A Restoration.

I did not have clarity of thought when I was a young man. As a child, my father would constantly remind me, “Children are to be SEEN, not HEARD.” He would communicate silently that I was rambling on and on and on and on… by hand gesture. Pinching his fingers and thumb together, as if they were the mouth of a sock puppet, telling me without a word to SHUT UP!

I would usually get the hint. As I try to remember how I acted in my childhood, I remember so little. I don’t remember carrying on like that, but I DO remember the annoyance with it. The problems it would cause at school. The constant drifting within my own mind, consuming HOURS of my life.

In my teenaged years, I became angry and rebellious. Once, during a heated argument with my father, he told me, “Someday you’re gonna have a kid who’s JUST like you!”

Yeah… ha ha, OLD MAN… whatever.

 

Well, you KNOW… with OLD AGE comes WISDOM, I suppose!

I’ve learned EXACTLY how I was as a child by raising my youngest son, Garrett. He is exactly like me in almost every way, and where he and I differ, he is EXACTLY like his mother. She might NOT admit it… but she can be a bit STUBBORN, too.

Shortly after Garrett was born, I sought counseling as part of my recovery and treatment for Alcoholism. During these sessions, the therapist and I discovered… I have ADHD. He referred me to a psychologist, who confirmed what we suspected.

I have been on medication now for 10 years. IF I had been given the opportunity to be diagnosed BEFORE THEN… my life would have been MUCH different! The ability to FOCUS my thoughts… more than that, the ability to control my mind, and actually make the thoughts STOP! CLARITY of the mind… CONFIDENCE comes with CLARITY, two things I could not find as a teenager.

Recognizing the symptoms I had as a child, remembering the problems it would eventually cause in MY life, I realized at an early age that Garrett would need help, as well. Being able to make that decision for him at an early stage in his development has changed his trajectory. He will not have to face the same hardships that I did…

 

… isn’t that the WHOLE IDEA? To LEARN from mistakes. To take lessons from the PAST and reinforce them, to build a STRONGER FUTURE.

 

I began caring about my mental health at age 30. Since then, the steps I have taken to live a happy and productive life have opened up possibilities I would never have been able to TRY… all within the last 10 years. We’ve been working with Garrett to ensure his mental health and well-being since he was 8… I am jealous of what he will achieve by the age of 40!

 

I have ALWAYS challenged authority. As a parent, I’ve found myself questioning the accepted social dogmas of raising a child. “When I was YOUR AGE… that’s how WE were raised, so that’s how it’s done.”

My step-mother would make me eat scrambled eggs with chopped green peppers in them. I did not like them. I was NOT given a choice. Today, as an adult, I have developed an allergy to nightshade vegetables. Was her demand really necessary? At what point should a child be treated more as an individual, with the right to decide CLEARLY, that green peppers ARE disgusting?

Should we make demands of our children, ones that we didn’t like THEN and do not like NOW, simply because they were made OF US? Consider the amount of CHANGE that has happened in the last 20 years!

I told my boys about a time I had a flat tire on a highway in central Wisconsin, and had to walk damn near 10 MILES to reach a phone! They didn’t seem to fully understand what things were like… just a FEW YEARS AGO. On the other hand, I have to keep reminding them of the POWER they hold in their hands. Every time they ask me how to spell something, I answer, “G-O-O-G-L-E”. They take it for granted… they have the ability to answer ANY QUESTION, instantly! My god… You know, back in MY DAY…

To avoid mistakes in the future, we look to lessons from our PAST. With old age DOES come WISDOM, and from wisdom we gain UNDERSTANDING… and THAT is how we find PEACE, through COMPASSION.

 

Tonight, my thoughts are with the Iranian PEOPLE. My thoughts are of PEACE, and ALL that can come FROM it. My thoughts are of INQUIRY, not condemnation. My heart aches as we are moving BACKWARD, not striving together for a BETTER FUTURE… as we have DONE, so recently in our PAST.

