Tag Archives: independence

Independence Day Ramblings (a day late) – 7/5/2019

The real problem isn’t Colin Kapernick. Or Donald Trump. They may be the symbols for anger, but they are not the problem. The problem is that we as a society fear and loathe the “other” in whatever form it takes.

The problem is that we don’t listen. We shout insults and obscenities at each other over personal beliefs instead of finding common ground and working towards reasonable solutions to real problems.

The problem is that we take examples of the extremes and generalize that to a whole group. We allow mass media machines, which only thrive when we tune in and consume their ads, to constantly poke at our anger for that other group and inflame our hatred for them, mostly so we will tune in tomorrow to see what new outrage “they” have committed.

Then, we act surprised when someone shoots up a school or a government building or whatever.

The problem is that we no longer respect each other’s right to life, right to culture. We are quickly slipping into a fascist wasteland where any dissent is met not by thoughtful deliberation but violent resistance.

The problem is that we so desperately want to be seen as part of the clever, intelligent side that we completely and utterly dismiss the opposition with straw man caricatures and derisive memes that dehumanize and degrade them as something unworthy of human compassion and rights.

The problem is that we have forgotten that living in a free society means that everyone is free to believe as they wish, and as long as they are not actively calling for harm to another person, they have a right to hold and express those beliefs. If we aren’t willing to defend the freedoms of those we disagree with, we don’t deserve freedoms ourselves.

Freedom isn’t about getting your way. It’s about all of us finding a way to live together. It’s about listening and sharing ideas. It’s about accepting that there is room for all of us in this world if we will just focus on finding solutions instead of inciting hate. We have the most beautiful framework ever created, a framework that has allowed itself to grow and morph and adapt to include more people and more views as time has progressed. Everyone who lives under the umbrella of that framework should take a moment and be grateful.

That’s all for now.

Friday Morning Ramblings

Dear sons, one of my hopes for you is that you learn to be self-sufficient.  There’s a freedom to knowing how to do things for yourself that’s invaluable.  Not needing someone else to wash and iron your clothes or tend your yard or patch your roof or cook your meals allows you to stand on your own and not be dependent on anyone.  I hope you learn all of the essential skills and grow into the kinds of men who don’t need a woman to survive and who don’t have to call a contractor every time a faucet starts dripping.  You will be much happier men if you develop these skills.

I’m fortunate that your great-grandfather and papaw taught me how to do the basics of most things.  I’m fortunate that I learned to cook and do laundry while in college.  There aren’t many things I can’t do for myself, and I feel confident that even if I don’t know how to do something, I can figure it out with a little trial and error.  Part of learning self-sufficiency is not fearing making mistakes.  We learn the most when we try something, fail, and then try again.  If you want to grow into strong, independent men, set aside the fear of failure and try to do things for yourselves.

Even though this hasn’t worked out for me yet, I also believe that having self-sufficiency will make you a better partner for whomever you end up with.  When you can help out with the dishes as well as mow the yard, you can share more of the daily chores that make life a grind.  Sharing the load goes a long way to reducing stress in a relationship and makes you more equal as partners.  Also, if you can do for yourself, you are less likely to end up trapped in a bad situation because you have the confidence that you can survive on your own.

So sons, learn as many skills as you can.  As you grow, I’ll try to teach you some of what I’ve learned, but the most important skill I hope you cultivate is to teach yourself how to learn new things.  If you can do this, you’ll learn independence, and with independence comes freedom.  One of my great hopes for both of you is that you never feel dependent on anyone for anything.  I love you, boys, and can’t wait to see you in a couple of months.