I hear the call of many saying let’s go back and rebirth our past because that is the antidote for our present crisis. That crisis being moral, financial, or a weakening overall of a nation in its global voice. The problem with that plan is that if we go back and redo our past we will reproduce the same situations we are trying to avoid or solve. In other words we will recreate our present distress and perpetuate the same failures. The better alternative is envision a future for your nation that is better than it is has ever experienced in its history. Once the vision is clear, now look for the decisions that need made to produce the consequence of that future.
We can reduce the dialogue for change in our nations to political salvos and mayhem and blame everyone else for our conditions and entrench the victim mindset excusing our responsibilities, or we become intentional and do something. Let’s awaken ourselves out of the political intoxication that is inebriating us into staggering towards perpetuating the same old revolving door of low innovation, poverty, human rights violations, lack of education, oppression of freedom, etc. Notice if these and others not listed were a part of your nations past, then what reason do you have to go back and make the same decisions that created that atmosphere for those things to flourish?
Is there a place to start?
Is that place where we make new laws and change politicians? No! Will these things change – yes but that is not where we start. If we do, we will sink into the quagmire of external distractions that does not get to the heart of the matter.
Here is where to begin – building a culture of honor. Once it is built it becomes an unstoppable tidal wave for change.
What does it mean to give honor? Giving honor, such as to parents, means to prize, esteem, and value, your relationship with them. It can be shown in various ways, such as being obedient and respectful to them when you are young, and when you are older, providing for their care.
Respect is closely associated with honor. Giving someone respect means being polite. For example, standing up when an older person enters a room is a sign of respect. We talk about equal rights, human rights, and the equality, but the idea of respect is about a perceived inequality. Respect means some people are more important. It’s yielding to, and esteeming others as being preferred above me. A person is not born with these attributes in motion. They are taught and instilled by the crafting of parents, culture, society, and religious principles.
Culture is the amalgamation of it’s societal honor system. When the majority of people and families within a nation assume a particular principled posture, then culture is produced. Culture changes when principles adhered to change in the majority of people within a country. This explains how a nation can birthed one way and possess a culture that is different from it is today. What happened? The current majority lives by a different set of principles and values than the founding generation.
Giving honor is going on the offense and aggressively attacking the cancer causing tensions such as racism, religious bigotry, and political oppressions. Giving honor releases indomitable peace into a situation. A culture of honor is never built around “what I need,” but rather it is built around “what I can give.”
President John F. Kennedy said in his famous speech:
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
I must learn to give honor to those who deserve it the least, and if I don’t, I will continue to live in an environment and culture without honor. It is an environment that hosts peace and tranquility where the irritations beforehand were present due to the lack of love, honor, and value of our fellowman. National health flows through honor.
Make it a practice to treat people as free, not slaves, as human-beings, not inanimate objects, as having rights, not pawns to control, as an opportunity to help them succeed, not an enemy to be destroyed.
Is this the end it all as a solution? No, but it is a start and it is a foundation for the national building process to stand firm for many generations to come.
“treat others the way you want to be treated.”