A student who might as well have been one of my own debaters in Nebraska wrote a blog post that has me thinking. Read it by clicking here… it’s his reaction to the shooting of Senator Gifford at an Arizona Safeway…
I’m not about to re-cap him… so you should really go read — we’ll wait… for the debate crowd — this post is pretty much the member speech… so, you’ll have to read the leader’s speech first…. (and, I’m pretty sure it was one of his
dreams nightmares to have me as a partner — so, here goes nothin’).
There are several important lessons in his post — I’m not sure which is most important, but I really appreciate the idea of taking responsibility for ones’ own actions. When we use outrageous rhetoric and other act on our example, we DO have only ourselves to blame.
He also makes a point about health care and education — a really good one. A “Christian nation” if that’s what we are, should care for the least of us. If we aren’t a Christian nation, then perhaps we ought to look at providing health care and education as a means of insuring that the peons we want to employ are healthy enough to exploit, and educated enough to make change.
Another good point he makes is about putting ourselves in the shoes of the other person…. I’d extend his point and say that we cannot know the challenges other folks are living… so we should give them the kinds of breaks we’d like for ourselves. When I first re-entered the world with one boob (post mastectomy) it suddenly struck me that I had no idea what was going on underneath other peoples’ clothes — or by extension, in their lives — thus, the strangers we encounter should be treated with grace and respect.
In the end, he notes that change is slow and starts small, and he’s willing to do his part to make changes around him. I understand his impulse and join him — and simultaneously challenge you to do the same. Help how you can — do good things for folks you aren’t required to help — and in particular make sure you take your job and responsibilities to others seriously with the focus on making the world a bit more tolerant.