Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reflecting on 8/28

As I found myself mowing the lawn late Sunday morning listening to an eclectic playlist including songs by Rage Against the Machine, Jack Johnson, and Louis Armstrong, I began reflecting on my experience at yesterday’s event as well as the coverage it received (from both the Main and “Side” Stream Media).

Detractors (on all sides) will focus on the negative aspects of how the event, its organizers, and attendees will affect them or their agenda. I choose to focus on the positive aspects (such as the spotlight on faith and honor) as well as identify bridges that can be built with those who may have a different perspective.

Most of us agree, but many are afraid to say this due to potential blowback: August 28th does not belong to any individual, group, or race. It doesn’t belong to Al Sharpton, the NAACP, Alveda King, Glenn Beck, or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It belongs to the social fabric of “all that is right with America.” Dr. King, an inspiration to millions, was a product of the American principles and values that have provided hope all over the world. America is not just a destination, it is also an idea; an experiment. This experiment is not without its painful scars that we dare not forget. But to advance the dream that Dr. King shared with us all, we must focus again on what makes us great, such as honor, character, integrity, and principles.

Some of the sweetest victories over injustice were brought about by solutions that created new (sometimes difficult to grasp) problems. Regrettably, we’ll never be afforded the chance to know if our scars would have been healed without the power of Federal force (for example: a Constitutional solution of implementing Frederick Douglas’ vision of electing men who “deny that the Constitution guarantees the right to hold property in man” into office to “use their powers for the abolition of slavery”).

In spite of the many differing opinions on how solutions to challenges were employed throughout our history, we can choose to celebrate the positive aspects of our nation’s journey; such as the courageous men and woman who worked tirelessly and selflessly to peacefully bring rights to those affected by grave injustices as well as their deep-seated faith that successfully guided them.

Hopefully all who attended the Restoring Honor event yesterday left with a measure of hope that citizens will focus inwardly, just as much as focusing on other important elements. Restoring honor in everyday life will be the cornerstone of our persevering through the tumultuous times that lay ahead.

Early in the Restoring Honor program, Deb Argel-Bastian spoke about how her son (a special ops officer who died in Iraq in 2005) came to the realization of the importance of honor and keeping a promise at a very early age. Last night I drew upon the content of her speech and applied it in a hopefully meaningful life-lesson for my oldest son. We had a conversation about the importance of character and honor and how this woman’s son grasped these concepts, to which my son listened intently. I’ve since made a commitment to continue giving him every tool available to become the “next George Washington or Thomas Jefferson”, should he make that decision on his own. Additionally, in our highly divided culture, it is the responsibility of us all to provide an example of honor, regardless of worldview and political agenda, so that our posterity will know what to emulate during their own turbulent challenges they will face.

One of the readings at a church service I attended in early August was Genesis 18:20-32, to which I instantly associated with the state of our society. Do we have at least ten righteous people and an “Abraham” who will negotiate our nation’s saving grace? I pray that we do and that our sons and daughters will rise to the challenge when their time comes; I believe they’ll have a fighting chance as long as we properly equip them with honor.

Joshua is the co-host of The Forgotten Men radio show Saturdays at 12 noon, Eastern, on AM930 WFMD – and the co-founder of We Surround Them Frederick.