February is Black History month. It is a time to remember the many people who risked their lives to push for greater freedom to a group of people targeted for harassment and marginalization by the larger society. I think of heroes from Fanny Lou Hamer to Crispus Attucks who not only dreamed of a better day for African Americans but bravely risked everything to make it happen. The courage of heroes is necessary to overcome the strength of evil ideas that gain acceptance because they are expedient to the larger society. Everyone wants to feel special and advantaged in life but the question is who are you willing to handicap to get that feeling? Minorities around the world have been victimized by the answer to this question. Human beings have grown in their ability to see those who are not like them as people deserving of dignity, but we live in a time of increasing insecurity and tribalism. What will the future look like for human dignity? The answer to the question seems bleak right now, but I remain hopeful that there are many more heroes among us who will lead humanity toward the light.
Dr. Martin Luther King said that “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” As I look at today’s challenges this quote resonates as loudly as it ever has. We poison our planet with carbon and plastic while a few thousand billionaires have more wealth than over four billion people. In the United States and other countries tribalism is on the rise and threatens to destroy any effort at global collaboration to save, or improve life on our planet. Many Americans say they would rather have a dictator who thinks like they do rather than have a constitutional republic. Fools and foolish thinking is at high tide right now, but we can change that in 2020… it may be our last chance in more ways than one.
Lev Parnas has released documents and an interview that show The current president was soliciting assistance from a foreign government for the 2020 US presidential election. Clear criminal behavior on several levels that must be confronted by our leaders on multiple levels including legally. Should the senate fail to take the assault on our elections and Constitution seriously then the republic will be undermined. Send your senators a clear message that you demand a fair and impartial hearing of all the evidence available. There is an application called “5 Calls” that you can use to contact your representatives. Be a citizen and demand the US Constitution be defended and taken seriously by Mitch McConnell and every member of the US Senate.
Today we have world leaders and regular citizens who believe that they can speak lies into truth and change people as well as reality. A hard working American diplomat who fights corruption becomes a bad person according to her own president. Everyday citizens routinely trash each other on the internet and behind each other’s backs to change the identities of those they do not agree with, or like. As our civilization deals with existential threats that will require every ounce of science and teamwork we can master it is a horrific time for the worst of human nature to be edified by social media and selfishness. Push for the truth in your life and with your friends. Get your information from more than one source. Act like your life depended on knowing and acting on truth because it does.
I am thankful for many things that I enjoy every day living in America. I am thankful for my life and the health that gives me the opportunity to make the most of each day. I am thankful for my wife and family who provide me with challenge and support as I journey through my life with their company. I am grateful for the many good people I have known and worked with to make the world a little bit better. I am thankful for all of the great examples I am seeing of people who care about the truth and our American way of life. I am thankful for the hope that we will move toward a society that is focused on solving problems with truth, science, and policies based on the same.
Football is a great American pastime that in the past has provided a sense of unity for many people. Football was an example of young men coming together to prepare and fight hard for a cause – in this case winning. This great sport has become just another example of our divided society in the past few years. I am hopeful that the sport will go back to being a fun event for fans to root for their favorite high school, college, or pro team without creating division. Standing out of respect for our great country, or taking a knee to pray for a better day should be acceptable to all citizens as the choice of our fellow countrymen.
The recent climate report issued by the UN has reason for hope in it. If humanity can plant 1.3 trillion more trees (enough to fill the space of the United States) the carbon in the atmosphere will be compensated for. This is good news in my mind because if we can quantify what it will take to help heal the planet then we can find a way to do it. Recent reports have been alarming in my mind, but this one stands out because while it says that things are dire; there are reasons for hope. Get together with family and friends and find places to plant some trees!