As tensions grow, I want to extend a message of PEACE from THE PEOPLE of The United States of America. Not from the elite. Not from the elected. My voice comes from the suburban expanses of endless cul-du-sacs and asphalt city streets. It comes from the families who’ve put the ‘RED’ in our ‘RED, WHITE, and BLUE’… and may do so WILLINGLY again someday.

The American People fight for PEACE.

We curse the war and bless the PEACE that follows. We DEMAND our leaders pursue PEACE AT ALL COST, in order to avoid losing that, which has NO PRICE. There is a disconnect now in the United States between the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and the policies being practiced. The American People are beginning to UNDERSTAND this, and we are starting to ask the questions… “WHY?”

Questioning OURSELVES. To become stronger than we were YESTERDAY… and tomorrow, stronger STILL.

“We seek PEACE. WHY is it NOT SO?”

“But THEY attacked US?! WHY…?”

The American People STILL BELIEVE that ours IS the greatest system of governance ever envisioned… AS DO I. To continue working toward that more perfect union envisioned by our Founders, we must come to terms with the fact that our government has NOT been used AS INTENDED for many YEARS. The American People must remember WHO WE ARE, and for WHAT we STAND…

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The United States of America is the HOME of the REVOLUTIONARY! We give SHELTER to those who fight FOR JUST CAUSE. We do not turn away. We do NOT close our doors. We have walked the path of war. We have fought, side-by-side to defend the land of others, and laid to rest our soldiers, side-by-side with THEIRS… with hope that it would never happen again.

Our FOUNDING FATHERS were REVOLUTIONISTS, fighting in-kind for principles and ideals not yet BORN. Seeing how society WAS all around them, watching the depravity that comes alongside corruption, knowing the consequences that come when leadership becomes SELF-ABSORBED, dripping in-excess… They STOOD UP and BRAVELY questioned, “WHY?”

They stepped beyond themselves, and asked the questions that lead to only ONE CONCLUSION- we are ALL CREATED EQUAL.

Their theoretical form of government today, is OUR reality. BORN OF imperfect men, BORN-OUT by our SHARED HISTORY. A common goal REALIZED… or rather, one that has been entrusted to US, to complete.

REVOLUTIONS often happen at the POINT OF A SWORD, through the SITE on a barrel…

 

PEACE only comes once we’ve PUT THOSE WEAPONS DOWN.

 

Wars have been fought to promote the idea of PEACE. PEACE has been SHATTERED under the guise of an avoidance of war. And EVERY TIME… we KNOW what will happen. We KNOW who will fall VICTIM, and we KNOW who will be to blame.

Who we ARE, we CANNOT change. Who we will BECOME is always OUR CHOICE! Do we wish to be DEFINED by the flaws of our PAST? Should we stand against evolution or change, simply to enshrine the PAST… chaining it to our FUTURE? Let us REMEMBER what once WAS and dedicate it, with HONOR, to a RESTORATION OF JUSTICE today. If PEACE IS WHAT WE DESIRE… we should not start a war to PROVE IT.

When we commit to the pursuit of PEACE with the SAME LEVEL of PASSION we commit to the pursuit of JUSTICE… we will SEE BOTH.

I am PROUD to live in the country that helps DEFINE the word REVOLUTION.

JC

…with respect and humility.

Our grandparents touched evil. Our great-grandparents knew what it meant to have families separated. Their innocence was lost and their reality was threatened by true evil.

Evil so hideous, that it would brainwash a mother to jump to her death with child in her arms, than suffer at the hands of Allied Forces in the Pacific Ocean. Evil so potent that it could convince others a race of humanity was the cause of their misfortune. That the solution to the ills of the economic world would be the total demise of the culture and beliefs, of a People, who brought forth to the world Jesus of Nazareth. And to THAT end, would they not have eventually seen the followers of Jesus himself as part of their ‘solution’?

