Listen, yeah everybody wants change
Don’t nobody wanna change though
Don’t nobody wanna pray
Till they got something to pray for
When coming up with a topic for this week’s post I couldn’t help but think about all that’s been going on with the President’s remarks regarding the NFL anthem demonstrations. I’d like to share my thoughts on the root issues with you.
It’s become common in our culture to hear, “We don’t talk about that around others” or “We don’t talk about that here.” If you’ve heard these statements before you know exactly what they’re referring to. What are the taboo topics which more often than not people try to avoid in a group setting?
Religion, race, and politics.
Maybe we should talk about religion, race, and politics more. Maybe we should focus on being more Christ like, and on what’s right rather than who’s right.
I’m tired of people saying, “Don’t talk about religion, race, or politics…It makes others uncomfortable.” Here’s the problem with that; if it never gets talked about, it never gets into the hearts and minds of men. Our country is in the state it’s in now because we’ve been too comfortable for too long. We only discuss what we agree with. It’s time for open, civil dialogue.
I 100 percent believe there is more good in the world than bad. But I also believe that too many of the good people remain silent while injustices occur. We don’t speak up enough. We don’t highlight and talk about the good enough. We let fear and negative news dominate.
The current times call for us to change.
We as adults need to be better examples, and we need to allow our children to ask questions on difficult topics. So many grow up not knowing or understanding all sides of issues because they’re taught not to discuss them. Too many adults will only state what they believe, or share a meme that fits their political views. But when another view is being expressed…
Here’s my favorite (sarcasm) thing I see from adults on social media: “I’m tired of seeing all of these posts, I’m taking a break from Facebook.” (cry for attention) One week later, guess who’s back on Facebook? Well, that break didn’t last long.
Mature adults don’t just state their views and leave. If we want to be part of the conversation we need to be a part of the whole thing. Adults need to stop taking their ball and going home. Adults need to stop hurling insults as a rebuttal, and start using logic and fact.
Our kids are watching how we act. They are our hope. Let’s teach them to have open minds. My hope is my children will be able to discuss all ideas with people from all walks of life. They don’t have to agree with everyone but they do need to try to see others perspective. People in our country want change, and so do I. In order for things to get better, we must be the change we wish to see.
You don’t have to look far to know my religious, political, and social beliefs. You can see what I share and like on my social pages. I know for one thing at our house we will always talk about it. I will never allow my children to be silenced by questions or concerns they have by telling them all we don’t talk about that because it makes us uncomfortable. That’s nonsense.
I’ve taken the Lincoln approach to sharing my thoughts on the issues of the past week. I’ve felt compelled to share them but wanted to do so in a thoughtful way; not some emotional tirade.I post this for my friends of minority status; past, present, and future students.
I’ve read a lot of really great commentary and discussion on several pages. One thing that really stood out and caught my attention on a friend’s thread was that many African-Americans feel race and inequality issues need to be talked about more, and more need to be made aware. More people who support them need to voice their support. It goes back to the earlier quote, good men can’t sit by and do nothing.
I love America and support our vets and current military 100%. I have the utmost respect for those who serve and sacrifice so I can live the life I have. I understand both sides of the Anthem protest. I remember always being taught to stand out of respect for the flag. However, we don’t do a good enough job of teaching our kids what values the flag represents, and what it means to uphold them. Those are the things that should be honored. That’s why athletes are demonstrating during the anthem, it’s because those values and ideals are not upheld for all. It has nothing to do with our military, veterans, or the flag.
To me it is more about what the flag stands for than the flag itself. The reality is my American experience is different from many African-Americans and other minority groups. The players who are demonstrating are doing so because they’re tired of the rights, liberties, and freedoms not being present for ALL Americans.
So what can I do as a 35 year-old white male in middle America?
I am going to let my actions speak.
I am going to walk the walk, not just talk the talk
I am going to use my voice to support those who feel neglected and discriminated against.
I am going be an example for the students I teach, the athletes I coach, and my children I am raising.
I am going to engage in meaningful discussions regarding politics, religion, and race.
I was born into privilege, and my sons were born into privilege. It’s something I will discuss with them. We were born with certain systemic advantages because of our skin color. It’s not fair to those who won’t. I will teach them that we have an obligation to have open minds and hearts. I will teach them to be caring, serving, and empathetic men of character. I will teach them through my words and my actions.
Above all else, I will teach them to serve the Lord. We do not place a flag, symbol, idol, or anything above God. We will always respect and honor those peacefully protest for the civil rights in advancement of all races. We will listen with open minds and hearts.
When it’s all said and done the only person or symbol we will kneel to is Jesus and the cross. Jesus is the ultimate authority. Our nation and world would not have the issues we have if we all were more Christ like. Things would be so much better if we would just love our neighbors, and be more Christ like. In the end, it’s not going to matter what country you were from; what’s going to matter is how you lived your life and treated others.
When it comes down to it we’re all made from the same source. Maybe we wouldn’t have so much division and hate shown through the media if we didn’t stop talking about God and politics. We should encourage free-thinking in our society. It’s times like these when we see leaders like the ones we have now, and see a desperate cry for help. We need more leaders in position of power like Abraham Lincoln. It’s through the minds of oppression that people rise to power like the leaders we have today.
We are global citizens before we are American citizens. We can’t be Americans if there is no world left.
So I challenge you to sit down and talk with family, neighbors, and your children. Talk about issues that matter, like religion, race and politics. It will help make the world a better place. And I think you’ll find out that we’re not so different after all.
It’s not about who’s right, it’s about what’s right.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!