Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day...& Some Thoughts

Hi everyone! I realize I haven't posted in several months--again. I always tried to get back into a normal routine of posting during school but studying kept getting in the way. But, I am happy to say that I graduated from high school on the 28th (summa cum laude!) and now have the summer to get back to blogging. This fall I plan to attend Webster University and, hopefully, my class schedule will allow for some blogging time, too.

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and I hope everyone had a nice weekend. But while you were enjoying time with your family and friends, I hope you thought of the many chairs that are empty in other family's households during holiday gatherings--chairs that should hold those who serve our country currently or those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our nation.

I can't think of a better way to commemorate Memorial Day and to say thank you to those in uniform than by getting involved in Soldiers Angels (www.soldiersangels.com). There are countless opportunities to volunteer as much or as little time as one desires in order to directly or indirectly support our men and women deployed overseas, their families, and also those who have come home wounded. I encourage anyone to get involved...our soldiers really appreciate any support from home and it will truly make a difference in their lives!

I have been doing some thinking regarding the people of our nation, and though I've been out of the blogging loop for quite some time, I haven't stopped watching others and analyzing myself and my ideology. Let's face it--our country is in serious trouble, and it would be incredibly difficult for one to argue otherwise. The serious debt America faces is worrisome beyond words; people are unemployed; food costs and the general cost of living is going up; and the situation in the Middle East isn't going so well either. These problems, I believe, are not going to be solved by electing a new President (thought it might help...) nor will they be solved overnight. Resolving these issues, I think, starts right in our own homes, in our own mindsets and the way we live our lives.

Maybe I am the only one that has noticed, but it seems that morals are almost nonexistent in America anymore. People lie. Cheat. Steal. Stab others in the back. They're unfaithful, they're adulterers. They're materialistic, and selfish. That's people in general for you, but these vices seem to be running rampant in our country. These days, "anything goes." It seems we place value on iPods and iPads rather than reliability and trustworthiness, Cadillacs and Mercedes rather than honesty and fidelity. People care more about American Idol and Jersey Shore than the state of our economy, the heated situation in the Middle East, and the suffering in our cities such as Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL. Honor, and the desire to do things the RIGHT way are hard to find. We want convenience, and instant gratification. We don't want to work for anything, but want someone else to do the work for us, we want to elect others to think for us. Instead of taking responsibility, we make excuses and expect someone else to pay the consequences. (Please note that I'm definitely not pointing fingers at anyone, nor am I excluding myself from this.) We all have an area of our lives in which we lack strength.

I have always loved this quote by John Adams, and find it particularly meaningful now: "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Our nation cannot be revived unless we first examine our own lives. We cannot control government spending if we are irresponsible with our own money. We cannot expect others to take responsibility for their own actions unless we take responsibility for our own. We cannot expect the tension in the Middle East to simmer unless we stand our ground and stand with our true allies, at the same time eliminating prejudice. We cannot become offended at every whim and in turn we cannot allow political correctness to control our every move.

Another quote that comes to mind is perhaps one of the more well known quotations in history by Ghandi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Before we can solve the problems of the world, we must evaluate our own lives and make a change for the better. I try hard to do this every day... if we are going to revive our nation, the resolution starts small; resolve to make a change in an area of your life in which you are lacking. Remove anyone and anything from your life that causes you strife. Be positive, and be responsible for yourself. Get rid of anything untruthful in your life. Even those little white lies that don't seem to matter. If we are to restore truth to a society so ridden with lies and deceit, it starts with being truthful to ourselves. Ask yourself; at this point in time, is the way you live your life a model for a true and just society? Is it a model for the way we KNOW Americans can live and behave, with honor and responsibility, and concern for others?

I know I am capable of being better, and I know all Americans are capable of taking hold of their lives and instituting morality where it lacks. The question is whether they care enough to make a change in themselves. This is the one and only life we are given; are you making the most of it, and are you using it for personal gain or for the betterment of your family, your nation, and the world?

All of that may sound funny coming from an 18 year old soon-to-be-college student, but I'm just sharing my thoughts humbly. Take it with a grain of salt. Thanks for reading... soon I will post a satirical essay I wrote for school, and you won't want to miss that! If you'd like to be included in my email list to receive updates regarding new blog posts, send me an email at sarah.hinds515@yahoo.com.

I'll leave you with this quote to ponder...

"We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation