorities and values mixed up. Personally, I value my God and my family and my country far more than I value any one thing. Our great grandparents did not have all this stuff, and they did just fine. The stuff is great if we can afford it, and many of us can. Yet all that STUFF does not define us as a nation.

Some of us are so focused on getting stuff that we have lost our priorities and values. It's the values, the priorities, that we need to get back. It's priorities and values that brought us together as a nation and as a family. It's what made us a great big melting pot.

The truth is, every one of us struggles with retirement and health and money. Some of us make those issues the problem. Those issues are not the problem. We are the problem. Those of us who have placed those things as top priority are the problem.

To fix this problem, to unite the nation the way we were united on 9-11-2001, we must decide what we need as opposed to what we want. On 9-11 we did this. We didn't worry about color or race or rich or poor or liberal or conservative or republican or democrat. We came together as a nation.

That's what we need to do. Priorities and values is the problem. To fix it we must come together and work together and solve the true problems with this nation. We must prioritize things in the right order -- God, Wife, children, family, other people, other things -- and work from there.

No comments: