In this life or never
Mankind is flawed in so many ways. We all have made many mistakes throughout our own personal existence, we either did something or said something that we really regretted. If we did not regret what we said or did, then we are not flawed once but twice. We all have made many allies and many enemies because we are all flawed. This same thing rings true with today’s society. The only difference is our flaws are magnified due to social media, organization movements, and destruction of our country’s history. We can point fingers at who is to blame all we want; the fact of the matter is we need to point the finger at ourselves. We need to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves very honest questions and answer them honestly. Have I been pointing blame at anyone other than myself? What have I done lately to make a positive change in my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country? When was the last time I asked for help of any sort and never received it? Am I any better off than I was five years, 10 years, or even 20 years ago?
If you answer these questions honestly and self-reflect, you may start to see our neighborhoods, cities, state and country in a different light. I fear for our country, its well-rounded but flawed history. I fear this country is going to become worse before it gets better. It is up to us as citizens to recollect ourselves and place blame where it truly belongs, and it is not our local, state, and federal governments. It is not our local and federal law enforcement. It is not our first responders. It is not our military. It is you, me, and the people to the left, right, front, and back of US. We have to take care of ourselves to prosper, we have a free country to live and die for. To achieve the American Dream, we have to take care of ourselves first while having empathy for everyone around us regardless of their race, religion, creed, beliefs, and political stance. Yes, I said political stance!
Far too many people in this country are attacking each other because of their politics. It is disturbing we all argue about politics, or judge others about their political beliefs. Arguing is not going to get us anywhere. Compromises will go further in any type of political conversation. We as a nation need to compromise, overcome our political bias, and ask the tough questions. Far too long people have been silent and have not stood up for what is right. We need to not tell someone they are wrong about their opinions and beliefs because they do not think like you or anyone else in your political circle. Instead, we need to listen and provide fact-based evidence (not media snippets or other political propaganda.) We need to read, our history is written and continues to be recorded in black and white (hmm, black and white, imagine that!)
There are many groups who are trying to erase our history by promoting false claims and false narratives to fit their agenda. They are luring in our younger generation by teaching untrue stories of the past. For instance, the Republican party is the new Democratic party. This is totally and utterly false. The Democratic party and a small handful of the Republican party — not the Democratic voters or Republican voters — the parties through history have continually held down the lower and middle class through hate and greed. They are continuously trying to tear this country apart and turn the people against one another. I feel like this country is going the wrong direction. I look outside and I see country people fighting each other, white on white, black on black, Hispanic on Hispanic, Asian on Asian, Muslim on Muslim, and all the colors against one another. This is all happening while we sit at home and our supposed leaders bicker back and forth and do absolutely nothing to stop this hate and greed going on outside their protected walls.
Here is a challenge for everyone to finally take that first step toward healing our neighborhood, city, state, and country. Find that person you would consider your enemy and meet with them face to face and have a conversation of forgiveness and empathy. I warn you it will not be an easy thing to accomplish. We all have our own personal feelings, opinions, and ideals because we are flawed and human. If we fail to do this, our neighborhoods, city, state and country will not survive. We need to start somewhere, and we need to start now. Stand up and with one another, join hands in peaceful rhetoric and be the change we want our leaders to be. We are only human, we bleed the same red blood, we love the same foods, we love to travel and see the world if we can, we have more in common than what we see and hear on television and through political propaganda. Let’s be the people of peace, love, and harmony. Let’s be who God made us to be or let’s be what the universe made us to be, no matter who we deem our creator.
Nick Jansen served 14 years in the Army, including three combat tours in Iraq, and lives in Cogan Station with his family.