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…
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.