Monday, January 25, 2010

In My Own Words...

Do not mistake my recent absence as a lack of concern for what is happening in and to our great nation, nor assume that I have lost focus in doing my part to help make things right. I believe that sometimes we must all take a moment to step outside of the chaos – outside of ourselves, even – where we can observe and reflect at a deeper level. Only there are we able to get a good look at the bigger picture, where often that which appears the most muddled gains true clarity and that which seems among the trivial and mundane develops the most profound meaning.

Throughout my life I’ve learned many things, though I’ll be the first to admit that I’m nowhere near having all the answers. One thing I have learned, though, is that negativity typically only leads to more negativity. Knowledge is empowering and I believe that it is essential to accomplishing the goals that we set forth. But knowledge without direction, in my humblest opinion, can only set the table for disappointment and hopelessness.

The last seven months have been frustrating, not just in a political sense, but in a personal sense, as well. And in my frustration, I often looked to those who held greater knowledge than I for answers and insight, and even for inspiration. Most of the time I ended up with too many answers and too little inspiration. The result was even more frustration.

I have been bombarded with facts, investigations, and uncovered truths that have both educated and infuriated me, and the acrid trace that lingers on my tongue still annoys me. We can speak until we are all blue in the face about political corruption and all of the problems that are plaguing America, and still not provide any solutions. We can complain for countless hours amongst ourselves and yet at the end of the day discover that we have accomplished very little. I may be alone in this, but it seems to me that if whining and moaning aren’t working, then it’s time to do something different.

Am I the only person in America who is tired of the negativity? Am I the only one who feels a need to be inspired – to be reminded that the sum of all of us is greater than each individual part, and that together we can actually make a difference? I’ve had enough of hearing what’s wrong with America and who is to blame. As far as I’m concerned, there are far too many culprits to accurately and completely dispense all the necessary blame for our current predicament, and any attempt to do so would be a colossal waste of time and energy.

We need to quit talking about where we are. We know where we are. And many of us also know how we got here. It’s time now to talk about where we’re going. It’s time we look forward to what’s coming – not what could happen if we stay on our current path, but where we intend to be at the end of this year, two years from now, and so forth. It’s time we refocus our efforts on doing something useful. Effecting real change: change that makes America better and more stable. Change that strengthens our economy, creating REAL jobs that produce REAL money that will continually reinforce confidence in citizens and consumers.

It’s time we return to the principles and values that America was founded upon, which made this country the ideal to which citizens of other nations could only aspire. We want legislators who not only understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but who respect these documents and who honor their inaugural pledge to uphold and defend them against those who would undermine and usurp the liberties these laws bestow upon the citizens of this great nation. We want legislators who understand the meaning of “public service” and who act as the voice of the peoples they were elected to represent. We want safety from attack, but not at the cost of personal liberty.

The time for blame is over. Now we must turn our eyes to the prize and focus on what we want. I don’t care who got us into this mess. My only concern now is how we are going to get out of it. And, as the old saying goes: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.