After defeating the Axis Powers, our Great and Grandparents tried to tell their children of the dangers they knew. They warned them of how this evil rose to power. How the coward is the courter of the devil, and that No Appeasement should be given.

This Far, and No Farther!

That men Of Peace know not of the World War that raged before. Education being the remedy, they taught steadfast courage and adherence to the rights of Humanity were the ONLY solution, come what may.

Men of Courage were born of that war. Bush, Reagan, Kennedy… Eisenhower knew that war was not the weapon of choice. And we know it solves nothing. It only eliminates our Brothers, as sure as our enemies tried to kill theirs.

But, would we trade, if offered in a genuine sense, this that we know, for the past to be changed and war to be avoided? At first thought, I want to say Yes. Of course the avoidance of a World War as all-encompassing as the second was would be amazing! Just in the scores of families that would not have been destroyed. the countless souls who died because of the beliefs of others. The inhumane losses born by citizens neglected in times of crisis.

But I hesitate. Only because I realize the gains humanity has enjoyed because we stood for the liberty of others. The Civil Rights Movement may not have taken flight. As soldiers came back to a segregated America, they were inspired to create the freedom they enjoyed abroad, here. The Women’s Movement may not have risen. After enjoying equality in sports, in manufacturing, in Society while the men fought overseas, it was degrading for them to be forced back into servitude as the men came home.

The Technological Revolution we are all a part of NOW, was fully funded and encouraged during the war for counter espionage. breaking codes, tracking ballistic missiles beyond the horizon, aerial photography from the edge of space, knowledge that lie at the heart of the atom itself…

And so many more advances we take for granted today. Open markets across the planet, human rights expanded to countries that oppressed their people, the knowledge and confidence to go to the MOON was born from the horrors of war. The cost of every life lost was paid IN FULL by our grandparents, and it is not given to us today as if it were our inheritance. It was won, hard fought by them, so we could have a CHANCE to fight for it AGAIN. Today. So it is, that EVERY generation must make that choice.

Because the Choice is ALWAYS Ours.

So we balance these questions on a razor’s edge today. As sure as people were in the streets in the 1960s, we see it today. As sure as napalm leveled the jungles of Vietnam, the drones fly high in the cradle of civilization, devoiding the desert of humanity.

The lessons learned are not forgotten. For those with eyes to see, the fight is as fierce as it was then. And the stage is set for a fight today that NO ONE wants to see. That NO ONE wants to start. That is so potent, I fear it may have already started…

But NOW we have a choice. The choice has always been with Us. It is NOT the in the leaders’ hands. It is NOT in our enemies’ hands. It is in OUR HANDS. The Liberty to choose our own destiny is NOT ours alone, we are a small part of a LONG line that stood before us, and the line that stretches off into the unknown infinite, but we are given the righteous responsibility to defend it NOW, as it has, and will be given again.

NOW, our war is rhetoric. Our injustice is only an injustice of Words. NOW, we see how powerful the pen can be, because the Words of ONE MAN have put back into motion the mechanisms that enabled evils, now only remembered. NOW, the words produced by a leader and his men, have started down a path we ALL know too well.

And we will ALL OWN IT…. come what may.

DO NOT spark the powder kegs! DO NOT injure like they would encourage. But NEVER BE SILENT. ALWAYS stand firm and SPEAK LOUDLY. Proclaim where you stand NOW, for when they try to take that freedom from you, and they ask you “Where do YOU stand?” we will ALL know. The people around you, the people behind you, and the people you didn’t even know could hear how LOUD your voice was… can hear you, too.

If NO ONE stands SILENT then the MINORITY BELIEFS will not corrupt the Truth. Fear cannot silence TRUTH when we stand United. We speak out when Law is subverted because without Law, we cannot find TRUTH.

Equal protection Under Law.

When enforcement of the Law is detrimental to the citizens that established it, The LAW MUST CHANGE. Seeking to craft Legislation that reflects the values that ALL Americans share, those that are taught to every generation in the ancient texts of every caring religion on Earth, is why people established Our Government in the first place- it is the “Just Patriotism” George Washington spoke of in his Farewell Address. Our Constitution isn’t celebrated because it is OUR Constitution, it is celebrated because it is a document worth celebrating!

