I have little idea about real sacrifice

pacific

Just finished the series The Pacific. What a powerful demonstration of courage, and commitment, and pride, and hate, and chaos. May we never have to go to such extents ever again.

And while peace is always the first, second, and third route of problem resolution, when it comes time to use deadly force and be put in harm’s way, it’s our soldiers who make the sacrifice. And they continue to fight in our current war as we sit in the comfort of our cities.

I have gratitude for this, despite all the problems that come with the United States’ policing the world.

I have little idea about real sacrifice, and I doubt most of us ever will.

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Memorial Day is not only about respecting our troops

Memorial Day is not only about respecting our troops, but knowing why they are (and were) doing what they’re doing. If we don’t ask the “Why?”, then our respect and our support for their actions is so narrow that it is meaningless, and in fact, dangerous.

Respect also requires empathy, and empathy for our troops includes a feeling of the sacrifice they are making, and perhaps making that sacrifice ourselves. Memorial Day can be treated as a holiday, but true empathy doesnt get released from a pod in short bursts once a year.

The counter to my observation would be, “You’re complicating a simple idea: Our troops are willing to die for our country. Let’s honor that.”

And this is a valid point. It reminds us to appreciate what we have in this country. Memorial Day commemorates a simple, obvious idea. So why do we need to be reminded to honor this powerful sacrifice if it’s so obvious?

You can see that it all leads back to the “Why” and “What” our troops are doing.

MLK commemorative post: Dr. King fought against the majority. Today we have the same fight.

Dr. King once said: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering.” And so, today, we too, must sacrifice to take control of our lives once again.

Dr. King fought against the apathy of the white majority and today we also fight against the apathy of a majority

Dr King inspired others to face the powerful and established practice of discrimination. The discrimination which Dr King fought against was based on race, but it didn’t affect the mostly white US population. Society went about its business, just like today, but today our apathy led us to a recession that almost resulted in the total economic collapse of our country.

A corporate system without consumer oversight is a system that will promote inequality

Today we have a cultural acceptance of our powerful financial system, which has slowly grown and allows us to spend less and have more money in our bank accounts. The benefits of this system are for everyone, from the corporation to the consumer. Still, the situation threatens the very structure of our free society.

Power follows money, and today we see a movement of power from elected officials to a corporate minority. This concentration of power has grown so large that when the existence of a few banking and automobile corporations was threatened, the whole country was affected: Regardless if you were rich or poor, we lost businesses, jobs, and retirement savings.

We can reclaim power over the institutions if we follow Dr. King’s advice: Sacrifice.

A sacrifice of personal financial growth. As Dr King sacrificed, we too must sacrifice our way of life to correct the injustices of today: We must turn away the money that trickles down from careless and dishonest Wall Street bankers and the corporations. We must control our own finances and earnings to take back the power we are giving them. We must move our money to local banks and credit unions. Institutions should be dependent on us. Not us on them.

Race cannot be used to determine who is given opportunity, and neither can capital

Today, as in the past, we have a grave danger that cannot be ignored. We cannot continue to be apathetic about the division of the country into rich and poor, just as the population before the 1960s was apathetic about the division of the country by race. We cannot continue to watch our capital accumulate in the hands of the minority. The future of our society depends on our capacity to sacrifice and to recognize the power we have as consumers.

Yes. We can.