I recently had the privilege of visiting the 9/11 Tribute Museum in New York City. I have visited NYC many times over the years, but I had never made it over to museums. The last time I had seen the place where the twin towers stood they had just finished cleaning away the rubble.
I admit that I only made it part of the way through the museum. It brought back a rush of memories. Anyone of a certain age remembers the pain and horror that day. We also remember the hope we felt as Americans of every race and creed descended upon New York City to help rescue citizens. We remember the first responders that ran into to the collapsing buildings where 343 firefighters died. We remember coming together if just for a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to our neighbors.
That unity did not last long and we have become ever more divided each progressing year. There seems to always be a new protest no matter which side of the aisle you are on. Protesting is a good thing, it is our right as a free people to let our government know what we think and when we disagree. Whether it is a Tea Party event or Black Lives Matter peaceful protests should be encouraged even when we disagree.
Yet, we don’t just protest and let our ideas be known. We block out other ideas. We attack people of various ideology. Whether it is presidential candidate Donald Trump encouraging supporters to knock out a protestor and saying he will cover their attorney’s fees, or students at Berkley rioting because a conservative Jew was speaking.
Late night talk show host and comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, recently said:
“I want everyone with a television to watch the show, but if they’re so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence, then … I probably wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them anyway.”
If we are not even willing to have a conversation with others then how can we ever understand each other or evolve?
That is one reason I wanted to create “While I Breathe.” I wanted to write and share news of the day from the national scene and Texas, and also have a place to share stories of hope and encouragement. I wanted to try to write from time to time taking in the opposing view and at least giving it consideration. I am not perfect at this. I’m a far-right pro-life gay liberty Republican nut job and I welcome the labels. But I also believe in examining my views and why I hold them. They’ve certainly changed over the years and I cannot even explain them all the time, but I like to try.
“While I Breathe” comes from the Latin phrase, Dum Spiro Spero, “While I Breathe, I Hope.” It is the motto of my native state of South Carolina and is part of the state seal. It is written above the Roman goddess Spes, the goddess of hope, as she walks among discarded weapons.
I believe that is what we need today: Hope. Hope got a bad rap among conservatives thanks to President Obama’s “Hope and Change” campaign of 2008. Yet it connected with the American people for a reason. We need hope.
Many forget that President Reagan was not a great president because of his policies, but rather thanks to his rhetoric. The press mocked him with the title “The Great Communicator” but it caught on because he knew how to reach to the heart of people. He told the American people of their greatness and helped lead the country quickly out of recession and into one of the greatest moments of entrepreneurship the country has ever known.
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – President Ronald Reagan
That is what we need today. That is the leadership that should be uplifted today. It can be hard to find. Leaders that stand on principle while espousing hope for a brighter tomorrow seem few, but they are out there. Some are in government and some are not. I hope to find and feature them throughout this site over time.
There is a proverb from the book of Ecclesiastes in Scriptures that reads:
For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. Ecclesiastes 9:4
If you’re alive then you have hope. Remember that.
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