Pride in our Law, in Our Constitution is expressed clearly when we speak in unison, and demand an unjust law be repealed immediately.

Long Live The Constitution!

Long Live the OFFICE of the President of the United States!

Keep your head UP!!

JC

It’s All Connected…

I wanted to speak about Wilson Montenegro and his cousin Jerrell Frazier. I graduated from Olathe North High School class of 1998. On September 14, 1995, Wilson and Jerrell were shot and killed in a drive by shooting while playing football with some friends on school grounds.

It was Homecoming weekend. I remember on Friday, the football game was the first time I got to dress out and play live with the marching band. It was the beginning of a new year at a new school for me with new friends. Then, later that weekend…

I never got to meet Wilson. We didn’t have the same classes. I saw him only in passing between class. But his life touched all of us. The Monday after, as we walled the halls… silence. No one spoke. No one knew what to say. And we all understood the danger was real.

The things we do make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s a ripple effect. As words leave our lips and reverberate through air, like rocks cast into still waters, what we do touches more than we can see. What we do each day, matters.

Have you ever taken a dandelion gone to seed and blown the seeds into the wind? Have you ever taken a dandelion gone to seed and blown the seeds off up wind of someone with seasonal allergies?

What we do matters and effects people around us.

Like an intricate placement of dominoes, a single motion creates havoc long after you influence the system. And whether done by accident or with intent, once started the result is almost certain.

I have decided to share with you memories of a young man I have never met. Motivated to do so, by a bunch of children from Florida who know the horrors of war. Those children who mourn the loss of friends and family, seek legislation through OPEN and HONEST debate, to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and GROWN MEN say “leave the governing to the adults.”

Adults, who on one hand say ALL LIVES MATTER, but then they don’t raise a finger to seek justice for the family of a child, shot and killed, by a man with a badge and a gun. Or they teach Pro-Life concepts to a teenaged girl carrying her abuser’s child.

Our country, seemingly, is NOT as it once was. Our country, STARVED of leadership, now finds it in the words of children not old enough to be elected to office. We currently have a leader who seeks to protect our country from, FAMILIES, who have humbly asked for assistance and protection. Women and children with nothing, asking for a chance at NOT DYING… for their children’s sake at the very least. Yet, our current elected officials cannot even do that without causing harm.

So we now see what springs from the seeds of dishonesty sown… More of the same.

As a father of two young boys, I write these words with nothing in my pockets, but asking for everyone to lend me your ear. These words may not seem to have much effect here, today, but they will certainly shake the cornerstones of buildings miles away, tomorrow.

Great wealth does NOT a good leader make, but a great leader is more precious than gold. Right now our Country knows what a great President looks like because we have seen what a cheap, morally bankrupt President looks like. Presenting LIES as TRUTH. Protecting GUNS more than CHILDREN. Celebrating the wealth of Our nation as his accomplishment, and unable to spend time nor treasure to save 5,000 lives in Puerto Rico.

“Heck of a job there,” Sir.

But from this dark corner of our Shared history, I want to offer hope. Its currency diminished, its appeal not quite “universal” anymore… but that “… and a prayer” are all I carry on-hand nowadays.

No matter our political affiliations. No matter the State we live in. We ALL bleed for one flag, and that flag stands as a symbol, and ONLY that. What it symbolizes as it flies, is more than what makes it fly. Just as it is with the scripture, it is the “Word” of god, and because it is by the hand of Man, it is NOT god, though it may be OF god.

Our flag symbolizes our commitment to Liberty and Justice, and our dedication to the protection thereof. Up to and including the destruction of that very symbol!

Yes… THAT is worthy of taking a knee, and showing HUMILITY for, our Constitution, OF the People.

Keep your head UP!!

JC