A young activist recently thanked me for publically recognizing the service of those who protest America. I believe there is nothing more American than protest; after all, going back to the Original American Protest, the Boston Tea Party, protest has been the means through which Americans have demanded change.
Protesters, like Colin Kaepernick, serve America by reminding us to live up to our ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice. They too are patriots.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~ Elie Wiesel
Inhale Resistance, Exhale Status Quo… Inhale Activism, Exhale Complacency… Inhale Protest, Exhale Powerlessness… Just Breathe
I write a lot about the grand experiment that is America. It was and is a great idea that was flawed from inception. We keep working on it, we keep trying to reach perfection, we get closer and sometimes, some of us believe we have arrived.
Then we have a 2016 election.
And those who thought we were close to realizing the ideals written in our foundational documents realized we were not. And those who knew we still had a ways to go recognized the relentlessness of the racism, sexism and violence rooted at our foundation.
Yet we persist in resisting complacency and accepting the unacceptable. And in 2017 elections, Americans who believe in what America stands for are fully engaged.
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” ~ Edward Abbey
I participated in a lovely Veteran’s Appreciation ceremony hosted by VISION Outreach afterschool program. The elementary school age children choose the ceremony as their November project, they did most of the speaking and their enthusiasm was contagious.
They were excited to recognize the service of the veterans on hand and we were appreciative of the appreciation.
I reminded them that they too can serve our country in ways that allow them to use their talents. I encouraged them to take their citizenship seriously and learn about the things that they can do to make our country more inclusive, more compassionate and more welcoming to all Americans.
Whoa…what?! So let me understand this…the GOP leadership recognizes the danger represented by #45, the potential for World War, the possibility for world destruction…and they’re unwilling to take action?
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
In response to #45’s support of white supremacists rioting in Charlottesville this past August, author J.K. Rowling posted: “One good thing about that abomination of a speech: it’s now impossible for any Trump supporter to pretend they don’t know what he is.”
I would say that many if not most of the people who voted #45 into office knew exactly who he was and like him just the way he is. And J.K. knows a thing or two about the type of people who support a would be autocrat…
“They were a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking glory, and the thuggish seeking a leader who could show them more refined cruelty…” ~ Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, character from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books
US Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt Gen Jay Silveria was rightfully applauded for his forceful comments against racism after racial slurs appeared on the message boards of Black cadets enrolled at the Academy Prep School.
This Air Force vet is proud he spoke out and I look forward to his words being enforced when those who know the culprits report them to authorities and when those in authority expel those responsible.
“If you can’t treat someone from another race or with different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.” ~ Lt Gen Jay Silveria, US Air Force Academy Superintendent
At one point in my previous life, I was a logistics planner for the US European Command in Stuttgart Germany. Sometimes plans had to be scrapped because the operator types (pilots…) had left the logisticians out of the initial discussions for a contingency operation only to discover there was no clarity around the objective, or the action chosen was not executable.
Involving all the expertise on a team can help bring clarity to why you’re doing what you’re doing and ensure you find the most executable way to do it. At the intersection of why and how is what.
ROE and COA are two of the acronyms from my previous life I use frequently in my current life. At the beginning of any workshop I lead, I spend time establishing the Rules of Engagement (ROE) that will govern our conduct. Course(s) of Action (COA) are the alternate ways to get to a desired result; it’s a phrase I use when coaching clients trying to reach their goals.
I think about these concepts when I see the disparate, disjointed efforts of activists, especially in the Chicago area. I wonder…”Is it possible to engage for the purpose of coming up with objectives everyone can support?”
“If you can’t even RECONCILE with your BROTHERS AND SISTERS, in the same line of work, HOW will you RECONCILE A CITY and a NATION?” ~ Apostle David A. Rodgers
There are a lot of leaders leading from a place of lack…using the fact that people follow them on social media as a way to fill up…using their charisma to deceive…using their talents to attract attention.
If you are leading from a place of lack, the only thing you can offer is emptiness.
“If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all His commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2, MSG
I read an article last week that included an interesting poll that compared the negative press of #45 with three of his predecessors. The article suggested that the overwhelmingly negative reporting (from even Faux News) was a result of some bias, that there should have been more balance.
That comparison reminds me of the comments made by #45 that there were “very fine people on both sides,” of the violence that erupted after hate groups, ostensibly protesting the removal of a statue, but chanting “You will not replace us/Jews will not replace us” clashed with anti-hate groups.
It’s a way to normalize the hate by suggest that it’s the reporting not the behavior that is negative.
Inhale Truth, Exhale False Equivalence… Inhale Truth, Exhale Alternative Facts… Inhale Truth, Exhale Bold Faced Lies… Just Breathe